Former Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara has reiterated the popular perception of MS Dhoni’s experience proving invaluable for Virat Kohli, youngsters and the Indian team at the ICC World Cup in the UK. Lanka’s former wicketkeeper-batsman feels Kohli will benefit significantly from MS Dhoni’s advice and presence in tough situations. It has already been seen multiple times in the past few years where Dhoni has suggested how bowlers should attack the opposition batsmen, been pivotal in usage of DRS and chipped in with suggestions for Kohli or Rohit Sharma.
“When it comes to a World Cup, experience counts a lot. Not just experience but that is close to its best. I think MS Dhoni will definitely find a place in that World Cup 15 for India,” said Sangakkara to India Today.
“Also I think with his experience, Virat will want to have a very cool head on the field, if push comes to shove when they are in a tight situation in a World Cup,” he added.
The rise of Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik’s form has seen Dhoni’s place being questioned and come under danger – especially with the veteran’s scoring rate lowering as compared to the early years. Dhoni’s recent form may have put those question marks to bed but the apprehensions over his future in the game remain. Dhoni was under pressure to deliver after a forgetful 2018 and he did manage to shut his critics with impressive performances in Australia and New Zealand.
He scored fifties in all three ODIs against Australia, helping India win their first-ever bilateral ODI series on the Australian soil. Dhoni finished the series as India’s top-scorer, amassing 193 runs to bag the Man of the Series award. He also played a couple of impressive knocks in New Zealand which further showed that the veteran has found his mojo again.
“Rishabh Pant has been an outstanding discovery for India. So competition for places whether you are young or old actually drives you to do better. It just depends on how you take it. Whether you look at it as an opportunity or a threat,” said Sangakkara.
“I think MS is quite secure about who he is and how he has gone about it and I think he understands people very well. So he will understand how to navigate those issues not just about selection but also personalities in the dressing room,” he went on to add.