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History will remember MS Dhoni as India's most successful captain: Rahul Dravid

By Rashmi Nanda -

The former India captain and current coach of the India A and India Under-19 sides, Rahul Dravid said that history will remember MS Dhoni as India's most successful captain. However, Dhoni has a lot of pressure to keep performing well in the limited-overs cricket after giving up captaincy but Dravid felt that Dhoni will remain an invaluable member of Indian side if he manages to earn your place in the team. 

The former skipper said that the experience and knowledge of Dhoni would be priceless to Virat Kohli if Mahi continues to make his place in the team with the bat and wicket keeping gloves. Dravid told ESPNcricinfo,"There is no doubt that someone of MS Dhoni's experience and ability, when playing well, and is invaluable to the side. That's the kind of experience and knowledge and ability, under pressure especially. It is not easy to find and not easy to get.  The question obviously remains that you need to earn your place in the team and you need to do it with performances.” 

“So at his best and performing really well, a guy like MS Dhoni is invaluable to India's one-day team, especially in the big tournaments coming up. But I think that'll also be decided by his own performances and his own ability. I think now he'll really be judged on how he performs and can he hold his place in the side purely in terms of his wicket-keeping and batting. And that'll be up to him.”

Dravid also stated, "And I guess if you're Virat Kohli, you'll actually be hoping that MS Dhoni does really well and is able to hold on to his place. Because you would like that kind of experience performing well in the team. Just that knowledge would be priceless for Virat Kohli to have."

The legendary batsman felt that the timing of Dhoni's decision was really right, which gave Virat Kohli plenty of time to shape the ODI team for the 2019 World Cup. Dravid said, "[Dhoni's decision was] probably not that much of a surprise, in the sense that he probably knew that the time was sooner rather than later. There was the talk of him continuing till the Champions Trophy with only one one-day series before that.”

"But I think, from his perspective, if he didn't see himself continuing till the next World Cup, he got the timing really right because if he doesn't see himself as a long-term prospect as captain then I think it is a good time to let Virat Kohli take over and have enough time to be able to build a one-day team to his liking for the next World Cup."

Dravid, who resigned from the captaincy in 2007, which cemented the way for Dhoni to take over the captaincy of the Indian team, said it is not very difficult for any skipper to playing under someone else and it would take Dhoni some time to get used to it but didn't think it would be a major issue for him.

The former skipper stated, "I don't think it's very difficult. From personal experience as well, it takes a little bit of getting used to and adjusting - of not setting the field and not running things - but I think you get used to it. And Dhoni spent a lot of time as a player and not having captained before he started captaining in 2007. So I don't think it should take him too much time to get used to it. And knowing the kind of person he is and the personality he is, I don't see it as too much of a problem."

When asked where Dhoni should bat in limited-overs cricket? Dravid said, "There's going to be a few young players around that one-day team and finding the right positions for them would be more important than Dhoni because I think that Dhoni playing at his best can adapt to any situation."

When asked what Dhoni's biggest contribution as captain was? He replied, "Indian captaincy, there can be a lot happening around in Indian cricket - emotions can go up and down. For me, he was able to maintain calm and a balance through all of it, which were his unique ability and his unique strength. And I think Indian cricket benefited a lot from that."

Dravid said that Dhoni has great stats as compare to him. He also stated that history would remember Dhoni as India's most successful captain.

Dravid said, "What else was there for him to achieve? Most number of Test wins for India, number 1 ranking in Test cricket, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, the World Cup, most number of wins as one-day captain. I'm not great at stats but he must be at the top of every statistical list on what an Indian captain has achieved. History will remember him as India's most successful captain. And someone who really, in his time as an Indian captain, took the team and the game forward in this country."