After India’s defeat against New Zealand in the 2nd T20I in Rajkot on Saturday, former veterans VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar criticized MS Dhoni’s below-par performance and suggested that it’s time India should look for other options. MS Dhoni joined Kohli when India was at 67/1 in 9.1 overs at the crease and it looked that team India was on the safe side. But the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman failed to get his form, which put further pressure on the Indian captain Virat Kohli.
In a post-match interview, Laxman said, “In T20s, MS Dhoni’s role is at No 4. He requires more time to get his eye in and then do the job. But today [Saturday] was a classical example because when Virat Kohli was batting, Dhoni had to give the strike to Kohli. Kohli’s strike rate was 160, MS Dhoni’s strike rate was 80. That’s not good enough when India was chasing a mammoth total.” The veteran cricketer added that “I still feel it’s time for MS Dhoni to give youngsters a chance in T20 format. It will be an opportunity for a youngster to blossom and get confidence playing international cricket. He is definitely an integral part of ODI cricket.”
The former seamer Agarkar also expressed his opinion in an interview with ESPNcricinfo that “If he (Dhoni) started to hit the ball from the word go, then India were in with a chance. But that has been his problem for a while now and not just in this match. Over the last few games, we have seen that he takes a little bit of time but in T20 cricket, there is hardly any time. I heard people say that he should bat at a different number, but he came into bat in the 10th over in this match. How many time you get to bat 10 overs in T20 cricket and in my opinion, there was enough time”.
“I think India must now look at other options, at least in T20Is. In one-day cricket, they seem to be happy with the role that he is playing. When you were the captain of the side, it was different. But just as a batsman, will India miss him, I don’t think so. In T20 cricket, it is a lot easier to make that transition as there is a lot of experience in that team apart from MS Dhoni now,” Agarkar added. The series is now tied at 1-1, and the final match of the series in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday will decide the champion of the T20I series.