Indian cricket team head coach Ravi Shastri feels that senior pro-MS Dhoni is an “ultimate team man”, and says some “jealous” people want him to have a “couple of bad days” as they are “waiting to see” his international career come to an end.
“Looks like there are a lot of jealous people around, who just want Dhoni to have a couple of bad days…. There are a few people who are waiting to see the end of MS Dhoni. But great players like him decide their own future,” Shastri said in an interview to the Bengali daily Anandabazar Patrika.
He said the Indian team knew well Dhoni’s worth and the criticism against the dashing wicketkeeper-batsman made no difference to them.
“It (the criticism) doesn’t make a difference to me. In our mind, we know where Dhoni stands within the team. He is an ultimate team man. He was a great leader and now an ultimate team man.”
In a dig at some former cricketers and experts who were critical of Dhoni now and have suggested he be dropped from the T20 side, he said: “Not so long ago I used to do television and people used to ask me questions. You need to answer questions to make a show happen.”
“Dhoni is a superstar. He is one of our greatest cricketers. So he is always going to be a great topic. He is always going to be a topic because he is a legend. When you have a career as glorious as that, you become a topic on television.”
Shastri pointed out that Dhoni, who has retired from Test cricket, has averaged over 65 in one-day Internationals over the last one year and helped India win matches in Sri Lanka and against Australia at home in the last series only.
“In our mind, we know where Dhoni stands. He is an ultimate team-man. He was a leader, a great leader! And now an ultimate team-man,” said Ravi Shastri.
Kohli and Shastri will have to have a plan for a man they trust so much. Foremost, they must decide MS Dhoni’s batting position and review his role. With talent aplenty and a World Cup to regain in less than two years’ time, India simply can’t afford to be at sixes or seven with one of its most decorated cricketers.
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