At the start of 2017 when England toured India for a limited-overs series comprising of 3 ODIs and as many T20Is, MS Dhoni had decided to pass the captaincy baton to already established Test skipper Virat Kohli. Since then Team India under Kohli are doing wonders across all formats of the game.
Despite India’s stellar show, Dhoni’s performances in limited-overs cricket often become the talk of the town. While a certain section of cricket lovers admire his commitment to fight it out in the middle, other group criticize him for being too cautious.
Amidst the criticism and accolades, former England captain Michael Vaughan has said that Kohli would be yearning to have someone as experience as Dhoni in his scheme of things for 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
"MS Dhoni is always a threat with the white ball because he's held the finishing position with the Indian side for many years. I don't see it going away too soon. He'll be there for the World Cup next year so lots of cricket for the next year and a half for all of us to look forward to,” Vaughan said in an exclusive interview with India Today.
"Performances always state whether you get that selection. I would think that the likes of Virat Kohli would be desperate to have MS Dhoni in the ranks for next year's World Cup with the experience and skill level that he provides, the knowledge that he passes on to the junior players. I will be absolutely staggered if MS Dhoni is not in the UK next year," he further added.
During India’s recently concluded tour of South Africa, Virat was the highest run-getter in both Test and ODI series from either side. The Indian captain had scored 286 runs at an average of 47.66 on some of the most difficult wickets in three Tests and then followed it up with 558 runs at an average of 186 in 6 ODIs.
When asked about Kohli’s batting feats, Vaughan termed the India skipper as the best all-round batsman in world cricket.
"Virat Kohli is the best player in the world across all the three formats. I would say that Steve Smith has gone just ahead of him as a Test match batsman but I don't think there is a better one-day player than Virat Kohli. What he did in South Africa, 35 one-day international hundreds already... particularly in the second innings chasing down I think he's the best ever," Vaughan opined.
After being 2-0 down in the Test series, Team India bounced back emphatically to win the Johannesburg Test by 63 runs. From then on, India’s winning juggernaut didn’t stop as they secured both the limited-overs series with utmost ease. While the Men in Blue clinched the six-match one-day international series with a stunning margin of 5-1, they won the three-match ODI series 2-1.
Virat Kohli and company’s next overseas assignment is in England where they are scheduled to play 3 T20Is, 3 ODIs and 5 Tests. Talking about that much-awaited series, Vaughan predicts England to win the Test series provided the fact that they will be playing in home conditions with the duke ball.
"The Test tour of India in England should be a fascinating one because as we saw in South Africa, India's bowling attack has certainly got 20 wickets in them and the batsmen can cope with the moving ball.
"I think England will win in home conditions with the moving ball. The duke ball which Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad always get swinging around. I do think India will arrive with the seam attack that is probably as good as they have ever arrived with in England. It's just whether the batsmen can cope with the moving ball.
"If Virat (Kohli) has one of those series where he scores 3 or 4 hundreds, which he's certainly capable of, then it will be very competitive. But you have to say that England will be favourites on home for sure," Michael Vaughan signed-off.