Sports

Virat Kohli is close to becoming a legend: MS Dhoni


Says former India skipper Dhoni praising his successor who is consistent in all three formats

Mumbai : Virat Kohli is going through a purple patch across all formats for some time now and so is used to being showered with praises. But getting a pat on the back from the man you made your debut under is still quite special.

On Tuesday, former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that his successor has now close to being a legend thanks to his consistency and impressive performances in recent years.


 
“He (Kohli) is the best. He has already reached a stage, where he is close to the legend’s status. I’m very happy for him and the way he has been batting everywhere in the last few years is just brilliant. He keeps taking the team forward and that’s what you want from a leader,” said Dhoni, who was in town for a promotional event.

Kohli, who recently became No. 1 Test batsman, scored his first Test century in England when he smashed 149 in the first innings at Edgbaston last week, which India lost by 31 runs against England.

Though India lost the opening Test of the five-match series, Dhoni, who captained India in the last Test series in England in 2014, is still confident that India will make a comeback. “To win a Test, you need to take 20 wickets and we did that. It doesn’t matter how well you bat and how well you are there for five days. But if you take 20 wickets, you can win a Test,” Dhoni said.

“I’m very happy for Kohli and the way he has been batting everywhere in the last few years is just brilliant. He keeps taking the team forward and that’s what you want from a leader”
Clearing rumours about his retirement, which took place after he was seen collecting the match ball from umpires at the end of third one-day international against England last month, Dhoni said he just wanted to see why Indian bowlers are not getting reverse swing which can become an important factor to succeed in the next year’s World Cup in England.

“You actually have to keep working on what’s happening. That (taking match ball) was to see why our bowlers not able to get reverse swing. Because, we would be playing the next World Cup there. And to do well, we have to get a reverse swing. It’s something important, which our opposition team is getting and we are not.

“After 50 overs the ball is useless to the ICC, so I requested umpires for the ball and gave it to the bowling coach (Bharat Arun) saying we need to work on it. We need to see how we can get the reverse swing, which can help our fast bowlers to get those yorkers right and to get wickets after 40-over mark. That would really help us to restrict the oppositions by not giving too many runs in last 10 overs,” Dhoni, who recently became the fourth Indian and 12th batsmen overall to score 10,000 runs in ODIs, added.

Reacting to Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s comment about reducing school syllabus by 50 per-cent to promote sports, Dhoni backed the union sports minister. Dhoni said sports should be a part of education life. “It would be interesting to see how parents react. Because education is very important but, sports teach you a lot about life and school is, I think, the right spot where you need to push youngsters to play lot of sports.

“I feel sports teaches you how to make comeback afterfailure. which helps you in practical life. I feel sports should be a part of student’s life and everybody should be encouraged to play sport.”

“It needs to be incorporated into the syllabus, but at the same time you can’t have a situation where entire marking system depends on what you are running out of sports. It is important to have designated time everyday for sports in schools.”




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