MS Dhoni has proved to be the answer to India's middle order crisis on several occasions. During his captaincy years, he remained a pivotal pillar of the Indian batting lineup and guided the 'Men in Blue' to unprecedented success. But Mahi's inconsistent form in 2017, saw him step down as captain and hand over the reigns to Virat Kohli.
Since then, the talismanic wicket-keeper batsman has struggled with the bat and has failed to emulate his hard-hitting abilities of the past. The figures are against Dhoni this season, having scored 156 runs in the 9 matches played, and also being far from his best at the recently concluded 2018 Asia Cup. Thus, Dhoni's place in the squad comes under the scanner with the 2019 World Cup fast approaching.
The stocks of former Indian captain maybe slowly dropping with his dwindling form, however, former South African cricketer AB de Villiers still regards Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a match-winner.
While his batting form raises a cloud of doubt in the minds of many, Dhoni's impact behind the stumps is unquestionable. Moreover, Dhoni's experience seems to have a calming influence on many players in the squad.
When the former Proteas skipper was asked if Mahendra Singh Dhoni should call time on his playing career, AB de Villiers said that the former Indian skipper would be a permanent fixture in his team even if he was 80 years old. Infact, Dhoni would still make the cut even if he was on a wheelchair."
"You guys are funny. No, I would play MS Dhoni in my team every day of every year. He can be 80, in a wheelchair, and he would still play for my team. He is fantastic I mean look at his record. You want to drop a guy like that? You can go ahead by all means. I wouldn’t,” AB de Villiers told ANI.
The former South African international AB de Villiers also heaped huge praise on Indian skipper Virat Kohli while stating that his Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) teammate is 'Cristiano Ronaldo', while he is 'Lionel Messi'.
Considered as the best duo in the game, many have termed them as telepathic, given how easily they play around each other. And, de Villiers believes they do share some sort of chemistry between them.
He said, "There is definitely some chemistry about us batting together. We have a similar mindset about the game which we enjoy. It’s nice to bat with someone who understands the way you play and also the mutual understanding. He likes Ronaldo so let him.
(Inputs from ANI)