The contribution of MS Dhoni to Indian cricket and the success of Virat Kohli, as captain is well known. The skipper also has immense respect for the inputs given by Dhoni, and he has never undermined the value-addition made by the veteran wicketkeeper.
Saturday witnessed one such occasion when Kohli made his admiration for Dhoni known, loud and clear, during the pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s India vs South Africa T20I series-opener in Dharamsala.
When asked about his throwback tweet (in context to India’s successful run-chase against Australia in the 2016 T20 World Cup match in Mohali) that sparked off speculations of Dhoni’s retirement, Kohli said: “I was sitting at home and I, normally, put out a photograph and it became a news item. I think it was a lesson for me, that the way I think, the whole world doesn’t think that way. There was nothing in farthest stretch of my imagination (to hint Dhoni’s retirement) while putting that pic out on social media. Like what did I write.”
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) September 12, 2019
“I remember that game even now…, every now and then. I never spoke about that game and so I thought I put up a post. Now people interpreted it in a different manner in which there wasn’t even an iota of truth,” Kohli added.
“There are a numerous number of times people have given up on sportsmen and they have proved people wrong. He (Dhoni) has done that many times in his career as well. So, one great thing about him is that he thinks for Indian cricket. And whatever we think, he is on the same page. The alignment is there. The kind of mindset he has, to groom youngsters and give them opportunities, and he is still the same person.
“When you decide to stop playing is an absolutely individual thing, and no one else should have an opinion on it. That’s what I think. As long as he is available and continues to play, he is going to be very, very valuable,” he added further.
Dhoni last played for India during the semi-final loss to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup and has since been on a sabbatical.