With chief selector MSK Prasad not mincing words when he said that they are moving on from MS Dhoni, Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri threw his weight behind the former captiain, saying ‘half the people commenting can’t even tie their shoelaces.’

In an interview to Times of India, Shastri said, “Half the guys commenting on MS Dhoni can’t even tie their shoelaces. Look at what he’s achieved for the country. Why are people in a hurry to see him off? Maybe, they don’t find enough talking points. He and everybody who knows him knows he’ll be going away soon. So, let it happen when it has to. Making statements at his expense is downright disrespectful. After 15 years of playing for India, wouldn’t he know what’s the right thing to do?

“When he retired from Test, what did he say? That Wriddhiman Saha was good enough to be handed over the wicket-keeping gloves. He was correct. He’s been a shadow when it comes to the team, always sharing his mind, lending his views.

“The other day, he came over to the dressing room in Ranchi to meet Shahbaz Nadeem and had a chat — how motivating is that for a guy making his debut at home. Let me say this: MS Dhoni has earned the right to retire when he wants to. And let this debate end once and for all,” he concluded.

Calling recently-appointed BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly a ‘natural leader’, Shastri extended his congratulations by saying that the Indian cricket is headed in the right direction. “My heartiest congratulations to Sourav for taking over as the BCCI president. His appointment is an indication that Indian cricket is moving in the right direction.”

Pointing at ‘difficult times’ for the Board, he added, “He’s always been a natural leader. When someone like him — who already dipped his feet into cricket administration four or five years ago — takes over as president of the BCCI, it’s a win-win for Indian cricket. These are difficult times for the Board and there’s a lot of work to do to bring BCCI back on the path of glory. I wish him all the best in his stint.”

After winning the recently-concluded series against South Africa, India sit at the top of the World Test Championship table with a lead of 180 points. “Right now we have a huge lead and that speaks volumes of how we have been consistently good as a team. I’d have been happier if the Test championship cycle had points for series win too. That’s missing. Let’s say if we’re looking at 120 points, 60 for Tests and 60 for winning the series — that would’ve been ideal,” said Shastri.