MS Dhoni, who led India to their second World Cup title victory in 2011, will play a crucial role for Virat Kohli and his team in the ICC World Cup 2019, starting on May 30 in the UK, feels India's batting great Sachin Tendulkar. According to the former India batsman, a part of MS Dhoni's World Cup-winning team, the seasoned wicket-keeper's view is "possibly the best anyone could ask for". Speaking to IANS, Sachin Tendulkar said: "His (MS Dhoni's) experience of standing behind the stumps is going to help because that is possibly the best view anyone could ask for. Standing there, he can see the entire ground just the way the batsman is seeing."
"And, his inputs would be critical because he will know how well the pitch is playing or how badly it is playing, whether the ball is stopping or it is coming onto the bat nicely. Whatever be the situation, he will share it with the captain as well as the bowler. So, having someone that experienced standing behind the stumps is always a bonus," he added.
While pundits question Virat Kohli's captaincy during the recently concluded Indian Premier League, Sachin Tendulkar came in support of the 30-year-old saying that leading a team in a T20 format like the IPL and to lead the national team are two completely different things.
"I think first of all, let us not compare IPL and playing international cricket for India. I feel they are two different formats with one being a T20 format with a number of foreign players in your team and the other is a format where all your Indian colleagues are there in the team. So, let us not compare these two. Of course when it comes to leadership, Virat is committed," he pointed.
While Kohli has an impressive record in international cricket as captain, there is no denying the fact that former skipper Dhoni plays an integral role in guiding Kohli and helps him with not just setting the right fields for the right batsmen, but also constantly guides the young bowlers in the team. Tendulkar feels that not only is Dhoni's role behind the wicket crucial, but also Kohli is lucky to have such an experienced campaigner.
A lot has been also said about India's dependence on the top three batsmen in the team -- Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Kohli. While the little maestro believes that there is more to this batting unit than just those three, Tendulkar is also of the opinion that there could be a couple of games where one individual steals the show with his brilliance.
"I don't think so (reliance on top three). I feel if we have to go forward in this tournament, yes, a couple of individuals here and there will have to step up and the rest of the team will also has to equally play around those players. So, it cannot be that just one individual keeps performing and you will progress in the tournament. Maybe a match or two one individual can go out and do something spectacular, but otherwise you need the rest of the teammates to chip in to move forward in the tournament," he said.
The Indians haven't often started a showpiece event as favourites. But along with England, Kohli's boys are considered one of the best this time round. While one would think that this could put undue pressure on the players, Tendulkar believes that the team deserves the tag.
(With IANS inputs)