Dhoni is still the best wicketkeeper in the world: Shastri

Last Updated: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 11:58 hrs

After chief selector MSK Prasad said that former India skipper MS Dhoni can no more walk into the team straightway, the India stumper proved his worth by playing some crucial knocks during the limited overs series against Sri Lanka.

It was just not with the bat that Dhoni impressed. In fact with his lightning quick hands, Dhoni created a world record by completing 100 stumpings. Chief coach Ravi Shastri has always been a fan of Dhoni and Shastri went a step ahead and said that the former India skipper has got lot of cricket left in him. 

"Dhoni is still the best wicketkeeper in the world and he is the quickest. The break from Test cricket has been great for Dhoni. He is an asset to the Indian team. He is an elder statesman in the dressing room," Shastri told India Today.

"MS Dhoni is a massive influence on the team. He is a living legend in the dressing room and an ornament to the game. By no means or by any stretch of imagination he is finished or even half finished yet.

"If anyone thinks so, they are mistaken and they have another one coming. There are in for some surprises. The old dog has plenty to offer," he added.

Shastri further explained how Dhoni still remains the best wicketkeeper in the country.

"How do you pick players? When they are good, and Dhoni is the best limited-overs keeper in the country. Forget his batting stats, what else do you want. Just because he has played for so many years, you are thinking about a replacement?

"He is the best in the country. Would you look to replace Sunil Gavaskar when he was 36 years old or Sachin Tendulkar when he was 36? Dhoni is still the best in the business, so what is the need to even entertain those thoughts," he said.

Speaking on fitness, the head coach said that there won't be any compromise on that aspect and that the team management will continue to experiment.

"ODIs are where we will experiment. Winning and losing will not matter so much. Of course, you play to win but we have to try all possible combinations. It is a long way to go until the World Cup and we want to take one series at a time.

"Most of our players have played in this series already, and the endeavour will be to rotate the players giving everyone enough opportunity. So that when we have 12-15 months to go for the World Cup, we have a nucleus of about 18-20 players in place. And we can then choose from this group just before the World Cup begins.

"Obviously form will be important before that too, but the nucleus will be pretty much in place. We want the best fielding side on the park. That's it. So how do you become the best fielding side on the park? Fitness. And that's why there have been parameters set.

"My job is not to get involved in selection ever because I want my players to trust me. That's the job of selectors. They watch more cricket and they see it the year around. If anyone fits into their parameters, depending on their form, then on the cricket field, they are available for selection," Shastri signed off.

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