Ravi Shastri comes out in support of MS Dhoni, calls him 'ultimate team man'
What's the story?
Indian cricket team's head coach Ravi Shastri has come out in support of former captain MS Dhoni, calling him the 'ultimate team man'. Shastri said some 'jealous' people want the end of Dhoni's international career.
"Looks like there are a lot of jealous people around, who just want Dhoni to have a couple of bad days.... There are a few people who are waiting to see the end of MS Dhoni. But great players like him decide their own future," Shastri was quoted as saying by NDTV.
"It (the criticism) doesn't make a difference to me. In our mind we know where Dhoni stands within the team. He is an ultimate team man. He was a great leader and now an ultimate team man," the former team director added.
In case you didn't know...
After India lost the second T20I to New Zealand in Rajkot, former cricketers like VVS Laxman, Ajit Agarkar and Aakash Chopra opined that the team management needed to look past Dhoni in the T20 format because the veteran batsman could manage only a 37-ball 49 even when the required run-rate kept mounting and eventually India lost the game.
The heart of the matter
Although Dhoni has come up with a few surprise performances in ODIs, his job in the T20Is has often come under the scanner. Earlier during the tour of Windies, the 36-year-old had faced criticism for not being able to tune up the run-scoring rate. Before the tour of Sri Lanka too, chief selector MSK Prasad had said that only if Dhoni continues with his good performances, he will be a part of the Indian set-up.
Shastri also pointed out that Dhoni has averaged over 65 in One Day Internationals over the last one year and performed well in the ODIs played against Sri Lanka and Australia.
Since chief selector MSK Prasad has made it clear that Dhoni's place in the team will last only till he keeps performing, the three-time ICC trophy winning captain will have to prove his worth in the coming ODIs and T20s against Sri Lanka.
While Dhoni brings immense experience with him to the table, it is also important to note that his waning T20 prowess has not helped India in times of crisis. If this continues, young players like Rishab Pant should be given a chance in place of Dhoni in the shortest format.