New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni said Friday he quit as India’s limited overs skipper last week because a split captaincy was not right for the country’s cricket team.
Dhoni, 35, led the team to victory in both ODI and T20 World Cups during his decade-long stint and was India’s most successful limited overs skipper.
But he said the time had been right to go and allow Virat Kohli to take full charge.
“I don’t believe in split captaincy. For the team there has to be only one leader… split captaincy doesn’t work in India,” Dhoni told journalists at a press conference in west India’s Pune city.
Kohli, the swashbuckling batsman who has presided over an 18-match unbeaten run as India’s Test captain, has replaced Dhoni in limited overs cricket.
He will lead the Indian team, which includes Dhoni, in the upcoming ODI and T20 series against England.
“I was waiting for the right time. I wanted Virat (Kohli) to ease into the job. There is no wrong decision in it. This team has potential to do well in all three formats. I felt it was right time to move on,” Dhoni said.
A former ticket inspector on India’s railways, Dhoni made his international debut in December 2004 and soon established a reputation for his flamboyant stroke playing, in particular his trademark “helicopter” shot.
Dhoni has so far played 283 ODIs, with a batting average of nearly 51 while he has also appeared in 73 T20 internationals.
In the past he has voiced confidence he would still be fit enough to play in the next 50 over World Cup in England in 2019.
Batting for his successor, Dhoni said that the team would win even more games under Kohli’s captaincy.
“I feel it will be most successful team ever. That’s the kind of experience and potential they have,” he said. – AFP
Story first published: 13th January 2017