Virat Kohli (left) has taken over as India's captain    Getty Images
Virat Kohli (left) has taken over as India’s captain Getty Images

By Nikhil Bapat

Mumbai: Former India wicketkeeper-batsman Kiran More believes it is important to have one leader in all three formats and has hailed Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s decision to step down as skipper from limited-over cricket. “Terrific decision by (MS Dhoni). And that’s what Dhoni is, he gives surprises and he knows what is good for Indian cricket. He is a man who takes his call and takes a right call. This is a fantastic decision,” More told PTI in an exclusive interaction. “He looks at a situation where the team should be looking forward and he reads the situation so well and thinks about the way forward and that is what he has done as a captain. Under his leadership, so many players were created,” he added.

Early this month, Dhoni had stepped down as India’s limited-overs captain, just days before the announcement of the team for ODI and T20 series against England, paving the way for Test skipper Virat Kohli. “Virat (Kohli) is doing very well. He is already captain of Test team and Champions trophy is coming, also there is the next World cup, so it is important to have a leader who’s leading in all formats, it makes lot of difference,” More said on the sidelines of the 13th D Y Patil T20 Cup.

One of India’s finest keeper, More also heaped praise on young pint-sized Delhi stumper Rishabh Pant. “He is a fantastic cricketer, he is going to be a star cricketer in coming years. He is a great talent and he has got an opportunity to play for India now. He should grab it with both hands and it’s a learning process for Rishab Pant. And looking at the future of indian cricket, its a great move by selectors,” he said.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 1st ODI at Pune

India will play England in three-match ODI series starting Sunday in Pune followed by as many T20 games and More feels that the hosts are outright favourites to clinch both the series.

“India is going to be outright favourite. England have also got a decent side in ODI and T20 and they have some good players, who are young. They have a good bowling attack. When you play in India there is advantage for Indian team, India should win the series but it will be good if the contest is tough, this will help Indian team for Champions Trophy,” the 54-year-old said. Asked whether a settled middle-order can ensure success abroad in Tests, More said Indian team never had issues with batting.

“We never had issue with batting, we had issue regarding bowling. So when our bowling department is stronger, we always win matches internationally,” said the former chairman of selectors,” he said.

“We have quality bowling line up now with (Mohammed) Shami, Umesh (Yadav) and Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar), they are the three and Ishant (Sharma) is also an outstanding fast bowlers, plus we have two brilliant bowlers, I can say allrounders, (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin. We have great combination, batting. I will never worry about it.

“Important is the replacements, if something happens to these fast bowlers, we need to find their replacement, who can take 5-10 wickets in a match, these are the areas we need to find out more bowlers domestically who can do well in international affairs,” he said.