Former Pakistan wicket-keeper Wasim Bari feels MS Dhoni is rare and deserves to play as long as he wants
The question that is debated the most in Indian cricket at present is whether or not the time has come for India to move on from MS Dhoni as captain and let Virat Kohli take over the leadership in all three formats of the game.
Several former players have had their views over this issue and most have voiced their support for the 35-year-old to continue leading India in white-ball cricket in the mean time, while acknowledging the fine work done by Kohli in Test cricket.
Joining the chorus in support of Dhoni is former Pakistan wicketkeeper Wasim Bari, who has termed the Indian keeper ‘rare’ and added that he was wise in retiring from the longer format of the game, which would help him in extending his career in short form cricket.
“Dhoni's rare and deserves to play as long as he performs. I feel Dhoni acted wisely in retiring from Test cricket at the end of 2014, a decision which allowed him to focus on the two shorter formats. Once you approach the mid-30s, it gets tougher on the body and Dhoni was then playing in all three formats... Actually, he's been at his best in ODIs and in T20Is,” Bari told Telegraph India.
“Look, I've always been a Dhoni supporter, for he's been exceptional. He's still 'keeping well, gets runs and runs like a 20-year-old not like the 35-year-old that he is... Personally, I've never favoured anybody's omission only because of age,” he added.
While Bari was in favour of Dhoni in limited-over s cricket, he also commented on Kohli’s style of leadership, stating that the 28-year-old had brought freshness to the job and was different to Dhoni as a captain.
“Virat has his own style of leadership, very different from immediate predecessors Dhoni and Anil Kumble... He's brought in a certain freshness and certainly competitiveness. As a batsman, Virat's mindset is to get things moving. Clearly, he backs his natural abilities,” he said.
India and Pakistan are currently ranked Number 1 and 2 in the Test rankings and Bari felt that teams keep moving up and down the ladder and added that it was more important to judge a team on how well they were playing and not the number they were placed in the table.
“Happens... We're still No. 2 ... Rankings keep changing, it's part of the game... What counts is the way Pakistan are playing... The difference has been there for all to see. More than the rankings, the way a team plays is remembered,” he said.