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Dhoni ready for Test captaincy: Kirsten

September 02, 2008 20:46 IST

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's [Images] leadership qualities on Tuesday got a thumbs up from India's cricket coach Gary Kirsten who said the ODI skipper is now ready to take over the Test captaincy from Anil Kumble [Images].

"He [Dhoni] is ready for it [Test captaincy] but there is no need to rush as of now. Anil has done an exceptional job, he is a great leader and he is toiling in many overs for India. He is prepared to do 30 overs in a day. But he is on the other side of the physical side of the game.

"MS is a great thinker. He has got fantastic skills in terms of understanding the situation. He is the best ODI batsman in the world. He plays every situation really well. He is a very good keeper as well," Kirsten told NDTV.

Asked about Yuvraj Singh's [Images] prolonged poor run of form, Kirsten said this break would help him to make a strong comeback.

"You too go through that. They have an extended run of form, then confidence drops. They have a fear out there of going to bat. Sometimes the break does a world of good. They come back.

"I am hoping that this break does him a lot of good and that he can comeback really motivated and determined. We all want to see Yuvraj hitting the ball hard. He is as good as anyone," he said.

While pointing out that a balance is important for the side, Kirsten also made it clear that the seniors players cannot sit on their past laurels and need to perform consistently.

"We will have to discuss. Mixture is important. The important thing is that we are not rushing into making the right decision at the right time. Senior players in the Indian team are fully aware that they need to continue performing. It's not what you did three years ago but what you did a couple of months ago," the 40-year-old said.

Having seen both the captains from close quarters, Kirsten said both Dhoni and Kumble differ in their strategies but are great leaders in their chosen format.

"Their characters, their strategies are different. Their thinking is different but they both are exceptional cricketers and in different formats of the game they have proved their worth. They lead from the front and lead by examples.

"It's always good to have captains that are performing well, it makes a big difference to the morale of the team, to the energy and intensity of the game," he said.

The South African also heaped praise for Dhoni's batting and his mental faculty which has made him the best ODI batsman in the latest ICC [Images] rankings.

"I am not surprised that he could do it because he is capable mentally. I think he has worked his heart out, how to win games. Batting in the middle period. It is fantastic to have him in the team," he said.

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