New Delhi [India]: Flamboyant Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh has insisted that Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who recently stepped down as limited-overs skipper, has a lot to contribute as a player in the team.
Dhoni on January 4 shocked everyone by stepping down from the captain’s post of India’s T20 and ODI side.
“I think he’s been an extremely good captain for India. We’ve won 2011 World Cup and the Champions Trophy under him. These were really big achievements. We were the No. 1 Test team under him. These are amazing achievements and I’m not sure how many [other] captains have that,” Yuvraj was quoted as saying in an interview with BCCI.tv.
The left-handed all-rounder also insisted that Dhoni has taken a very good decision as he must have felt that it was the right time to do so.
“I think he took a very good decision stepping down because I’m sure he felt that it’s [time for] the next guy to take over before the World Cup and I’m sure he saw that in Virat,” Yuvraj said.
“I am sure he has a lot to contribute as a player in the team. I think he’s gonna play the way he used to. We were both very fearless when we used to play together, so hopefully we can do the same in the upcoming series,” he added.
The 35-year-old, who has been recalled for the upcoming series against England, has spent more than three years out of the ODI team, and hasn’t played an international match since rolling his ankle in a World T20 game against Australia in March 2016.
He said that he has been working very hard on his fitness because he is in his mid-30s and, thus, his body needs a lot of training and recovery time.
“I’ve been working pretty hard on my fitness because as you grow older, you’ve got to work harder on your body. In your mid-30s your body asks for a lot of training and recovery time,” he said.
“I’ve changed my diet completely and I’ve been putting in some extra hours because I need to be careful after what my body went through,” he added.
Speaking about newly appointed limited-overs skipper Virat Kohli, he said the latter always demands a cent percent effort from his team, adding that his consistency and fire has converted him into a very good captain.
“Virat commands performance. He’s been very consistent throughout his career, and that consistency and fire has converted him into a very good captain,” he said.
“He gets better every year – early in his career he got a lot of runs, then he got a lot of hundreds and now in Tests he’s getting double hundreds. I don’t know who else averages more than 50 in all formats. Hopefully he continues that and takes India to the next level,” he added.
The three match ODI series begins on January 15 in Mumbai 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. (ANI)