The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced 15-member squad on Monday for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The team has a blend of both seniors and youngsters, with Virat Kohli to lead the side. And just three days after the announcement, Indian skipper spoke about the importance of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and a lot more.
It is known that Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni have plenty of mutual respect. When Dhoni stepped down as India's limited overs skipper and Virat Kohli took over, he said Dhoni would forever be his captain. On the field, it is seen that Virat Kohli lets Dhoni guide and make pivotal adjustments to the field.
In an exclusive interview to India Today, Kohli revealed why he had such respect for MS Dhoni.
"He (MS Dhoni) is one person who knows the game inside out, who understands the game from ball 1 to ball 300 on the field," Virat Kohli told India Today. "I won't say it is a luxury to have him but I am fortunate to have a mind like that from behind the stumps. At the end of the day, I want to be involved in strategy with the team management with Mahi bhai and Rohit.
"In the death overs, I know that I know I have to be in the outfield to try and make something work for the team because that's my nature that I want to do something for the team rather than just be there.
"After 30-35 overs, he knows that I will be in the outfield and its on auto mode. Its just about the field placements and bowling changes and we say you know the angles, you know the pace of the pitch and that's why there is so much trust and respect between the two of us. It's unfortunate to see so many people going after him," Virat Kohli told India Today.
Virat Kohli debuted for India under MS Dhoni. As a young cricketer, he was nowhere near the complete package he is today and Kohli said he could never forget how MS Dhoni persisted with him and let him bat at the crucial No.3 spot.
"For me, loyalty matters the most. When I walked into the team he had the option of trying someone else after a few games," Kohli said.
"Although I grabbed my chances, for me to get that kind of backing, it was very crucial for me. Also, he gave me an opportunity to bat at No.3 because not many youngsters get to play at No.3."