New Delhi: India's limited overs captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can still beat the best in the business — in fitness, in finishing, and of course as a leader. But his retirement, which has been made an imminent issue in Indian cricket circles, has seemed to have disturbed a fellow wicketkeeper-batsman.
Australian legend Adam Gilchrist, during a promotional event in Mumbai, when asked to comment on Dhoni's time, retorted with a rather stern remark, "What is the rush to push him out?"
Ever since Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket, and the subsequent passing of the baton to Virat Kohli, the Ranchi man's imminent retirement from the sport has become a debate of much speculation, so much so that the player himself, on numerous occasions, was forced to defend his continued playing.
And Gilchrist, a keen observer and a respected statement of the sport, certainly felt disturbed with the situation which has put Dhoni in a spot of bother.
“My take is that he seems to be contributing. He’s been an inspirational leader. Just in the recent series, he played a couple of big hands in winning games. What is the rush to push him out? Virat has assumed the Test captaincy brilliantly," he said.
Kohli, who has led India to four successive series wins and as a result to the number one position in Test ranking, is the obvious choice to take over the captaincy reigns in limited overs too once Dhoni retires, or in this context, relinquishes the leadership role.
"Might be a nice, smooth, slow transition to allow Virat to settle into that role and then assume the ODI captaincy. I don’t know the talent at the next level is so compelling that they need to move players on, ” quoted the former wicket-keeper batsman.
Many in Dhoni camp sees a concerted effort from some quarters to elevate Kohli as the captain in all three formats as soon as possible, thus hastening Dhoni's retirement.
”Dhoni has earned the right to be able to play in the twilight of his career as long as he is contributing,” Gilchrist added.
In the recent New Zealand ODI series, Dhoni led India to yet another series win with a personal contribution of 21, 39, 80, 11 and 41 — certainly not the man-of-match figures, but good enough contribution from a captain who constantly adapts to the need of team.