Kohli and Dhoni
Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who have enjoyed special partnerships between them, speaking when Dhoni was the mentor of Indian team during the Twenty20 World Cup in UAE last year. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Virat Kohli has been in the news for wrong reasons over the last few months, though sometimes unjustly, but still the star Indian batter took time out to thank his former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni with a post on Twitter on Thursday, just days ahead of the India-Pakistan opener in Dubai on Sunday.

“Being this man’s trusted deputy was the most enjoyable and exciting period in my career. Our partnerships would always be special to me forever. 7+18,” Kohli posted on August 25, signifying the addition of both their jersey numbers.

Kohli, who has had a great time after making his debut under Dhoni 14 years ago, must have felt the absence of his mentor during these tough times. The 33-year-old will probably face the biggest test of his career, more than what he did when he made his debut, during the Asia Cup, which begins in UAE on Saturday.

However, though much is said about his form of late, there’s little doubt in his abilities and former and current stars, including the Indian skipper Rohit Sharma have backed Kohli to come good. Kohli returning to form on Sunday will augur well for the defending Asia Cup champions as the Men in Blue are aiming to regain the Twenty20 World Cup, to be held in Australia in October.

Jumping out of his seat

It’s not the first time that Kohli is eulogising Dhoni.

The former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain hailed the Chennai Super Kings skipper as the ‘greatest finisher’ in another post on his Twitter account.

“Anddddd the king is back the greatest finisher ever in the game. Made me jump Outta my seat once again tonight,” he had posted during the Indian Premier League 2021 after Chennai beat Delhi Capitals.

Earlier on August 16, 2020, the Delhi batter had posted a 1:11 seconds video tracing his best moments on the field with Dhoni, including a clip where the skipper allows his star player to score the winning runs against South Africa.

“Thank you for these moments skip. I couldn’t explain the mutual trust, respect and understanding we share better than these two videos I’m posting here today. The first one explains perfectly well who he is, selfless in the most intense moments....”

Mutual respect

The respect is, however, mutual as Dhoni had said that Kohli is already a legend in own forthright, an ultimate compliment coming from Captain Cool.

“He (Kohli) is the best, and has already reached a status, where he is close to (being) a legend. So I am very happy for him. And the way he has batted everywhere and in the last few years, he has just been brilliant,” Dhoni had said.

Kohli must be sure reliving those words of his captain when he takes his leg-stump guard at Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.