The decision to call time on his illustrious international career is Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sole prerogative as he knows a thing or two about taking important decisions, feels senior opener Shikhar Dhawan.
New Delhi: The decision to call time on his illustrious international career is Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sole prerogative as he knows a thing or two about taking important decisions, feels senior opener Shikhar Dhawan.
The 33-year-old made his international debut under Dhoni's captaincy and swears by the former India skipper's penchant for understanding each and every player's strength.
"Dhoni has been playing for so long, I feel he understands when he should retire. This should be his decision. He has taken very important decisions so far for India in his career and I'm sure he will make the call when the time comes," Dhawan said on India TV's show Aap Ki Adalat hosted by Rajat Sharma.
There was no one better than Dhoni when it came to optimising each and every player's potential.
"That's the quality of a big leader. He knows the potential of every player, and knows to what extent a player should be backed. He knows how to make a champion out of a player. India's success during his captaincy justifies this. His (Dhoni's) control is his biggest quality," Dhawan said.
The members of the current team, including skipper Virat Kohli, has immense reverence for the Jharkhand dasher, said Dhawan.
"Dhoni bhai has been quite successful as the captain of the side. We are all very grateful to him and we respect him a lot, and the same goes for Virat," he said.
Dhawan also spoke about the strong bond that Kohli and Dhoni share.
"When Virat was young, he guided him immensely. Even when he became the captain, Dhoni bhai was always there to help him. This is the quality of a leader. It's good to see that Virat is showing his gratitude to him now," he said.
The southpaw also backed under-fire Delhi teammate Rishabh Pant, whose performance has come under the scanner lately.
"Rishabh is very talented and I am sure he will have a long career for India. He is trying hard. There are situations when you don't score, but then you learn from them. It happens with everyone and I'm sure he will learn from it.
"He (Pant) is a good player and we need to back good players. Even I went through rough patches in my life, and I still do. It is part and parcel of this game," Dhawan said in an assuring tone.
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Shikhar Dhawan will have to fight for his position in the playing XI as the likes of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will return in the series against Bangladesh.
Ravi Shastri went on to complement Dhawan’s natural stroke play, and added that Dhawan’s experience in the 50-pver format will come in handy for youngsters in the squad.
Shikhar Dhawan is getting ready to lead India in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, starting Friday.