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Virat Kohli was still finding his feet in international cricket when Mahendra Singh Dhoni was already on his path to greatness as the Indian captain. By the time, Kohli became the lynchpin of the Indian batting lineup; Dhoni had already led the country to the two World Cups, Champions Trophy, number one in Tests and many other major accolades. But despite Kohli being a rookie and Dhoni being arguably the most important part of the team, the two developed a great camaraderie.
However, their friendship went through a testing time when Dhoni’s diminishing power with the bat as well as some poor performance as captain coincided with Kohli’s rapid rise. Towards the end of 2014, Dhoni handed over the reigns of the Test team to Kohli, and earlier this year he relinquished the captaincy in limited-overs too. But the friendship withstood the test and the way both of them behave on the field; it is very much clear that they trust each other blindly.
Despite stepping down as the captain, Dhoni does not shy away from playing an active part in the team’s planning while Kohli, on his part, does not stop Dhoni to take the decision and also relies on his predecessor’s inputs while taking a major decision.
Well, in the latest episode of ‘Breakfast with Champions,’ hosted by Gaurav Kapur, Kohli opened up on the camaraderie between him and Dhoni.
“For you to become captain and to have someone like MS Dhoni still there, at least in ODI cricket, first question I want to ask you because I have noticed this about him. In the last few years, he enjoys being in the game more than even playing the game,” the host asked Kohli.
In reply, Kohli said:“Yeah amazing.. I don’t think I have across a better cricketing brain, just in terms of planning and knowing what’s happening in the game and what can be done.”
“Sometimes I like to follow my own instinct as well but whenever I ask him anything, 8 out of 10 times or 9 out of 10 times, he always tells you the thing that work. So it’s a blessing to have him,” he added.
Kohli went on to speak about his friendship with the World Cup-winning skipper.
“Our friendship has grown over the years immensely. A lot of people try to spin a story, create a controversy, it does not matter to us. We have no idea what’s been said in the papers because we don’t read it. We get out together, we know there’s nothing happening,” he said.
“The transition went so well, him and I are so close. No one felt it on the field as well. Everything is going well, we’re all happy, our relationship has been the same like it was before. So I really feel lucky that he is still around in my initial years of captaincy and I am still learning a lot from him.
Watch the clip here (from 18th minute):
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