Suresh Raina does not want to be drawn into India's captaincy conundrum
The upcoming Zimbabwe tour is a very important one for MS Dhoni, as a batsman and as a captain
Following the unbelievable start that Virat Kohli has had to 2016, there have been calls for the 27-year-old to replace MS Dhoni as the Indian captain in the limited-overs format too, in addition to his responsibilities in the longer format of the game.
Just like Yuvraj Singh was not willing to respond to questions on if Kohli should take over from Dhoni in ODIs and T20Is, Suresh Raina took a similar route as he refused to be drawn into picking one of the two.
“How can I talk about MS? You should ask him about his future plans. He went to Pune and I went to Rajkot and there is no point judging him. I have respect for what he has done for India and his IPL franchise (the now-defunct Chennai Super Kings),” Raina said.
The Zimbabwe series is a very important one for Dhoni, having been in a poor run of form late. Both as a captain and a batsman, Dhoni was way below-par in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL).
The Indian cricket team management will be keeping a close eye on the skipper's performances in Zimbabwe before they come to any sort of decision on who should take up the mantle of the limited-overs captain. If Dhoni can prove that there is still life in him and can go on to lead the side for years to come, then the debate of promoting Kohli could subside following the tour.
Former Indian team manager, Ravi Shastri who has worked closely with both Dhoni and Kohli, and spoke to India Today about how it might be time for Dhoni to take a back seat and look to enjoy the game.
“By no stretch of imagination you are taking anything away from Dhoni. He can still contribute massively as a player. I think the time has come for Dhoni to enjoy himself and enjoy the game. End of the day, it is about how hungry Dhoni is, how passionate he is. Also, the time has come where you have a guy whom you have groomed over a period of time. Kohli is ready,” Shastri said.
It is no doubt that Kohli will take over from Dhoni sometime soon in the future. How soon that will happen depends on how well Dhoni can come up with the goods in the batting and captaincy departments.