Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Dhoni's presence will boost the morale of the team: Kohli. Kohli called Dhoni's inclusion in the backroom staff "a massive experience" boost for the side.
Kohli called Dhoni's inclusion in the backroom staff "a massive experience" boost for the side.
Virat Kohli is looking forward to welcoming MS Dhoni back into the Indian dressing room, this time as the mentor of the side for the T20 WC. Kohli called Dhoni's inclusion in the backroom staff “a massive experience” boost for the side and reckoned that the younger players in the dressing room will have the opportunity to dig into his “practical inputs” and improve their game by a notch or two, something that's often the difference between the better and the best.
“He (Dhoni) is quite excited about getting back into this environment,” Kohli said on Saturday (October 16). “He's always been a mentor for all of us when we were starting our careers through the time that he played with the team and now he has an opportunity to continue to do that same work again. Especially for the younger guys who are playing major tournaments, early stages in their careers, to just experience what he's gained over the years, and just have conversations with him around the game.
“Such practical inputs, such intricate details of where the game is going and how we can improve our games by that 1 or 2% which always makes the difference when he's in the leadership role in any team. So we are absolutely delighted to have him back in this environment and his presence will certainly boost the morale of the team even further and give us a lot more confidence than we already have as a team.”
Kohli spoke about the impact that India's T20 WC (then T20 WC) win in 2007 had on him, and how winning an ICC title amidst winds of change in captaincy and team management remains the “ultimate dream.”
“Huge impact I think it was,” Kohli said of India's 2007 win under Dhoni. “That World Cup we fondly remember watching and keenly watching this young Indian team achieve things at the world stage…For a young Indian team to go out there and achieve what they ended up achieving was something very special and very inspirational. We saw a lot of young guys taking the field and making impact performances. So what that did to a youngster like me was give me extra motivation and gave me more belief that I could also go there and perform at the highest level at a young age. And I think that was a remarkable achievement by a young leader leading an even younger team to a World Cup title.
“Our ultimate goal is to win the World Cup,” Kohli said when asked if winning the trophy will be the perfect end to his wonderful professional partnership with Ravi Shastri.
“I honestly have no idea exactly what's happening on that front yet (selection of a new coach). We haven't had any detailed discussions with anyone. But winning the World Cup is definitely our goal like any other team. But I think what we've been able to create in the last five-six years is beyond titles and beyond tournaments to be honest. We've been able to create a culture which I think is going to be lasting a long time. People want to be the best they can be when they enter the Indian cricket team, the fittest they can be. And that culture we've driven with utmost passion and utmost honesty, which we hope will continue to be the case in years to come. But yes, winning an ICC tournament will definitely be a wonderful moment for all of us, for him as a coach, and for me as captain. It will be an amazing achievement and something that we are absolutely, you know, motivated to do. And we will give everything that we have.”
On Ravichandran Ashwin's selection
Kohli also explained how bowling with “courage” has worked wonders for Ravichandran Ashwin, who hasn't played a white-ball game for India since 2017 but finds himself as one of the members of India's slim World Cup squad.
“I think Ashwin has been rewarded for reviving his white-ball skills altogether,” Kohli said. “He was a regular feature for us back in the day but then he fell off a little bit because the wrist spinners were the ones who were in demand, mostly through that middle period. But now the finger spinners with accuracy have come back into the game again. I think we also have to evolve as a team with the evolving trend of the game and Ash and the likes of Jadeja as well are performing beautifully… the way he's going about it in the IPL as well while just being a finger spinner and bowling with a lot of courage. Just augurs really well for the team. As I said, these guys can also be very consistent. The finger spinners know exactly what to do in what situation.
“The one thing that Ashwin has really improved on is he's bowling with a lot of courage in white-ball cricket. If you saw the IPL in the last couple of years, he's bowled difficult overs, bowled against the top players in the IPL, the likes of Polly (Pollard) and power hitters and he's not been shy to put the ball in the right areas, where spinners can kind of get mostly get intimidated by you know, the way Polly hits the ball and the power hitters in the IPL. But Ashwin believed in his skill sets and we felt like the way he was bowling and his variations now and the control over pace is something, which is again, a lot of experience. He's a guy who's played so much international cricket and now when he's at his confident best… these guys can go in there and change the game with their spells. So, hence
On picking Rahul Chahar over Yuzvendra Chahal
Kohli called leaving out Chahal a “challenging” and “tough” call, but explained why Rahul Chahar with his skillset could come in handy on the pitches in the UAE.
“It was a challenging call but you know we decided to back Rahul Chahar for a reason. He's bowled amazingly well in the last couple of years in the IPL. A guy who bowls with pace and he did really well in Sri Lanka recently when he played. And against England at home he was someone who bowled those difficult overs. You know we believe that heading into this tournament, the wickets are going to get slower and slower and guys will probably bowl with a lot more pace as you saw in the later stages of the IPL tournament as well. Those who troubled the batsmen were the ones who probably didn't give the ball too much air and Rahul definitely has those strengths naturally with him as a leg spinner. And you know he is someone who always attacks the stumps and bowls in areas that potentially can get your wickets at any stage. That is the factor that tipped the balance over towards Rahul a little but not taking anything away from Chahal. I think he's been brilliant when he's played for India. This was a tough call you know, that's what picking a World Cup squad is always like. You have a limited number of spots and you can't potentially have everyone fit into that.”