MS Dhoni: Virat Kohli is closing in on legend status - but India's bowlers must help him more

Posted by On 11:36 AM

MS Dhoni: Virat Kohli is closing in on legend status - but India's bowlers must help him more

Virat Kohli is edging closer to legendary status as Test captain but needs India’s bowlers around him to improve if India stand any chance of a series win against England, according to former Test captain MS Dhoni.

Kohli hit 200 over the two innings in the first Test at Edgbaston as England won by 31 runs, scoring his first Test ton on English soil, and is on the verge of reaching a similar status as iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar.

“He [Kohli] is the best, and has already reached a status, where he is close to a legend. So I am very happy for him,” said Dhoni. “The way he has batted everywhere and in the last few years, he has just been brilliant.”

Virat Kohli celebrates his century in the first innings (AFP/Getty Images)

Australia’s Steve Smith was dethroned as the top ranked Test batsman by Kohli this week, Joe Root remains third, and the Indian captain’s presence at the crease makes this summer’s series very competitive.

22 per cent of the runs in the first Test were scored by Kohli, who is a class above his teammates and now needs his people to step up around him.

India came undone by Sam Curran’s excellent swing bowling, and Ben Stokes’ fierce pace, and Dhoni believes the tourists’ best chance of victory is skittling England for a low score at Lord’s, given the reliance on Kholi to score runs.

Kohli is this number one ranked Test batsma n and Root is third (REUTERS)

“To win a Test match, you need 20 wickets and we did that. It doesn’t matter how well you bat, how well you are there for five days, but taking 20 wickets, you can win a Test match.”

Next year’s ODI World Cup is in Dhoni’s sights and he is already going to extreme lengths to ensure India are victorious. He was captured by TV cameras asking for the match ball after the final ODI against England which prompted suggestions he was ready to retire, but the 37-year-old says he was just doing his homework ahead of next year.

“I took the ball to see why we are not able to get enough reverse swing. Because we will be playing the World Cup in England, we have to ensure that we get reverse swing going. It is something that is very important. If the opposition is getting it, we should also get it.”

He gave the ball to India’s bowling coach as a way of investigating how to best manipulate an old ball to limit the number of runs they concede late in the match in English conditions.

“We need to work on it as to how we can get it more scuffed up so that we can get a bit of reverse swing going," added Dhoni who was promoting the app Run Adam. "That will in-turn help the f ast bowlers get those Yorkers or wickets in and around the 40th over mark. That would really help us restrict the opposition by not getting too many runs in the last 10 overs.”

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Source: Google News India | Netizen 24 India

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