Dhoni's childhood coach feels Kohli still needs time as captain

India will open its campaign in the World Cup against South Africa on June 5; Dhoni would turn 38 during the marquee event.

M.S. Dhoni (right) would turn 38 during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 that starts from May 30 in the UK.   -  FILE PHOTO/PTI


Virat Kohli might be the world’s best batsman but when it comes to match-reading skills, he is still a few notches below Mahendra Singh Dhoni, feels former India skipper’s childhood coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee.

In the death overs, it has been observed that it is usually Dhoni who takes over the field placements with Kohli manning the deep.

“In terms of match-reading and forming strategies, Dhoni is still unparallel. Even Kohli doesn’t have that. So Kohli needs to take some advice. If Dhoni would not have been part of the Indian team, there would be nobody to help him.”

“Virat still needs time as captain and advice from Dhoni would only help him,” Banerjee told reporters during the summer camp launch of MS Dhoni Cricket Academy Clinic, which will be held in Andul.

READ| No 5 is the best position for M.S. Dhoni, says coach

India will open its campaign in the World Cup against South Africa on June 5 and there’s been a lot of talk about a weak middle order, especially with no specialist at No 4. Dhoni is the answer to the No 4 riddle, Banerjee opined.

“I feel Dhoni should bat at No 4 in the World Cup. It is a team management decision but that’s my personal opinion. If he bats at No 4, batsmen after him can play freely,” he said about the India’s 2011 World Cup winning captain.

“When he bats at no 4, he has the luxury of spending some time and then bat freely. But he has to hit right from ball one, if he drops down at 5 or 6. Then he has to take risks,” he reasoned.

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Dhoni would turn 38 during the upcoming marquee event in England and when asked whether his famous ward would call it quits after the World Cup, he dismissed it with a laugh.

“Do you want him to retire? Haven’t you seen his fitness level,” the former games teacher of Jawahar Vidya Mandir Ranchi, said.

“Fitness is everything. But I cannot say about his retirement, not even his father or wife,” he said, citing example of Dhoni’s surprise Test retirement announcement on December 30, 2014 in the middle of the away series Down Under.

Banerjee also spoke about young Rishabh Pant’s omission from the World Cup squad and said: "It’s too early to give him a chance. Our bench strength is huge and his (Pant’s) chance will come."

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