There have been lot of stories regarding the relationship between MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli. When Dhoni relinquished the captaincy of the Indian cricket team in January 2017 and Kohli took over, there were stories circulating that there was a rift in the Indian dressing room. However, Kohli cleared the air during Gaurav Kapoor’s Breakfast With Champions show when he said that having Dhoni in the Indian dressing room is a blessing and that both do not read the newspapers about what is written on them. “I don't think I've come across a better cricketing brain just in terms of planning and knowing what's happening in the game and what can be done. Sometimes I like to follow my own instinct as well but whenever I ask him anything 8 or 9 out of 10 times he always tells you things that work. So it's a blessing to have him,” Kohli said.
The relationship between Kohli and Dhoni has grown stronger in the last couple of seasons. On the field, Kohli is the captain but it is Dhoni who directs the show. The former India cricket skipper is still actively directing the field and telling the bowlers what line and length to bowl. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, the two spinners in the Indian cricket team, have testified to the power of Dhoni behind the stumps.
Now, in an interview with Mirror Now, the coach of the Indian cricket team Ravi Shastri has spoken about the mutual respect between Kohli and Dhoni. “Each one has his own style and each one is different. When you mention Virat and MS, yes, they are different, the way they play and the way they captain. MS was the senior man when Virat was coming through the ranks. Virat gave him the respect he deserved. Now MS is not the captain, Virat is, so MS does the same thing. The mutual respect for each other is massive and that’s all you want as a coach,” Shastri said.
However, the absence of Dhoni was felt during India’s two losses in the Mohali and Delhi ODI. The spinners struggled for direction and Rishabh Pant, who had replaced Dhoni, was struggling to keep up and missed some crucial chances. The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is expected to be Dhoni’s swansong. India will play their opening game against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.