Auckland: Former New Zealand wicketkeeper Ian Smith feels it will be extremely difficult to fill up the void created in Indian cricket once Mahendra Singh Dhoni bids adieu to the game in near future. “It will be very hard to fill up Dhoni’s shoes. In case of MS (Dhoni), he has really been unchallenged in this Indian team as a wicketkeeper and batsman. To add to it, there was this extra burden of captaining a team like India, where there is enormous pressure to perform every day, where he is expected to take all correct decisions. The captaincy bit adds to his quality. I would like to stress that the burden that Dhoni takes could have taken a very big toll on any man with lesser capabilities,” Smith told PTI during an interview.
While Dhoni’s successor in the Test team Wriddhiman Saha has proved his mettle as a solid wicketkeeper, but Smith feels India’s next glovesman will have to be more than a capable batsman.
“Let’s assume that the best wicketkeeper in India scores at an average of mid-20’s and there is the next best who can score at 40 plus in international cricket, that particular guy would be chosen. That’s the kind of bar that Dhoni has set for keepers in India after Adam Gilchrist changed the perception of wicketkeeper-batsman to batsman-wicketkeeper. A batsman-keeper is expected to keep atleast 90 per cent of accuracy in catching and stumping,” explained Smith.