All is well between India’s incoming and outgoing Test captains, and talk of a rift between Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni is nothing but just ‘Bakwaas’, said India’s Team Director Ravi Shastri.
“You guys have no idea of the respect Dhoni commands, not just from Virat but every member of the squad, support staff and administration,” said Shastri.
Reports in the media after Dhoni’s shocking Test retirement suggested all is not well in the Indian dressing room after Dhoni’s “lack of communication” comment following the Brisbane Test defeat, where Kohli had to come out to bat in the morning after Dhawan got hit in the nets and was not available to resume his overnight innings.
It was suggested that Kohli and Dhawan had some argument over it, but Shastri termed those reports as “nonsense”.
“It is utter nonsense. Not a word was exchanged between the two. Let me add that Kohli has been part of the team for almost five years now. The boys are used to him. Several of them have played with him since their Under-19 days,” the Team Director said.
Shastri also admitted that Dhoni’s sudden decision to quit Test cricket surprised the whole squad, but he respects his decision.
“I think we were all stumped,” said the former India captain. “It came like a bolt from the blue. Not till after he returned from the post-match presentation [in Melbourne] did I come to know, when he had a quick word with me, then the players. I understand he had not even spoken to his family about it. Retirement is a very personal issue. But the best sportspersons know when it’s time to go. Who is to question that?…He has not waited to complete 100 Tests and all such pointless statistical stuff. He did not want any farewell fanfare. That shows his character. He is different and quite remarkable.”
It was earlier reported that BCCI may call Dhoni back before the fourth Test, but Shastri confirmed that Dhoni “will be in Australia but not with the team” and remains available as standby for Wriddhiman Saha “if needed”.