Mumbai: Former India coach Gary Kirsten has lavished praise on skipper MS Dhoni after his brilliant unbeaten 92 in the second ODI against South Africa in Indore.
Kirsten is in Mumbai for the launch of his wife Deborah's book, "Chai tea & Ginger beer: My Unexpected Journey ... Cricket, Family and Beyond."
He could not believe that some people were questioning Dhoni's place in the team before the Indore game. "Why? I don't understand why people say that. We look at it from the outside. Everyone is surprised when people say that. Why must he go?" he said, speaking to DNA.
Kirsten and Dhoni had a terrific partnership, which culminated in India's victory in the 2011 World Cup. The South African does not have any doubts about Dhoni's greatness.
"I have always said that he is one of the greatest players to have ever played. I have worked with him as a coach. He is a great player. He will be regarded as one of India's great players if not the greatest captain. His performances tell the story. You just have to look at his performances," he declared.
Kirsten insisted that there is no replacement on the horizon for Dhoni who averages a phenomenal 52.66 in ODIs. "The South African players will be happy if he wasn't there in the team. Who is going to replace him? What is his one-day average? Best in the world? I can't understand the thinking," he noted.
The former South African opening batsman also believed that the media's constant potshots at Dhoni were unfair. "Do the media do that to the players? Why would they run a player down like it? He is one of the greatest players India have ever had. Would they do that to Sachin? I think it's very unfair," added Kirsten.