'Salute Dhoni for sense of perfect timing' – Prasad

MSK Prasad and MS Dhoni had long chat on the fourth day during the Ranji Trophy semi-final between Jharkhand and Gujarat in Nagpur before Dhoni announced his decision © PTI

MSK Prasad, India’s chairman of selectors, said that MS Dhoni‘s decision to step down as India’s limited-overs captain came at the right time and showed Dhoni had the best interests of the team in his mind.

“Had Mahi [Dhoni] taken the decision one year or even six months earlier, I would have been a bit worried,” Prasad said. “But I salute him for his sense of perfect timing. He knew that Virat [Kohli] is now a proven customer who has done exceptionally well as a leader in Tests.

“So it is a correct decision by Dhoni. It showed that he had the best interest of Indian cricket in his mind.”

Prasad, a former India wicketkeeper-turned-selector, said that Dhoni still had more international matches under his belt. “I still feel he has a couple of years of cricket left in him and as a wicketkeeper-batsman, he can still make an invaluable contribution to the team’s cause,” he said. “Dhoni’s presence will help Kohli as he now captains across three formats. Had he quit, Virat would have missed out on his immense experience.”

Prasad said Dhoni, India’s most successful captain, had nothing left to prove as a leader, and praised his foresight in the role. “What else was left for him to achieve as a captain? He has achieved everything under the sun in his tenure as India captain. He has won World T20, 50-over World Cup, Champions Trophy, all three global trophies,” Prasad said. “Apart from that he has won IPL, Champions League T20. He has nothing to prove to anybody. He has been a great leader.

“I believe his match reading was brilliant. That’s why he was quick on his feet and could assess any situation with a lot of clarity. For a captain, foresight is an important aspect and he had that in abundance.”

Although he found a clear distinction in the personalities of Dhoni and Virat Kohli, who appears set to take over as captain in ODIs and T20Is, Prasad said the urge to win for India was the same for both cricketers. “Dhoni never gave away anything in terms of body language while Kohli has always been aggressive,” Prasad said. “What I have loved about Dhoni is that he will never give away anything as to what is going on in his mind. That’s his personality. He can keep things submerged in him.

“But deep down, both Dhoni and Kohli’s urge to win matches for India is equal. There is no letdown in intensity.”

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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