MS Dhoni's struggles against New Zealand has reinvigorated the debate over his place in India's T20 team. Dhoni, who scored 49 off 37 balls in the Rajkot match, made his first 16 runs in 18 balls. Dhoni came out to bat in the 10th over and his initial struggle tilted the game completely in Kiwis' favour.
Former India cricketers, VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar have now suggested that India should start looking beyond Dhoni in the shortest format of the game.
"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 strike to Kohli. Kohli's strike rate was 160, MS Dhoni's strike rate was 80. That's not good enough when India were chasing a mammoth total," said Laxman in a post-match show.
"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," he added.
Dhoni hit three sixes and two fours during his stay at the crease, but the acceleration came very late for India. Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Agarkar said the team management must look at other options, at least in T20Is.
"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 lot easier to make that transition as there is lot of experience in that team apart from MS Dhoni now," Agarkar told ESPNcricinfo.
"You had a chance (in the second T20 against New Zealand) if he (Dhoni) had got going immediately but that has been his problem for a while now. It's not tonight or over the last few games. He takes a little bit of time to settle down and in twenty 20 cricket, there is no time," he said.
Feature image: AFP