"MS Dhoni's presence gives me freedom to do my things," says Team India skipper Virat Kohli

Kohli also slammed the critics of MS Dhoni. He said for Dhoni, it's always team first.

MS Dhoni | GETTY

Former India skipper MS Dhoni has tried to contribute to Indian cricket in every way possible. Batting, wicket-keeping, and captaincy, the 37-year-old made sure he excels in all three. At some point in his career, he did peak in all three at the same time.

The current captain of the Indian team Virat Kohli knows it very well. Kohli said Dhoni's presence does matter a lot in the team. It also gives him the freedom to try his things.

"What can I say about him. My career started under him and few have seen him from so close over the last few years as I have. There's one thing about MS that's far more important than anything else - and there's a lot to him - for him, the team is always above everything else. It's always about the team, no matter what," Virat Kohli told Times of India.

He added: "To top it, look at the experience he brings to the squad and we're richer with it. Some of his dismissals behind the stumps, just recently too (in IPL), were match-changing."

Kohli didn't miss out on talking about Dhoni brilliant glove work and also the game awareness he has, which surely makes his task easier.

Dhoni keeps on guiding the young bowlers and has always stood by them no matter what. It's important to make sure the bowlers have someone to guide them when they are leaking runs in pressure situations. 

Kohli responded to Dhoni's critics and said, "That's unfortunate. Honestly, I think people lack patience. An odd day here, a poor one there, and chatter becomes endless. But the fact is that MS Dhoni is among the smartest guys in the game. Behind the stumps, as I said, he's priceless. It gives me the freedom to do my thing. Someone like MS is around with a wealth of experience."

Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri acknowledged that Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are among the senior players who get involved in decisions.

"The way they've gone about with their respective roles - as captains (in IPL) - speaks volumes of what they bring to the table. MS, in particular, has a legacy. So, it augurs so well for this team to have both of them in a leadership role."

(With Times of India Inputs)


By Sihyeu Singh - 15 May, 2019

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