Rahul Dravid's stunning decision to step down as India captain, just ahead of a crucial season, may have come under criticism in some quarters, but Dravid has a staunch supporter in India's Twenty20 skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
"I would like to say just one thing — the way he has led
over the last two years is amazing," Dhoni said after India's nail-biting win over Pakistan on Friday.
"And everyone knows what kind of a cricketer he is, how much he thinks before taking any decision. So I would like to end by saying that we should respect the decision he has made. He must have thought a hundred times before deciding anything."
But the timing of the Indian cricket board in announcing the decision, on the morning of the crucial India-Pakistan encounter here, did not seem opportune.
"I asked the boys not to think too much because we are representing India. We just wanted to do well, especially against Pakistan," Dhoni said. "It was very important for us to win this match and get into the next round because the last World Cup wasn't quite good. We didn't want to go back to India without qualifying for the next round."
Having accepted Dravid's decision, the national selectors are set to meet on Tuesday to name India's new captain and the squad for the seven-game ODI series against world champions Australia on home soil.
Dhoni is one of the contenders to succeed Dravid. But Dhoni was non-committal on whether he would like to lead the main India team.
"I'm a person who lives in the present, so I don't really think about what lies ahead or what's happened in the past," he said. "I have been given the responsibility of leading the Twenty20 side and I would restrict my feeling, my opinions, to only it. I would love to do well in this tournament and go back to India as a normal team player. On the field, I am the skipper but off it, I am a normal player."