NEW DELHI: Some former cricketers may have selected their best-ever Indian team recently, but captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni does not favour such a practice, saying “one should respect every individual who has played for the country”.
“It’s very difficult to compare and compile all the players and teams of all era. Personally, I won’t select my best team ever because I feel we should respect everyone who has played for India,” Dhoni said at a promotional event on Monday.
Two stalwarts of Indian cricket — Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly — recently picked their best-ever Indian ODI squads which had a few surprises. Surprisingly, while Kapil’s all-time best ODI squad did not have a single player from India’s 1983 World Cup-winning side, Ganguly’s dream ODI and Test teams reflected a post-Eighties selection.
Ganguly ignored the spin troika of Bishan Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna and B S Chandrasekhar in any squad. He named VVS Laxman as 12th man in Test squad while totally ignoring Mohammed Azharuddin.
Unlike the 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil who did not include himself in his dream ODI team, Ganguly didn’t hesitate to name himself in both the ODI and Test teams he selected.
In what can be seen as a ray of hope for out-of-favour seniors like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and others, Dhoni said that not age but form and fitness was crucial for the success of any cricketer.
“I don’t think age is a factor. What matters is form and fitness and not age,” he said.
He was also of the view that all forms of the game are important.
“They are all inter-related. Performance in one will have an impact on the other form,” Dhoni said.
Dhoni, undoubtedly the most successful Indian captain of all-time, lauded his deputy Virat Kohli for his leadership qualities.
“Kohli is a fantastic cricketer. He has great knowledge about the game and has done well as a captain. He has all the right recipes. He is very expressive on the field,” said the wicket-keeper batsman under whose leadership India had won both the ICC Twenty20 World Cup and the ICC 50-over World Cup apart from this year’s Champions Trophy.