Mumbai: At the helm during Virat Kohli’s transition from a gifted youngster to a seasoned master, Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday said the current India skipper is close to being a legend for all the brilliance he has shown in the last few years.
“He (Kohli) is the best, and has already reached a status, where he is close to (being) a legend. So I am very happy for him. And the way he has batted everywhere and in the last few years, he has just been brilliant,” Dhoni, who is the brand amabassador and mentor of an app ‘Run Adam’, said at the launch.
The former skipper complimented his one-time deputy for his batting exploits. Kohli played all his cricket under Dhoni’s captaincy and blossomed from a talented teenager into a world beater. His 149 against England in the first Test was the final frontier that the current India captain captured. Dhoni is happy that Kohli is taking the team forward.
“He keeps taking the team forward and that is what you want from a leader. So all the best to him,” Dhoni said.
The dashing keeper-batsman also cleared the air about his international future making it clear that he is going nowhere till the 2019 World Cup in England.
There were rumours about his retirement when TV cameras spotted him asking for the match ball after final ODI that India lost to England last month but today Dhoni revealed that he was merely doing his homework for next year’s mega event.
“(I took the ball) to see why we are not able to get enough reverse swing. Because we will be playing the World Cup in England, we have to (ensure) that we get reverse swing going. Because it is something that is very important. If the opposition is getting it, we should also get it, at some point or the other,” Dhoni elaborated.
“After 50 overs, the ball is useless to the ICC (International Cricket Council), so I requested the umpire ‘Can I get the ball and gave it to the bowling coach?'”
“We need to work on it as to how we can get it more scuffed up so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going, that will in-turn help the fast bowlers get those yorkers or wickets in and around the 40th over mark. That would really help us restrict the opposition by not getting too many runs in the last 10 overs.”
Asked how India can win the Test series, having lost the opener in Birmingham by 31 runs, Dhoni’s take was simple.
“I will just tell you one thing — to win a Test match, you need 20 wickets and we (India) did that. So that’s the only answer I would give because it doesn’t matter how well you bat, how well you are there for five days but (by) taking 20 wickets, you can win a Test match,” he said.
Dhoni also shed light on the calming effect the presence of his daughter Ziva, who has was a regular feature at the IPL matches he played his season.
“Irrespective of whether I like it or not she (Ziva) gets a lot of attention and the thing is wherever I go people ask about her. It’s good to have somebody like her around, which is, who is a live-wire,” he said.
“It feels good to have somebody around who can ease on the stress, it’s good to have her. She is hardly three and half years and she has her own character, she talks in a particular way and it’s good to have a daughter always around,” he added.
Meanwhile, Dhoni picked up 25 per cent stake in his personal capacity in the tech company and will play a significant role as mentor and brand ambassador of ‘Run Adam’.