I don’t regret anything in life: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Pune, Jan 13:: Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday said he has been always off the view that the concept of “split captaincy” doesn’t work in the Indian cricket set-up and that was the main reason he decided to step down as limited-over skipper.
Addressing the media for the first time after stepping down as India’s limited overs captain ahead of the first one day international against England to be played on January 15, Dhoni said, “split captaincy does not work in our scenario and my views did not change after I quit from Test cricket.”
“With the Indian team, one captainship – one player leading the team in all the formats is something (which) is very crucial. Now, I can’t be the Test captain as I have quit the Test cricket. I don’t think my views should change. So, it was something which was always in my mind.”
The 35-year-old batsman further revealed that the South Africa series in 2015 was, in his mind, last as limited overs skipper.
“In my mind, the series in India against South Africa was my last. After that it was pretty easy to judge why I went to Zimbabwe. Because of that finally, I told BCCI officially I won’t be captaining anymore,” said Dhoni.
The swashbuckling right-handed batsman, who is well known for his calm and composed character, also said he doesn’t regret anything in his life.
“I don’t regret anything in life. What does not kill you makes you stronger. Overall, it has been a journey for me right from when I started,” he said.
“Overall it was a journey that I really enjoyed, it brings smile on my face irrespective of whether it was a tough or good period.”
Dhoni, who captained India in 199 ODIs and as a skipper had an average of 53.92, further said he was waiting for Virat Kohli to ease in into the Test format.
When asked about the timing of his decision, Dhoni asserted that did not make any sense for him to continue till the Champions Trophy as it would only add to his numbers as captain and not serve the team’s cause.
“It made no sense for me to continue. People even questioned me when I quit midway through the Test series in Australia. Sometimes you need to look at the bigger picture. I knew Saha was ready and he deserved a chance. Similarly, Virat is well placed to take over the limited overs captaincy,” Dhoni said.
“I was waiting for right time, was waiting for Virat to ease in into the Test format,” he said.
“Limited overs captaincy is not a big challenge and Virat is ready for it now. Limited over captaincy is not a big challenge and this was the time I finally decided, it was the time to move on and give Virat the full captainship,” he added.
Heaping praise on the newly appointed limited over skipper, Kohli, Dhoni said, “”Virat and I have been very close right from the start. Virat was somebody who always wanted to improve. The reason why he is successful he always wanted to contribute and improve.”
“He has improvised his cricket. He will keep getting better with the responsibilities. In comparison to Tests, ODI is an easier format. I will give my feedback to him as a wicketkeeper.”
Dhoni, who led India for over nine years, also asserted that wicketkeeper of any team is always a vice-captain, irrespective of whether he is announced vice-captain or not.
The wicket-keeper batsman, who made his ODI debut in December 2003 against Bangladesh in Chittagong, also said a lot of things did change since the time he took over the captaincy in 2007 to now.
“The requirement of the team has changed as well. No fixed batting order for me. The guys at the top did remarkably. I will change my role as per the responsibilities given to me. Depending on where I am batting, I will bat accordingly,” Dhoni said.
The three match ODI series begins on January 15 in Pune followed by matches at January 19 and January 22 at Cuttack and Kolkata respectively.
The two teams will then lock horns in the T20 series starting on January 26 at Kanpur, followed by games on January 29 and February 1 at Nagpur and Bengaluru respectively.