Dhoni's decision right only if he didn't have 2019 WC in mind, says Rahul Dravid

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Dhoni's decision right only if he didn't have 2019 WC in mind, says Rahul Dravid

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SportsCafe Desk

01/06/2017

Rahul Dravid has asserted that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to pass over the captaincy baton is right only if doesn't see himself at the helm of the team going to 2019 World Cup. Dravid also said that Dhoni's place in history is secured as the captain who took the game "forward in the country".

"[Dhoni's decision was] probably not that much of a surprise, in the sense that he probably knew that the time was sooner rather than later. There was talk of him continuing till the Champions Trophy with only one one-day series before that," Dravid was quoted saying by ESPNCricinfo.

"But I think, from his perspective, if he didn't see himself continuing till the next World Cup, he got the timing really right because if he doesn't see himself as a long-term prospect as captain then I think it is a good time to let Virat Kohli take over and have enough time to be able to build a one-day team to his liking for the next World Cup," he added.

Dravid, who is currently coaching the India A team, added that even if he is not in the team as a captain, Dhoni's experience could prove valuable for Team India considering the number of major tournaments that are heading their way.

"There is no doubt that someone of MS Dhoni's experience and ability, when playing well, is invaluable to the side. That's the kind of experience and knowledge and ability, under pressure especially. It is not easy to find and not easy to get.

"The question obviously remains that you need to earn your place in the team and you need to do it with performances. So at his best and performing really well, a guy like MS Dhoni is invaluable to India's one-day team, especially in the big tournaments coming up," Dravid remarked.

Dhoni, whose career average stands at 50.89, struggled with the bat in 2016 averaging just 27.80 in 13 matches. Based on these numbers, Dravid said that the former captain would now have to earn his place in the squad. However, he went on to add that Virat Kohli would want Dhoni's batting performance to improve because the Jharkhand-born player's knowledge of the game would be "priceless" for the Delhi lad.

"But I think that will also be decided by his own performances and his own ability. I think now he will really be judged on how he performs and can he hold his place in the side purely in terms of his wicket-keeping and batting. And that'll be up to him," Dravid said.

"And I guess if you are Kohli, you will actually be hoping that MS Dhoni does really well and is able to hold on to his place. Because you would like that kind of experience performing well in the team. Just that knowledge would be priceless for Kohli to have."

On the question of how history would remember Dhoni, Dravid simply replied, "History will remember him as India's most successful captain. And someone who really, in his time as an Indian captain, took the team and the game forward in this country," reported cricinfo.

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