Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be nearing his cricket retirement, but there is no doubt that the former India skipper will go down as one of the greatest players to grace the gentleman’s game. The veteran wicket-keeper batsman’s consistency may have decreased over the years, but he still brings a lot to the table in the limited-overs format.
The 36-year-old is often spotted offering his valuable inputs to bowlers from behind the stumps, taking a DRS call or even helping skipper Virat Kohli in field placements. Team India head coach Ravi Shastri on Friday singled out Dhoni and showered praise on him, stating there was no substitute for his experience in the market.
“And like I said, there is no substitute for experience. That cannot be bought or sold in the market. He’ll (Dhoni) go down as one of the greatest one-day players the world has ever seen. And when you have that kind of experience, the level of fitness and what he’s maintained,” Shastri was quoted.
Dhoni’s batting role has immensely changed over the years, from a hard-hitting batsman to an anchor who steers the innings. But Shastri feels Dhoni’s presence makes a big difference irrespective of the batting position he is slotted in.
“When it comes to finishing a game or batting in the final overs, there have been very few better than him in the history of the game. When you have that cushion of someone like him coming at No. 5, 6 or even 7 it makes a big big difference,” he concluded.
Even former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has faith in the Ranchi born batsman. Praising his ability Ganguly said if Dhoni would have been part of his 2003 World Cup squad the results could’ve been different. Dada’s team India was beaten by Australia in the final of the 2003 World Cup.
“I wish I’d Dhoni in my 2003 World Cup team. I was told that when we were playing the 2003 World Cup final he was still a ticket collector with Indian Railways. Unbelievable!” Ganguly wrote in his autobiography ‘A century is not enough’.