Fleming reckons Dhoni has another four years of captaincy left in him
Chennai Super Kings coach Stephen Fleming feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is good enough to continue as a captain for three years but the New Zealander is not sure "whether he can continue playing all three formats" for that long a time.
"I haven't spoken to him on this issue. He is in fine shape and if he is fit, he can continue to lead for at least a good three to four years. Having said that, I don't know how long he will be playing all three formats. It's pretty hard as India have such a tight schedule," Fleming said on Saturday.
Fleming has been the coach of Chennai Super Kings for six seasons now and shares a great rapport with Dhoni.
"What I try to provide MS is with two months of enjoyment, so that he can come into Chennai side having taken a break from the Indian team. He loves his game and looks a pretty comfortable man winning games for Chennai consistently," Fleming said.
Image: MS Dhoni trains with team
'He has got a style that suits the Indian team pretty well'
But Fleming, who captained New Zealand close to a decade, feels that an international skipper has a shelf life of four years.
"Look, Dhoni and Graeme Smith have been exceptions but I feel that an international captain has a shelf life of four years. After that it is easier to get back as another normal cricketer," Fleming said during a promotional event at the New Zealand embassy in New Delhi.
"If you have been the leader for too long, then it becomes difficult once you leave the job. You tend to miss the decision making authority and stuff like that. In fact, I faced similar problems after I quit captaincy," he said.
Fleming feels that Dhoni's low-key approach of leadership suits the Indian team well.
"He has got a style that suits the Indian team pretty well. Indians look for consistency and have a pattern. They have such talents that on a given day, some of them can single-handedly win matches. You don't need too dynamic or too radical thought-process when you have players like Kohli, Dhoni.
"In case of New Zealand team, Brendon has to be a bit dynamic and try different strategy as they don't have talent pool like India," Fleming, a veteran of 111 Tests and 280 ODIs explained.
Image: MS Dhoni
'Raina is an under-achiever in Test cricket'
He agreed that Suresh Raina has been an "under-achiever in Tests" but is also livid that people have made a big issue of his problems against the short-ball.
"Raina has been an under-achiever in Tests but I reckon he deserves another chance at the Test level as he can complete that middle-order alongside Kohli, Pujara and Rohit."
"I guess people have made it an issue as he may be getting out in that fashion in one out of 10 innings. We work a lot with him at the CSK nets and he plays beautifully in the IPL. I want him to carry that same mental state in the international arena also.
He termed Ravindra Jadeja as one cricketer who has "just got better" expanding his horizon from being a T20 specialist to a Test player despite not being a classical left-arm spinner or a top-order batsman.
Image: Suresh Raina
'Jadeja can be a match-winner'
"That's probably the nature of cricket. Jadeja is an exception as he has just got better. On flat wickets, he hasn't got much help but there are wickets where he can be effective like last night (Ranchi). He can be a match winner."
"He just needs to ensure that he does one of the two skills well enough. A lot of players don't do one skill good enough and there are many of those players around, and you can fall short."
Fleming feels honoured when his name crops up as a candidate for coaching the Indian team but he is happy with his two-month stint with CSK which lets him concentrate on other aspects of his life.
"I would love to coach (CSK) as long as possible. But two months is perfect for me and add CLT20 to it, it is good enough. During other months, I explore other things. It gives balance and sense of purpose throughout the year. Life couldn't better as long as I can add to CSK. I would like to continue as long as relationship remains strong."
Image: Ravindra Jadeja