For the Indian cricket team, the role and impact of MS Dhoni go beyond his runs with the bat and his effectiveness with the gloves. The seasoned campaigner is a shrewd tactician and skipper Virat Kohli, on more than one occasion, has spoken about his dependency on Dhoni during pressure scenarios.
This feeling has now found endorsement in Suresh Raina as the southpaw, who has played all his career under the captaincy of Dhoni in the Indian team as well as for CSK, believes that the wicket-keeper batsman is a captain of captains.
"On paper, he's not the captain. On the ground he's the captain for Virat I think. His role is still the same. He communicates with the bowlers from behind the stumps, coordinates the field placements," Raina was as quoted by PTI.
'Virat feels confident when Dhoni is behind the stumps'
"He's the captain of the captains. Virat feels confident when Dhoni is behind the stumps and has always acknowledged that," he further added.
Raina also believed that this Indian team needs to be careful against the left-arm seamers.
"We just need to be careful against the left-arm fast bowlers. If you see the last few years, we are losing a lot of wickets to the left arm pacers. Be it Mohammed Aamir or Wahab Riaz of Pakistan, Boult, Mitchell (Starc) -- all have done well against India," he said.
Former Australian leg-spinner, Shan Warne has also hit out against the detractors of MS Dhoni and believes that the wicket-keeper batsman has done enough for the Indian team to decide when he wants to retire and that people should just focus on what he does for the team out in the field.
"MS Dhoni has been a terrific servant for Indian cricket, he has given his everything to Indian cricket. I can't believe some people questioned that MS shouldn't have been there for the World Cup. The thing about retirement is that it is better they say why are you than why don't you," Warne told IANS.
"Dhoni is the only person who knows when the right time is and as a player, you know. And whether that is after the World Cup or five years after the tournament he will know when the right time is. Dhoni can retire whenever he wants because he has been that good," he further added.
Dhoni has been in good form this year and this should hold him in great shape for the World Cup. He has scored 327 runs at an average of 81.75 with a high score of 87 not out.