Mumbai: MS Dhoni’s form in the recent past has been an issue of discussion and debate with many criticising his poor form with the willow. But India’s head coach Ravi Shastri slammed all of Dhoni’s critics saying that the wicket-keeper batsman is still fitter and faster than people who are ten years younger to him.
The former skipper played a crucial 39-run knock of just 22 balls to help India post 180 runs on the board in the first T20I of the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka and was on spot with his wicketkeeping as well.
“We are not stupid. I have been watching this sport for the last 30-40 years. Virat has been a part of this team for a decade now. We know, at this age, he (Dhoni) can beat players aged 26. People who talk, forget that they played the game,” said Shastri as quoted by PTI in an interview with India Today.
He added, “If they look at themselves in the mirror and ask the question, ‘what they were at the age of 36?’. Would they have run two runs faster? But the time they finish two, this guy will run three. Then he has won only two World Cups and averages only 51. Till today you don’t have a wicket-keeper to replace him in the one-day team.”
Despite not leading the side anymore, Dhoni adds a lot of value to the Indian team through his wicketkeeping skills and chairman of selectors MSK Prasad earlier too had asserted the fact that none of the younger cricketers are yet to match his level.
Speaking along the same lines, Shastri said, “He is still one of the best around, not only in the Indian team, but in the world. Some of the things you see with him are not sold in the market. You will not get it anywhere else.”
“The fact that he does not play Test cricket, means he should be playing as much cricket as possible till the World Cup in 2019,” he added further.