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Dhoni praises Kohli, youngsters

ESPNcricinfo staff

August 20, 2013

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India's captains, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli, with the tri-series trophy, India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain, July 11, 2013
MS Dhoni praised Virat Kohli for his captaincy during the Zimbabwe tour © AFP
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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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (August 24, 2013, 7:47 GMT)

Dhoni's view bout youngsters is perfectly true but I think about Virat, he is speculating too early. Virat is no doubt a very good composed batsman. But about his leadership qualities, it is very hard to say he is fit for the job. 5/0 against Zimbabwe cant be mejorment of any ledership. Today our any Ranji team can win against Zimbabwe with 5/0. And even a schoolboy can lead India and win by 5/0. Everybody has observed Virat leading on bigger stage, IPL. Definately IPL has much much bigger status than Zimbabwe ODI series. In last IPL Virat was the capatain of RCB. Unfortunately we saw mere over agression from Virat than skillfull leader. Even he fought on the ground with Gambhir, his team mate. In the match against MI he un-nessesory commented on Rohits desision of batting first at the toss. People wood at him after the the match. On the other hand I remember Rohits leadership in the finals of IPL. Raina's wicket was the most crucial & we can say captains wicket. We saw Dhoni in Rohit.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 10:30 GMT)

and about coaches - best players aren't always best coaches, but which book says ordinary players are always good coaches. Waqar left Pakistan as a coach, which saw a decline of Umar gul as a bowler, after a good world cup with the semis being an exception. Look at how much stark improved after a talk with wasim after ordinary test series in NZ. what about how donald groomed philander or improvement in siddle and hilfenous after craig mcdermott got selected. So good players don't make ordinary coaches either. And if u are talking about grass root level, I am not talking about talent, which India has heaps. But fact Australia has been so good for long time despite a tiny population is a testament to its domestic structure. I have heard a lot about corruption at grass root level in India, which doesn't make it an ideal structure. U are mixing talent pool with actual sporting structure and development process of players.

Posted by   on (August 22, 2013, 10:09 GMT)

@ramz- u have again misread my comments completely. I said Australia's decline made the difference between being runners up in 2003 and and winning world cup in 2011. They did lose to an amazing Australian team in final didn't they. Where did I say that because Australia declined it allowed India to perform. And where did I say that Raina didn't make his debut in 2005. But in 2006 he was completely exposed in SA, and wasn't picked until mid 2008 after IPL, so he wasn't in form for 5 years (which u said) and whole world knows his mental dilemma with short ball. Also likes of sharma and kholi played brilliantly against touring australian practice game yet waited for so long to make test debut. Don't get me wrong, Raina is a brilliant talent,and he is not too bad against the short ball.problem is he is trying to prove everyone that he does play it well and because it plays on his mind, he ends up throwing his wicket away. My concern is reasoning behind test selection,he later got exposed

Posted by ramz30380 on (August 21, 2013, 17:30 GMT)

@NamanGupta - Raina made his ODI debut in 2005 and has been around since - plz get ur stats right. His test call was made on those grounds with his Intl exp!I can c frm ur msgs tht u value only test cricket & nothing else. If u have been watching TV & reading papers, u wud have known tht the likes of Ian Chappel, Michael Holding(he s not a big fan of T20) had mentioned time & again abt the domestic grooming structure at the grass root level - India's dominance in U-19 & U-23 tourneys have been attributed to that!

I am a Dravid fan too but u cant deny the fact tht it was Dada who brought the likes of Yuvi, Zaheer, Pathan, Harbajan, into the team! A captain is not someone who plans strategies on the field - he has to groom players as well - which Dada had done exceptionally well!

U say so urself - Yuvi, Kaif - only two names as good fielders - Dhawan, SRJ, Rahane, Kohli, Rayudu, B.Kumar, R.Sharma, etc., are some of the best fielders we have on our cards - who have all performed in IPL

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 17:29 GMT)

Srinideva: completely agree with you. MSD is a gift and we are lucky to have him. Regarding IPL, I can safely say it has made India an excellent fielding side and players can soak up pressure better now. IPL has also injected innovative stroke play which was not found in the cricket text books. Therefore IPL has contributed a lot in these respects.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 15:32 GMT)

yea they were great this india is a much better side than with the oldies. and thanks to the IPL for this.:)

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 13:29 GMT)

secondly - what is the main difference between india winning 2011 worldcup and faltering in 2003 final - the decline of Australian cricket team. So where does IPL team come into pitchure. And what about coaches. likes of waqar, donald, wasim are coachin IPL, but here we have international coaches that haven't even played a test match. And best domestic structure. Mate I have heard lots of praises for county and shield system, widely regarded as the best, but when did people say ranji was the best. About T20 - well it has been years since India crossed semis in T20 world cup, so can't say IPL is best in the world. So even this argument is incorrect - and please elaborate how did this tournament improve India's domestic structures.

Posted by   on (August 21, 2013, 13:08 GMT)

@ramz- what are u talking about raina wasn't even in team from 2007-2008. So him being in form for 5 years is now way near true. And where did I say that T20 is not big in SA or England. I said that they were the only teams that didn't suffer, especially in tests, from extensive T20 leagues. Secondly I am no dada fan. Infact I believe it wasn't Dada, but dravid that was India's best test captain. And Ipl gave India 2011 world cup, mate looked at top run scorers and top wicket takers for India in 2011 world cup, most of those players started well before IPL began. And what is with this mentality that IPL gave us these players. Kaif and yuvraj were brilliant fielders at their peak, it wasn't IPL that helped them play for India. Likes of Rohit sharma played for India before IPL began and he is a brilliant fielder. So this argument doesn't hold. ANd for god sake a T20 tournament isn't needed for a rebuilding phase where seniors are replaced by youngsters.

Posted by ramz30380 on (August 20, 2013, 17:07 GMT)

@ naman gupta - Raina was in the ODI form for abt 5 yrs before he made his test debut, how can u say that he got a test cap because of IPL? He has been the second best finisher for India in the shorter formats only next to MSD - be reasonable in ur accusation of someone!

If Eng thinks T20 is rubbish, then why is it begging the BCCI to fwd the IPL to be completed by Apr so that its players can play? Ind which was ridiculed by Eng, Aus and SA in the past has grown up in stature both in financial aspects as well as in performance - IPL has much to do with this!

Ofcourse the performance turnaround was initiated by Dada & Co and carried on well by MSD & many be in the near future will be handed over to young Virat! Ind has been lauded by all cricketing nations for having the best domestic system for all 3 formats of the game. V shud be proud of the achvmnts of this young side tht is lead by an able captain! Ind has been the only team to have come up trumps in its transitional phase!

Posted by ramz30380 on (August 20, 2013, 16:37 GMT)

@Naman Gupta - Ur statmnt makes no sense! Wht makes u think tht T20 is not big in SA. It is mate! SA, CA and BCCI take the T20 format seriously. Not so much in Eng who obviously are struggling in the shorter formats!

How can u blame a tournament for the wrong preferences of players? Did not Kallis play the IPL & opted out for the CT in Eng, Steyn who was fit for Sunrisers was injured during the CT in Eng, Malinga announced a sudden retirement in Test cricket in order to play the IPL?

The same happened with Sehwag, GG and Zaheer! These are all individual choices - so dont blame it on IPL. Wrong choices lead to the failure in 2011 in Eng & Aus tests.More so, it was almost the same team sans dada, Kumble & Zaheer tht played in Eng & Aus viz clear tht non-performance was the reason for failure.

A T20 World Cup gave us the IPL & the IPL has given Ind fast legs, accurate fielders, 2011 ODI World Cup & 2013 CT. Virat Kohli has grown in stature as a national captain thru the IPL.

Posted by Naresh28 on (August 20, 2013, 13:35 GMT)

Analysis about the different eras was great. That is the reason why I wont compare a lara or Bradman or Tendulkar - to me they were all great and achieved it in different eras. When you put an all time great team - what purpose will you achieve?The public forget the great innings that Sachin played early in his career and berate him right now. No one can view all the past and present generation to make a team. Thus Dhoni is correct in his analysis.

Posted by vsroc on (August 20, 2013, 10:16 GMT)

Posted by Venkat Sraman on (August 20,2013) It is nice to see that Virat Kohli and his team members did exceptionally well to come out with flying colours in their recent tri-series at Zimbabwe.Virat Kohli proved his worth as a captain and led the team well to become champion.Let us all bless all the young players to do well in the forthcoming tournaments.

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 9:58 GMT)

@Naman Gupta Absolutely agree with u . india has suffered a lot due to ipl . All the points u have mentioned are 100% true . i really feel bad about sehwag . Ipl has a lot to do with his downfall . while Ipl has given us Jadeja , Ashwin and others , It has taken away Sehwag , zaheer & Gambhir from us .

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 9:40 GMT)

@Naman Gupta. and I don't see South Africa, England or any other team who have reserve batsmen with 50+ averages (India has several at the moment: Rohit, Rahane, Tiwary). Nor do I see any other team have the spin bowlers of the quality india posses. England and South Africa didn't win the Champions trophy either. India suffered those two years not bcoz of IPL but because of underperforming seniors and a spine less selection pannel. The real turn around happened only after the selection pannel was changed to give performing players a chance and kick out recent non performers like Gambhir, Sehwag and Harbhajan. Raina did not make it into the team bcoz of IPL but bcoz he was scoring in ODIs which at that time Kohli and Sharma were not (Kohli only started after late 2010 and Sharma only now) and Pujara was injured. The IPL has nothing to do with India's performances in 2010. Didn't we win a world cup after 3 years of IPL after all?

Posted by   on (August 20, 2013, 8:52 GMT)

@romanticstud - this is nonsense. IPl meant India changed from a side which almost won in australia (with hayden, ponting, gilchrist, brett lee and stuart clark at their peak, hussey, symonds and clarke) to one that lost 8 consecutive overseas matches. Players like sehwag delaying surgery for sake of playing an IPL season and comprimising international matches, gambhir getting injured after playing all season of IPL, dhoni wanting international fixtures to be cut down but said nothing about IPL, even when it was extended. varun aaron is fit for IPL, but once season ends he is injured again. Raina picked before pujara, kholi and rohit sharma for tests for what him and chennai did in ip. Fast bowlers or even rohit dharma with infated egos underperforming internationally after making millions in ipl - although sharma did turnaround his ODI performances. This is what IPl turned indian cricket into. And only South Africa and ENGLAND don't suffer fromT20 rubbish worldwide, but India does

Posted by srinideva on (August 20, 2013, 8:08 GMT)

The BEST thing ever happen to Indian cricket..MSD:

Posted by Romanticstud on (August 20, 2013, 8:07 GMT)

India is one of the teams that have benefited from having T20 cricket ... The youngsters get an opportunity to play with the stars ... The IPL was the first major T20 tournament and has grown in popularity ... No doubt because India is a cricketing mad nation ... Virat Kohli has been a remarkable find to fill Rahul Dravid's shoes ... India are looking like being the next No 1 side in all three formats ... Dhoni is right about making an All Time XI ... not just because of the game evolving, but also because of the numbers and stats that have been raked up recently ... Remember Bradman played 80 Innings in his international career ... Every batsman to make 10000 runs has more than 200 innings ...

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