India head coach Ravi Shastri has dismissed doubts about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's international future, stating that the team management can't even think of removing the Ranchi stalwart considering his current form and fitness. Dhoni was in top form in Sri Lanka, having scored 162 runs in the ODI series with a strike-rate of 82.23. The former India skipper, who played his 300th ODI in Sri Lanka, also grabbed eye balls with his quick reflexes behind the wicket, becoming the first wicket-keeper in ODI history to affect 100 stumpings.
During an exclusive interview with India TV, Shastri said Dhoni has both fitness and current form on his side and that the team will need him in the next ODI World Cup in 2019.
Shastri compared Dhoni with the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev and said his achievements need to be respected.
"Where else will you find a legend like MS Dhoni? Dhoni is in the same league as of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar or Kapil Dev. We have to respect his achievements," Shastri told India TV from Mumbai.
Shastri, who took over as India coach in July this year after Anil Kumble resigned from the post citing differences with captain Kohli, lauded Dhoni's performance in Sri Lanka and said that there's still a lot to come from him.
The 55-year-old Shastri added that Dhoni remains the best wicket-keeper in India in ODIs.
"A player is evaluated on the basis of his current form and fitness and Dhoni has both. If you see his wicket-keeping, he is the best in ODI cricket. His fitness is superb, he batted well in Sri Lanka. And let me tell you, it was just a tralier what you saw in Sri Lanka... now wait for the movie," he said.
Shastri said if Dhoni can cantinue to perform like this then there's no question of not having him in the 2019 World Cup.