Team India depends on Kohli but Kohli also depends on someone, asserts Anil Kumble

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Virat Kohli depends on MS Dhoni for field placements in ODIs, believes Anil Kumble

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SportsCafe Desk

03/17/2019

Anil Kumble is of the opinion that Virat Kohli relies on MS Dhoni for field placements during ODIs and the former didn’t get that help in the last two ODIs against the Aussies. The former India coach has also opined that Dhoni reads the game better than any other international cricketer.

As India decided to give Dhoni a break for the last two ODIs against Australia which India eventually lost, many experts started discussing about the impact of the veteran wicketkeeper on Kohli’s decision making in limited-overs cricket. Meanwhile, former Test captain Kumble has stated that Kohli feels comfortable with Dhoni playing the game and he depends on the former skipper for the field placements in the ODIs.

“I think he is certainly more comfortable, rather saying better captain; he is probably a lot more comfortable when MS is behind the stumps and then the conversation between him and Virat definitely helps him make the right decisions,” Kumble told Cricketnext.

“I think Virat certainly depends a lot on MS Dhoni in One Day Cricket, for him to have those proper field placings. So that is something he probably had missed in the last two matches. And if you look at last 10 or 15 overs – the second half or the final powerplay Virat is generally manning the boundary. So yes, when MS is there he is on the boundary line and suddenly he had to man the last two overs and the last ten overs under pressure. So yes he certainly depends a lot on MS Dhoni.”

Kumble, who has played with Dhoni in the past, has also commented on the cricketing acumen of the former skipper commenting that he is a brilliant reader of the game. According to the former leg-spinner, the experience of leading the national side for so many years and standing as the wicketkeeper has helped Dhoni a lot. 

“I mean it comes naturally to MS. He had been the captain for a long long time. He is behind the stumps so he reads the game better than anybody else. He obviously is in conversation with the bowler on the kind of lines that he need to bowl, the kind of pace that the bowlers need to bowl. And also with the field placing.”

With the 12th season of the IPL all set to begin from March 23, many players including skipper Kohli have stressed on the importance of workload management for the cricketers who will also be a part of the World Cup squad. Kumble was asked about that and he replied, “You would want to make sure that they get adequate rest. Because there are a lot of commitments during an IPL, you know you travel a lot between matches. You are cris-crossing the country. And with elections, I am sure there will be a lot of away matches than the home games.”

“Ideally you would have seven home games and seven away. But now we don’t know yet. Especially in the second part of the IPL towards closer to the World Cup. You might have to travel a lot more. Ideally, you would want the bowlers especially to be bowling very very little at nets and make sure they get into whatever they need to get into their rhythm of bowling in a match.

"It is a tricky situation, you don’t want too much of a break from the game and say cool off and then come back in. You would want them to be engaged. And ideally IPL teams will look at your key players – all of them whoever will be travelling for the World Cup are all key players for their respective teams. You would want them 100 percent in every match. So it will be a bit of a tough situation for franchise as well.”

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