India captain Virat Kohli has revealed his predecessor MS Dhoni and himself remain oblivious to newspaper reports ('rift' between the duo) - a common quality that has helped them maintain a healthy relationship on and off the field.
Indian team had been open to the concept of split captaincy after Dhoni retired from the longer format of the game in 2014. Kohli took over from the Ranchi dasher and brought in his own style of aggressive captaincy, which was in stark contrast to his predecessor.
Dhoni also stepped down as captain of the limited-overs earlier this year. However, the 36-year-old remains to be crucial to the team as he brings in a lot of experience.
The wicketkeeper-batsman has been playing the role of a mentor in the team, helping out Kohli with fielding and bowling changes and other crucial on-field decisions.
"A lot of people try to plug in stories of rift between us. The best part is neither he reads those articles nor do I. And when the people see us together, they wonder 'wasn't there rift between the two'. We laugh amongst ourselves and say we didn't know there was one," Kohli told television anchor Gaurav Kapur during his YouTube show "Breakfast with Champions".
Former greats, including VVS Laxman, have lauded Kohli's willingness to approach his former captain without "having any ego". At the same time, Dhoni has been open to sharing his ideas with his former deputy - a sign of healthy relationship between the two that is expected to help the young Indian skipper prepare for the 2019 World Cup.
'Our friendship has grown'
Kohli himself revealed he is open to making full use of Dhoni's "cricketing brain" and experience. The Delhi batsman also says the latter's suggestions work eight or nine out of 10 times and that he always trusts his senior teammate without asking questions.
"I don't think I have ever come across a better cricketing brain just in terms of planning, knowing what's happening in the game and what can be done," Kohli said.
He added: "Obviously, I go by my instincts but whenever I ask him anything 8 or 9 out of 10 times what he says, works. Our friendship has only grown over the years. I am happy that he is there by my side during my initial years of captaincy. I am lucky to have him.
"MS and me have a great understanding. While running between the wickets, if he says two, I just close my eyes and run because I know that his judgement is so correct, I will make it."
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