India news August 20, 2013

Dhoni praises Kohli, youngsters

ESPNcricinfo staff

MS Dhoni, the India captain, said he was happy with the experience gained by the younger players in the series against Zimbabwe and on India A's ongoing tour of South Africa. According to Dhoni, these performances will hold India in good stead when the team embarks on their tour of South Africa in late November.

"The exposure the boys are getting in Zimbabwe and South Africa will help them in the long run," Dhoni said. "It will help them when they take on a quality opposition like South Africa later this year. They have done really well and the experience will help them in adjusting to conditions better."

India swept Zimbabwe 5-0 in their ODI tour, while India A took the the one-day tri-series, beating Australia A in the final. India A are also playing two unofficial Tests against South Africa A and have dominated the first game so far.

Dhoni praised stand-in captain, Virat Kohli for his leadership during the Zimbabwe tour: "I think Virat did well in Zimbabwe. He is an expressive guy and that is important. He has changed a lot in the last one year and his approach is positive. His batting performance as captain is a good sign for Indian cricket."

Focusing on Australia's upcoming ODI tour, which begins on October 10, Dhoni felt that the toss would be vital in dictating the outcome of the series, given that all the matches will be played into the night. "Around that time there will be a lot of dew, so it will be vital to win the toss. We will still try to give our best in the series," he said.

With former India captains Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly presenting their greatest Indian ODI and Test teams recently, Dhoni felt that such an exercise was futile because the game had evolved over the years: "I don't think I will ever make my all-time greatest India team. You cannot compare one era with another as they will be different.

"Whether a player has played one match or a hundred, we should give him respect for what he has achieved and leave it at that. It is like comparing two-stroke bikes with four-stroke. I don't think you will get a better product by mixing them."