MS Dhoni gives me the freedom to do my thing: Virat Kohli
While talking about the 37-year-old cricketer's form with the bat Kohli said his predecessor is a vital member in the 15-member world cup-bound squad as Dhoni always keeps team above everything else.
Complementing the veteran-stumper's lightning quick stumpings in the just concluded IPL 2019, Kohli feels he's simply amazing behind the stumps apart from his plethora of experience and match reading skills. All these qualities of Dhoni, as per Kohli, are indispensable.
"What can I say about him (Dhoni). 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. 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.
On Dhoni's criticism
Talking about the constant criticism and scrutiny, Dhoni - the most successful Indian captain - goes through, Kohli 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."
Leadership role of Rohit-Dhoni
When asked about the leadership roles expected from the senior-pro like Dhoni, who has already lifted a couple of coveted WC trophies for India, both Kohli and coach Shastri believe that the Chennai Super Kings' captain and the current IPL champions and Mumbai Indians' skipper Rohit Sharma will have a lot to do in the WC.
Kohli and Shastri on the roles of Dhoni and Rohit said, "MS and Rohit - both. 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. That's why, the team management decided to have a strategy pool in place which MS and Rohit are part of along with us."
Role of openers Rohit-Shikhar
Talking about the job of the openers Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan in the marquee event, Shastri said, "In the current scenario, Rohit and Shikhar don't just make for the best opening combination that India can put forward, but they're easily the best in the world right now."