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The moment you write off MS Dhoni, he rises up: Makhaya Ntini

Bhuvneshwar Kumar, whose swing bowling expertise is best suited for English conditions, should be present in the Indian cricket team playing XI at the ICC Champions Trophy, feels Makhaya Ntini

icc champions trophy 2017 Updated: Jun 03, 2017 01:25 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Johannesburg
ICC Champions Trophy,Champions Trophy 2017,Indian cricket team
MS Dhoni (L) and skipper Virat Kohli (R) form the think-tank of the Indian cricket team, a formidable mix of experience, cricketing acumen and aggression. The duo’s performance will be key for India at the ICC Champions Trophy(Getty Images)

While many are questioning MS Dhoni’s position in the India squad, his former Chennai Super Kings (Indian Premier League) teammate Makhaya Ntini feels that the former Indian cricket team captain has a lot to offer for the Men in Blue.

“The moment you write him off, he rises up, ” the former South African pacer said about Dhoni. Now the coach of Zimbabwe, Ntini in a candid chat speaks about India’s bowling and South Africa’s chances in the Champions Trophy among other things.

Excerpts:

People are saying that MS Dhoni, is finished…

You never doubt Dhoni. He can never be finished. That guy can take the game away any given time. You give him the game, he’ll do what he wants to do. He’s a legend. The moment you write him off, he rises up.

What do you think about India’s pace bowling attack?

You need to have Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the playing XI. If you don’t have that little boy, you’re missing the point. That young man, with the conditions that you’d be facing in England, he’s No 1. He can swing the ball, he can do anything that he wants to with the ball.

We’re not talking about batsmen. If you guys pout your hand in your pocket, you’ll find a batsman and spinner. You guys are so powerful, that any other nation would love to be like you.

From Champions Trophy point of view how do you rate South Africa’s chances?

South Africa played the series against England recently and lost 2-1. We as South Africans took it as a learning curve, by going to England in advance where we can study the conditions, to study the wickets and the weather. Only thing now they need to do is put everything together and see where to go from where they failed.

Looking at the Proteas bowling and the conditions in England, do you think they needed bowlers like Kyle Abbott and Vernon Philander in the squad?

Hundred per cent. You’re talking about the players who have experience. You are talking about the players who will get you wickets. They bowl is such areas that if batsmen miss they are out. You need players like them. We don’t need players who can bowl outside the off stump the whole day where they can be lined-up. That’s the problem we have in South Africa. But now we are in a position of searching who are those players and (Kagiso) Rabada is the only one.

Your thoughts on the newly-launched T20 Global League?

It was one thing that South Africa was in need of to tick the whole box when it comes to cricket. We have seen the IPL in India and the Big Bash in Australia.

Now it is in South Africa. You guys made us look like roses now the flowers are blooming.

Our children are going to have fun, playing the shortest format with the likes of big guns like (Kieron) Pollard, (Chris) Gayle, (Lasith) and Malinga, from the bowling point of view.

First Published: Jun 03, 2017 01:20 IST