Dubai, November 13
There’s a storm brewing over MS Dhoni’s place in the T20 side. VVX Laxman, Virender Sehwag, Ajit Agarkar, Aakash Chopra and Sourav Ganguly have all questioned Dhoni’s presence in the shortest format, some bluntly, some cautiously.
The calls for Dhoni’s ouster from the shortest format started after the second T20I against New Zealand at Rajkot, in which Dhoni scored a 37-ball 49. When seen in isolation, the knock appears fine; but when seen in the context of the game, it leaves a lot to be desired (see box).
While skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri launched a spirited defence of Dhoni — Shastri went to the extent of saying that some people were jealous of the wicketkeeper-batsman — Dhoni maintained a stony silence.
It was in Dubai, where he had gone to open his academy, that Dhoni finally opened up a bit on the recent criticism. “Everybody has views in life and it should be respected,” said Dhoni.
“I always feel you have to believe in your abilities. Out of 10 games, if you are winning six or seven that way, then it is the right thing to do. And I’ve always believed in the fact that process is more important than the result…
“I’ve always been engrossed with the process, never took the burden of what if the result doesn’t go my way. At the end of the day, once the match gets over, I look into the mirror and if I can honestly say that I tried my best, then I can accept the result.”
Avoiding a straight answer, Dhoni hinted that he was motivated enough to play for the country. “It is representing the country which is the best motivation for me because we play cricket for only a span of time… The biggest motivation is being part of the Indian cricket team,” he said.
Dhoni is clearly reluctant to grab the bull by the horns, but that’s not going to stop people from raising questions.