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Virat Kohli hails MS Dhoni as most successful Indian captain ever

Virat Kohli hails MS Dhoni as most successful Indian captain ever
Virat Kohli on Wednesday hailed his predecessor MS Dhoni as the most successful Indian skipper of all time.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Virat Kohli on Wednesday hailed his predecessor MS Dhoni as the most successful Indian skipper of all time who has left behind a successful legacy in Indian Cricket.

Kohli further cited the number of victories along with the number of chances given to youngsters as the hallmarks of Dhoni’s tenure.

"I don't know why people say he has not left a legacy. He is the most successful Indian captain ever. That in itself is a legacy.

“Most of the players in the team have been given ample opportunities by him. He believes in the youngsters. He believes in giving them opportunities,” said Kohli.

Dhoni who captained India in 60 Test matches while maintaining an overall win percentage of 45.00% has 27 wins – the most for an Indian captain.

Admitting that Dhoni played a pivotal role in the development of the careers of the current players in the Test squad, Kohli praised the way players were given a platform to grow gradually.

“If you see the pattern he follows, he always likes to play the same XI for a while because he wants them to feel comfortable and naturally grow as cricketers.

"It is just a lovely transition and transformation that he follows, where he lets people play and then he lets the guys who are not playing get a chance in another series and gradually groom them along the way as we go ahead in our career.

“He has played a massive role in grooming all of us initially in our careers. It is very hard to better or improve on what he has done for Indian cricket.”

Early into Dhoni’s tenure India achieved the top ranking in Test cricket with impressive performances at home but later on the team soon slid down the table as the overseas performances took a turn for the worse.

India while undergoing a transition period after the retirements of greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman failed to mount a significant challenge away from home.

Under Dhoni, India suffered heavy losses in the tours to Australia and England where his defensive style of captaincy was heavily criticized by the pundits of the game.

Notwithstanding these results, Kohli lauded the way Dhoni handled this transition phase of Indian cricket with a calm and composed nature.

“It is amazing how composed he was leading the seniors during his early years of captaincy and how relaxed he is leading the youngsters.

“He has never been too assertive or shown authority on youngsters.

“He has understood what it takes to balance both - the guys who played before us and people who are playing in the team now - and that is a wonderful thing to do as a captain.”

Kohli who displayed an aggressive brand of captaincy in the two Tests he led in Australia also refused to draw comparisons with Dhoni’s style of captaincy asserting that the two were different individuals.

“I will never change myself for anyone or because anyone wants me to change.

“It is just these small things that I need to improve on, but that instinct of being aggressive as a captain will remain.”

“Why make comparisons? I am a different character. I am a different personality.

“But yes, there are some things that stay consistent in captaincy throughout the world. Not being too expressive, having a thick skin, absorbing what is going on in the game,” opined Kohli.

Kohli will lead India in a lone Test match against Bangladesh which will kick off on 10th June at Fatullah.

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