Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally opened up on the criticism he has been facing after the 2nd T20I against New Zealand in Rajkot on November 4. Despite scoring 49 of 37 balls, the former Indian captain played was back lashed for playing too many dot balls early on in his knock and failing to rotate the strike. Former cricketers like VVS Laxman, Aakash Chopra and Ajit Agarkar stated that Dhoni should step down from the shortest format of the cricket and give youngsters the chance to showcase their skills.
According to several media reports, Dhoni spoke to media and broke his silence on the ‘retirement’ remark while inaugurating his first global cricket academy in Dubai. He said,
“Everybody has views in life and it should be respected. It is representing the country which is the best motivation for me because we play cricket for only a span of time. You can play for one year to 15 years, some play 20 years, but in the lifespan, let’s say you live for 70 years, 10 to 15 years is nothing and that’s the only time you can proudly say that I’m representing my country. The biggest motivation is being part of the Indian cricket team.”
Earlier, after the 2nd T20I, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar opined that India must start looking for Dhoni’s alternatives and said,
“I think Dhoni should bid adieu to the shortest format of the game and vacant a position for a youngster.
Former cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra too said,
“India should look to groom youngsters in T20s so that someone could play Dhoni’s role in 2020 as most probably he would not be around in 2020.”
After this episode, several cricketers came forward in support of Dhoni and spoke openly. Former players like Virender Sehwag and former Indian world cup winning captain Kapil Dev said that the team needs him now. Indian skipper Virat Kohli asked not to target him again and again for his performance as his contribution to the team has been remarkable.
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