Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Is MS Dhoni the unofficial captain? Mahi 'guides' Virat Kohli to success, says Sunil Gavaskar

MS Dhoni has always been regarded as one of the best captains India have ever produced in their cricket history. The Jharkhand man is a smart reader of the game, uses his knowledge and experience to help India win matches even though he may no longer be the official captain.

Virat Kohli, who replaced Dhoni as skipper, is in the control of things at present, but the Delhi man always looks up to his former captain for assistance. One has constantly noticed Dhoni making field changes during the game and Kohli does not mind that, which was reflected against Australia in the first ODI on Sunday too.

There is huge respect between Kohli and Dhoni, and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar feels that the Jharkhand man benefits from his position, behind the wickets, which allows him to take some important calls.

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"I think the wicketkeeper is always in the best position. He knows the pace of the wicket, how much turn is happening so he will be able to guide the captain (Kohli) who is standing a little away," Gavaskar told NDTV.

It has to be understood Kohli is relatively new to ODI captaincy if compared to Dhoni, and the 28-year-old has been often seen consulting the experienced man Dhoni before making some changes. More often than not, Kohli trusts Dhoni in his decision-making. Overall it is India cricket, which is benefitting from this Kohli-Dhoni mini meetings at the middle of the pitch.

"I think with Dhoni being a successful captain for India, gives Virat the confidence to let him have his way and speak to the bowlers or just make those small adjustments on the field. Virat realises MS Dhoni is looking to win matches for India."

The former skipper is not only about his wicket-keeping and his decision-making, but his batting skills are second to none. Dhoni has dug the India team out of trouble a number of times as was also witnessed in the first ODI, where he scored a brilliant half century to help the home team score 281 runs.

India won the match by 26 runs (D/L) in Chennai. The second match of the series will be played on Thursday.

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