Kolkata, March 9 (IANS) Indian cricket team’s director Ravi Shastri on Wednesday said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is “by far” the best ever Indian skipper.
Dhoni recently led India to an Asia Cup triumph and has been instrumental in the country’s rise in world cricket over the past few years. He captained the side to victory in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 and then the 50-over World Cup in 2011.
“I have said it long ago. By far (Dhoni is India’s best captain)! But believe me, there will be two three who want him to retire,” Shastri told the media here.
The recent success that India has had is also largely due to the consistency of batsmen like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Kohli has in rollicking form in Bangladesh where India lifted the Asia Cup last Sunday.
“There’s passion written all over. You just see his body language, he loves the big stage. He wants to compete against the best in the world. You see in the game against Pakistan, after (Mohammad) Amir’s spell to bat in that fashion, it was a world-class innings. When Virat’s in he wants to score big,” he said.
But Shastri also said that the team is not about an individual and that to win the World T20, seven to eight players need to be at the top of their game.
“We are not a team of individuals. We are the Indian cricket team. Virat has been in outstanding form, so as Rohit. MS has done a wonderful job lower down the order, Yuvraj (Singh) has struck form. Shikhar (Dhawan) has had his moments. To win big tournaments you cannot have one individual winning it for you. You need 7-8 performing consistently,” he said.
The team has been boosted by the fact that their bowling department have pulled up their socks and delivered in the last few tournaments, and Shastri credited bowling coach Bharat Arun for the work he has done.
“He has played a massive role in this. You said the bowling was jittery that is because we had some injuries. In South African series we lost Ashwin, the first game after three overs. Shami! We have not had him since the World Cup,” he said.
“We have had injuries and therefore, we got to new players to have a big bench strength. I am glad that Ashish (Nehra) and Jasprit (Bumrah) have grabbed the opportunity with both hands and also (Hardik) Pandya. So we must credit Bharat because of the work he has done with the boys to get results. And it’s good that they are bowling well at the moment,” he said.