Indian captain Virat Kohli on Thursday after the series win in Thiruvananthapuram stated that Mahendra Singh Dhoni still remains an integral part of the One-Day International (ODI) team and the wicket-keeper batsman himself decided not to play the upcoming T20s only to make way for much younger Rishabh Pant.
“I think the selectors have already addressed this if I’m not wrong. And he’s been spoken to, firstly… So, I don’t see any reason why I should be sitting here and explaining that.
I think the selectors have come out and explained exactly what happened,” said Kohli at the post-match press conference after guiding India to another series win at home.
“I was not part of that conversation so… It is what the selectors explained. I think people are putting too much variables into the situation, which is not the case I can assure you of that.
He’s still a very integral part of this team and he just feels that in the T20 format, someone like Rishabh can get more chances.”
“He anyway plays the ODIs for us regularly, so… From that point of view, he’s only trying to help the youngsters; nothing that anything that other people are thinking and I as captain can certainly assure you of that,” Kohli said.
Earlier, former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar had said that Dhoni is very important for captain Kohli and that his experience might be invaluable for the team in the 2019 World Cup.
“There’s no doubt about it. In 50 overs where there is that much more time, that’s when MSD comes into play. You know he makes those small field adjustments, talking to the bowlers in Hindi – telling them where to bowl and what to bowl. It’s a huge plus for Virat”, Gavaskar said.
Dhoni has been dropped for the upcoming T20 series against the West Indies and Australia and there is a possibility that he never plays for India again in the shortest format.