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Virat Kohli is more comfortable as a captain when MS Dhoni is around, says Anil Kumble

Anil Kumble said that while Virat Kohli may not be a better captain when MS Dhoni is around, he looks far more comfortable on the pitch.

Commentators often pointed out how uneasy Kohli looked in the last two ODIs in which Dhoni was rested. (PTI Photo)

Virat Kohli is more comfortable when MS Dhoni is behind the stumps, according to former India captain and coach Anil Kumble. “I think he is certainly more comfortable, rather saying better captain; he is probably a lot more comfortable when MS is behind the stumps and then the conversation between him and Virat definitely helps him make the right decisions,” he said in a conversation with Cricketnext.

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India recently suffered their first ODI series defeat at home under since Kohli took over as captain to an embattled Australian team. India were leading the five-match series 2-0 but Australia rallied to make it 3-2 in their favour. MS Dhoni was rested in the last two games and Kohli came under the scanner for his apparent discomfort in the field without the 2011 World Cup-winning former captain.

“I mean it comes naturally to MS,” said Kumble. “He had been the captain for a long long time. He is behind the stumps so he reads the game better than anybody else. He obviously is in conversation with the bowler on the kind of lines that he need to bowl, the kind of pace that the bowlers need to bowl. And also with the field placing.”

“I think Virat certainly depends a lot on MS Dhoni in One Day Cricket, for him to have those proper field placings. So that is something he probably had missed in the last two matches. And if you look at last 10 or 15 overs – the second half or the final powerplay Virat is generally manning the boundary. So yes, when MS is there he is on the boundary line and suddenly he had to man the last two overs and the last ten overs under pressure. So yes he certainly depends a lot on MS Dhoni,” said Kumble.

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Kumble also said that managing workload of the players in the upcoming Indian Premier League could prove especially tricky due to the fact that it coincides with the General Elections.

“You would want to make sure that they get adequate rest. Because there are a lot of commitments during an IPL, you know you travel a lot between matches. You are cris-crossing the country. And with elections, I am sure there will be a lot of away matches than the home games,” he said.

“Ideally you would have seven home games and seven away. But now we don’t know yet. Especially in the second part of the IPL towards closer to the World Cup. You might have to travel a lot more. Ideally you would want the bowlers especially to be bowling very very little at nets and make sure they get into whatever they need to get into their rhythm of bowling in a match.”


“It is a tricky situation, you don’t want too much of a break from the game and say cool off and then come back in. You would want them to be engaged. And ideally IPL teams will look at your key players – all of them whoever will be travelling for the World Cup are all key players for their respective teams. You would want them 100 percent in every match. So it will be a bit of a tough situation for franchise as well,” said the legendary former spinner.

First published on: 17-03-2019 at 05:12:51 pm
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