Mahendra Singh Dhoni saved me from India cricket team sack, reveals Virat Kohli | cricket | Hindustan Times
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Mahendra Singh Dhoni saved me from India cricket team sack, reveals Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, in a tribute to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, spoke at length on bcci.tv about the role his skipper played in shaping his career. Kohli made his debut under Dhoni

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2017 22:26 IST
virat kohli
Virat Kohli, who is arguably the best batsman in the world at the moment, played his entire international cricket under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy since his ODI debut in Sri Lanka in 2008(AFP)

Ever since news came out about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s retirement as Indian cricket team’s ODI and T20 captain, Virat Kohli has been showing a bit of his rare emotional side.

It seems that Virat Kohli’s journey as a player -- between 2008, when a young and talented batsman first made it to the senior India squad, to the captaincy in all formats in 2017 -- would not have been smooth had it not been for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Virat Kohli, who is arguably the best batsman in the world at the moment, played his entire international cricket under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy since his ODI debut in Sri Lanka back in 2008.

Rising Pune Supergiants captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli, captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore, during an IPL 2016 in Pune. (BCCI)

The 28-year-old current skipper was an uncut diamond back in 2008. Kohli was brash and was a tad inconsistent as well. But, when the selectors wanted to axe him from the team, it was Dhoni who came to the Delhi batsman’s rescue.

Kohli, in a tribute to Dhoni on bcci.tv, spoke at length about the role his skipper played in shaping his career, including the many occasions MSD saved him from getting dropped from the Indian team.

“He (Dhoni) was always the person who guided me initially and gave me opportunities. He gave me ample time and space to grow as a cricketer, saved me from getting dropped from the team many a times,” India’s captain in all formats, said.

Dhoni and Kohli’s relationship -- which began as a mentorship -- flourished into a great friendship as years progressed.

‘Dhoni bhai will always be my captain’

So much so that an emotional Kohli exclaimed “Dhoni bhai” will always “be his captain” soon after the news of his retirement from captaincy came out.

“Thanks for always being the leader a youngster wants to have around him. You’ll always be my captain @msdhoni Bhai (sic),” Kohli tweeted.

But now, it’s Kohli’s turn to lead his “captain” and he knows that Captain Cool, who has led India to two World Cups, has left a huge legacy and a larger-than-life shoes to fill.

“Obviously, these are massive shoes to fill. You think of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the first word that comes to mind is captain! You don’t relate Dhoni in any other way. For me he is always going to be my captain,” added Kohli.