The former India captain though got the backing of his idol and former Australian wicket-keeper Adam Gilchrist who said that the Indian wicket-keeper still has a lot to offer to the team. Gilchrist, speaking at event in the capital praised Dhoni's work ethic and said he remains an invaluable asset for the Indian team.
“Dhoni can play in any position from number 3 to number 7 and still have an impact. This team is full of options and flexibility. The team benefits from the experience of having him around, both on and off the field,” the three-time World Cup winner said at the 'Royal Stag Barrel Select Perfect Strokes' event in the capital.
Gilchrist, who accounted for 905 dismissals in international cricket as a wicket-keeper, warned that Dhoni’s exit will leave a void in the team and it will take time to find someone to fill his giant boots.
“Dhoni has already started phasing himself out, he is no longer in the Test team. But his exit will certainly leave a void. It will be similar to when the big 4 (Sachin, Dravid, Ganguly, Laxman) left or when all the Australian legends left. Dhoni will leave a big hole, both on and off the field. People undervalue the experience and calm he brings on and off the field,” he said.
The Aussie stumper also said that Dhoni will know when the time comes for him to leave.
“He will know when he is done. Right now, he is keen enough to continue and is prepared to make sacrifices. It’s also a case of someone in the wings waiting to replace him. I don’t see anyone adding more value to what Dhoni does. He will make the call at the right time,” Gilchrist added.
The former Aussie opener in fact named Dhoni as his natural successor in the sport, saying the way he has played the game is remarkable.
“The way he has carried himself in every role is just fantastic. Not just as a wicket-keeper and a batsman but even off the field. The marketing and the way he conducts himself – with remarkable success and humility.”
‘Every Batting Record in Danger’
At one stage, Sachin Tendulkar’s batting records were seen as a mountain which no cricketer would be able to climb. But Kohli’s numbers and incredible statistics have left Gilchrist stunned.
“I think every batting record is in danger, Kohli is a remarkably gifted world class batsman. Even if he doesn’t break all the records. He will certainly come close to them,” Gilchrist signed off.
First Published: November 2, 2017, 6:17 PM IST