India skipper Virat Kohli has often said that he is lucky to have M.S. Dhoni in the team and the latter's childhood coach Keshav Banerjee has also harped on the fact that the former India captain is the perfect mentor in this relatively young team.
Speaking to IANS, on the sidelines of the launch of the MS Dhoni Cricket Academy clinic, Keshav said that Dhoni's tactical acumen is unparalleled and that the wicket-keeper is the perfect guide for Kohli when it comes to reading the game and making strategic moves.
"In game reading and tactical approach, there is no one like Dhoni and Kohli also does not have that. So, Kohli can always fall back on Dhoni if he wants to take any advice. If Dhoni would not have been part of the Indian team, there would be nobody to help Kohli as he needs time as captain," the coach said.
There have also been a lot of talks about Dhoni's batting position in the Indian team as he no longer enjoys the role of finisher and Keshav said that the former skipper should come in at no.4.
"When he bats at no. 4, he takes time as he has time. When he bats at no. 5 or 6, he has to hit from the word go as runs are needed after all. Then he has to take risks. I feel Dhoni should bat at no. 4 in the World Cup. It will be the team management's decision, but that's my personal opinion. If he bats at no. 4, the other batsmen can play freely after him," he explained.
While pundits feel that Pant deserves a chance in the Indian team and should have been in the World Cup squad, Keshav begs to differ. "It is too early to give him a chance. India have a huge bench strength. He should be given a chance after the World Cup," he said.
Asked if Dhoni will hang up his boots after the World Cup, the coach said: "Do you want him to retire (laughs)? You have seen how fit he is. That's the main thing. When Dhoni will retire, even his wife and father don't know."
(Debayan Mukherjee can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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