There has been plenty of speculation regarding MS Dhoni's future with the Indian cricket team following their exit in the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final against New Zealand. Having made himself unavailable for selection for the West Indies tour and for the three-match Twenty20 International series, rumours floated around that Dhoni was going to announce his retirement shortly. However, Virat Kohli has given a clear indication of what is MS Dhoni's position as the team prepares for the next major ICC assignment which is the World T20 which will be held in Australia in 2020.
Speaking on the eve of the first Twenty20 International against South Africa at the HPCA stadium in Dharamshala, Kohli outlined the value of Dhoni in the current Indian set-up and remarked that he remains valuable in the broader scheme of things.
"One great thing about him (Dhoni) is that, he thinks for Indian cricket. And whatever we (team management) think, he is on the same page. The alignment is there. The kind of mindset he has had about grooming youngsters and giving them opportunities, and he is still the same person. Experience is always going to matter whether you like it or not. I mean there are a numerous number of times people have given up on sportsmen and they have proved people wrong and he (Dhoni) has done that many times in his career as well. As long as he is available and continues to play, he is going to be very valuable," Kohli said.
Recently, Kohli had shared a photo with Dhoni about their memorable partnership which knocked Australia out of the 2016 World T20. Kohli had blasted 82 and shared a match-winning stand with Dhoni as the duo put up a brilliant display of batting in Mohali. The Indian cricket team skipper's post resulted in massive speculation that Dhoni was retiring soon. However, Kohli said he had learnt his lesson and sounded disappointed as to how the whole issue was misinterpreted.
"I think it was a lesson for me, that the way I think, the whole world does not think that way. There was nothing in farthest stretch of my imagination (that it could be taken as retirement tribute) while putting that picture out on social media. Like what did I write. I remember that game even now, every now and then. I never spoke about that game and so I thought I put up a post. Now people interpreted it in a different manner in which there was not even an iota of truth," Kohli said.
India will play three Twenty20 Internationals and three Tests against South Africa and Kohli's team will be bidding to end their winless run at home, having lost both their games in the 2015 series.