Addressing the media for the first time since he stepped down as Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he was always of the opinion that split captaincy does not work for the Indian team setting and that is the reason why he finally decided to give up the captaincy.
“For me the last series was the one against South Africa, that was the reason why I went to Zimbabwe. Split captaincy does not work in our scenario and my views did not change after I quit from Test cricket. Limited overs captaincy is not a big challenge and Virat is ready for it now,” Dhoni told the media.
Speaking about how he could help Virat Kohli with his vast experience, Dhoni said that the wicket-keeper of the team is by default the vice-captain of the team as he gets the perfect view of field and can help the captain with field positions.
“The keeper is always the vice-captain whether announced or not and my role will be to assist Kohli. Different people like different fields so that depends on Virat and I will adapt accordingly. I will be there to give as many suggestions as possible. I will have to consult him and can’t go left and right on my own,” Dhoni said.
When asked about the timing of his decision, Dhoni was clear that it didn’t make sense for him to continue till the Champions Trophy as it would only add to his numbers as captain and not serve the team’s cause.
“It made no sense for me to continue. People even questioned me when I quit midway through the Test series in Australia. Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture. I knew Saha was ready and he deserved a chance. Similarly, Virat is well placed to take over the limited overs captaincy,” Dhoni said.
Talking about Virat Kohli’s meteoric rise, Dhoni credited the newly appointed skipper for his hunger for victory.
“From the beginning of his career he wanted to learn and there was a hunger to win matches. He wanted to be in the middle of it all.”
“He will keep getting better with more responsibility. ODIs is a slightly easier format to captain and my job will be to assist him whenever I can. How the batsmen are batting, their strengths and weaknesses. Flowing in information and give him as much information as possible,” Dhoni said about how he could help the new captain.
“The kind of relation we have, if I go up with 100 ideas to him, he can so no to all because we have that comfort level. The more I can serve to him and the more he can pick and choose will be better for Indian cricket.”