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Kapil Dev does not want Virat Kohli to defend MS Dhoni

Despite a string of low scores, the 36-year-old found support in skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.

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Kohli recently jumped to Dhoni's defence following criticism targetted at the former skipper

What’s the story?

Former India players VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar recently raised questions on MS Dhoni's T20I future after the wicket-keeper batsman's below-par performance during the recently-concluded New Zealand limited-overs series.

However, despite a string of low scores, the 36-year-old found support in skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri.

Now, Kapil Dev has also come out in support of Dhoni, saying that his average is still better than a lot of players.

Calling the criticism unfair, he added that Dhoni does not need to be protected by anyone, not even Kohli.

"Virat Kohli doesn't need to defend Dhoni. Dhoni is good enough to defend himself. He doesn't need to be protected. The day he feels he is not good enough, he'll be out. He is a great player and his average is still better than anybody. A man like Dhoni likes to control the game, he doesn't just play the game," Kapil told India Today.

In case you didn’t know…

India won the T20I series against the Kiwis 2-1, but Dhoni was targeted for not playing the finisher's role.

Kohli was livid with Dhoni's constant scrutiny and hit back at the critics for singling out one man for the team's failures.

The 29-year-old reminded everyone that Dhoni contributes in tactical ways on the field and is one of the fittest members of the squad as well.

Even Shastri said that people should look at their own careers before pointing fingers at one of the most successful captains in the world.

The heart of the matter

Dhoni received a lot of flak for his 37-ball-49 in the second T20I that India lost to New Zealand as he played too many dot balls. 

While Virender Sehwag questioned Dhoni's role in the team, Laxman said that the Ranchi player should make way for someone younger.

On the other hand, Ganguly suggested that Dhoni should approach the shortest format in a different way than ODIs.

What’s next?

Kohli has time and again stressed that Dhoni is in India's scheme of things for the 2019 ICC World Cup and the team will need his guidance on the field if they are to win in England.

However, Dhoni's real test will come when India tour South Africa in January next year to play six ODIs and three T20Is after the three-match Test series.

Author’s take

Dhoni scored 25, 18* and 25 in the three ODIs against New Zealand, while he scored 7*, 49 and 0* in the T20Is, but we don't need to hit the panic button as yet.

It is quite evident that the team management and his captain have full faith in his ability and nobody but Dhoni himself should have a right to decide the course of his career.

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