Team Director Ravi Shastri heaped praise on the achievements of MS Dhoni in world cricket, stating the India skipper is one of the all-time greats of limited-overs cricket. With the mega series between India and South Africa set to start in early October, Dhoni is going to be a key figure for India, who are set to host the Proteas for 3 T20s, 5 ODIs and 4 Test matches, in coloured clothing.
However, one is not sure about Dhoni's batting position in the team. Dhoni could walk in to bat at any number -- four, five or six -- in the upcoming series. With teammate Suresh Raina also earlier indicating, MS Dhoni is best suited to bat at number 4, Ravi Shastri also gave an opinion on the lines.
"Don't you think it is about time?" Shastri said when asked if Dhoni should bat higher up the order.
"He has done the dirty work for the last donkey's years. Give him the chance to enjoy himself. You are talking of probably one of the greatest captains and players to have played the game.
"I am not talking about India, talking world cricket. Check his record, what his achievements are in the shorter format of the game. I don't think anyone will come close to him."
Dhoni has been one of the most consistent batsmen for India in the past decade or so. The Jharkhand batsman, who averages 52.21 in ODI cricket, is one of the most feared batsmen in world cricket. The Indian skipper can change the course of the game in a matter of overs.
Dhoni, who retired from Test cricket late last year, has been away for a while after a hectic cricket season. Dhoni last played for India in the ill-fated ODI series against Bangladesh in June.
The present India team comprises of two captains, with Virat Kohli being the Test captain. The players are getting used to Kohli as captain of the Test side, but need to ready themselves under the leadership of Dhoni, who has helped India win a number of series.
Shastri believes there is no problem as far as the team are concerned, with the shift in captaincy.
"For the team, no difference. They played under him in the World Cup the last time they played a one-day game. They played under him in Bangladesh. So what's different now? They are playing under a champion," said Shastri.
Kohli and Dhoni's approach towards leading a side is different with the former being more aggressive on the field. However, Dhoni's record as an Indian captain speaks volumes. Out of the number of mega victories, the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ICC World Cup title will always the major highlights of his career.
"Dhoni is one of the all-time greats of ODI cricket. His record and his captaincy in this version are simply outstanding. I don't think anyone can come close to his records and his captaincy in ODIs," added Shastri.