On being quizzed on whether star batsman Virat Kohli should captain India in all three formats of the game, limited-overs captain MS Dhoni chose to react diplomatically by saying the decision rests with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
"That’s a decision that the BCCI will have to take. It’s not for me to decide on that," Dhoni was quoted as saying in a media interaction hours before the team's departure for their scheduled tour of Zimbabwe.
The Dhoni-Kohli debate over captaincy in all three formats was reignited when former team director and head coach-hopeful Ravi Shastri gave his vote for Royal Challengers Bangalore skipper Kohli, adding that Dhoni still would be a major component in the side and that he should enjoy his game.
Dhoni has been under fire of late, with the Indian team failing to win a bilateral one-day series since their 5-0 whitewash of Sri Lanka in late 2014.
Kohli, on the other hand, has charted a meteoric rise as a captain, helping his side record a 2-1 win over Sri Lanka in the latter's backyard, blanking South Africa 3-0 in the Test series at home late last year.
With the team scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in their upcoming tour of Zimbabwe, Dhoni said that the team balance looked right on paper despite being low on experience, and that the bowling department was one that definitely had more exposure.
"The guys will try to prove themselves out, show what talent they have got at the international level.
"Talking purely about talent, the squad looks good. All of them have been rewarded for their domestic performances, and it will be exciting to see them on the field," Dhoni added in the press meet.
The 2011 World Cup and 2007 World T20-winning captain added that the series would be a very different one for him, given that he would not have his usual core group consisting of the likes of Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, etc. around him.
"You keep playing with the same group of players. So you almost know the role and responsibility each and everyone shares.
"There will be a lot of players in this bilateral series who I will be playing for the first time, so I have to assess their strengths are, and at the same time, depending on the team combination, decide what is the best slot or responsibility for the players," said the limited-overs skipper, who retired from Tests midway during the 2014-15 Test series against Australia.
Talking about the squad, a second-string side of which he is the only senior member, Dhoni said that the while it was a well-balanced side, it was the bowling department which looked the stronger and the more experienced one.
"From whatever I’ve seen in the bowling department, I feel they’re much improved as of now, especially with the likes of Bumrah. Barinder got a fair amount of exposure in the IPL.
"Overall, everything good on paper, both in the batting and bowling department. You may say that the bowling unit has a bit more exposure than the batting department in international cricket," said Dhoni.
Speaking on his motivation to continue playing cricket at this age, the most successful Indian skipper of all time said that it was his fitness that kept him going.
"Form is something that will keep going up and down, and you can’t control that, but fitness is something that is important. At this point of time my only concern is fitness, and so far it has been good," Dhoni was quoted as saying.
First Published On : Jun 7, 2016 23:19 IST