Cricket

IND vs NZ: 2019 Cricket World Cup | Dhoni has not told us anything about retirement, says Kohli

Indian captain Virat Kohli walks away from New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson at the presentation ceremony in Manchester on July 10, 2019.

Indian captain Virat Kohli walks away from New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson at the presentation ceremony in Manchester on July 10, 2019.   | Photo Credit: AP

Asked about Dhoni’s slow approach against Black Caps, Virat Kohli came to the veteran’s defence.

When M.S. Dhoni trudged away following a run out at Old Trafford here on Wednesday, a question lingered in the press box: “Are we seeing him for the last time in the blue shade?” With speculation over a probable retirement swirling in the air, it was understandable that the former captain came up for discussion in the post-match media interactions.

First up, Kane Williamson was asked to comment on Dhoni’s strike-rate and then the reporter asked derisively: “Would you have picked him in your team?” The New Zealand skipper looked perplexed and countered: “He is not eligible to play for New Zealand, isn’t he?”.

And then when the correspondent persisted, Williamson praised Dhoni: “He is a world-class player and if I was the Indian captain I would have picked him. His contribution was excellent. Is he looking to change his nationality? We might consider him (grins).”

Later, when Virat Kohli was probed about any input from Dhoni specific to his career’s conclusion, the Indian captain categorically said: “He hasn’t told anything.”

Dhoni scored 50 off 72 balls in India’s 18 run defeat at the hands of Black Caps and the skipper once again came to veteran’s defence on his slow approach during the middle overs.

Asked if Dhoni has said anything about his future plans, with squad for the West Indies tour to be announced soon, Kohli said,”No he hasn’t told us anything as of now.”

Dhoni, coming in to bat at 71 for 5, it was not easy to accelerate straightaway and it needed a rebuilding which he did alongside Ravindra Jadeja.

“I think Dhoni had to hold the innings from one end and allow Jadeja to play freely. He batted in the right way. He has been given a specific role as per the team situation and he played accordingly. They had a 100 run partnership from that situation,” Kohli defended the former skipper.

The skipper also feels that it is “very easy to criticize sitting from outside”.

“Yes we are not denying that we made errors but in hindsight, we can criticize a lot,” Kohli said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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Printable version | Mar 30, 2020 11:45:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/2019-cricket-world-cup-india-vs-new-zealand-first-semifinal-in-manchester-kohli-on-dhoni-future-announcement/article28363352.ece

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