India vs New Zealand: Indian camp dismisses calls for MS Dhoni’s T20 ouster

MS Dhoni came in for criticism after playing a relatively slow innings (49 – 37 b) laden with dot balls as India faced a stiff target in the second T20 against New Zealand in Rajkot.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Nov 06, 2017 19:24 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Thiruvananthapuram
India vs New Zealand,MS Dhoni,Indian Cricket Team
MS Dhoni played 10 dot balls during the India vs New Zealand T20 in Rajkot that the hosts lost.(AP)

Former cricketers VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar may be concerned over his slow starts in T20s and questioned MS Dhoni’s place in the Indian playing XI. But the team is totally backing the former captain, and not doubting his abilities.

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“We are not worried about his form. If you look at his record, no one is really bothered. Whatever he has done, whatever he has achieved, he is a legend,” India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar said on the eve of the third T20 in Thiruvananthapuram.

MS Dhoni came in for criticism after playing a relatively slow innings (49 – 37 b) laden with dot balls as India faced a stiff target in the second T20 against New Zealand in Rajkot.

LOOKING BEYOND DHONI

While Agarkar said India should look for Dhoni’s alternative, Laxman said the 36-year-old Ranchi-born should make way for youngsters in T20s.

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“Whatever he is doing only benefits the team. No one has any doubts about him,” added the medium-pacer.

The fifth bowler has been a cause of concern for the India team. After Ashish Nehra failed to pick a wicket in his farewell game in New Delhi, his replacement Mohammed Siraj conceded as many as 53 runs in his four overs at Rajkot.

But Bhuvneshwar played down any concerns over the issue.

“If you look at the fifth bowler, we have Hardik Pandya and other part-timers. Of course, there can be times when your main bowlers will fail to pick wickets or give away too many runs but as of now we are quite satisfied with the combination we have. A three-match series is very short to decide such things,” added the bowler, who has been reasonably economical in the T20s versus New Zealand.

PACE PARTNERS

Of late, skipper Virat Kohli has capitalised on Bhuvneshwar bowling in tandem with Jasprit Bumrah. The medium pacer said he and Bumrah give each other a lot of confidence by discussing strategies on how to contain the runs and pick wickets as well.

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“The way Bumrah’s action is, many batsmen find it difficult to pick him. There are many areas where he has improved too. He always had the yorker, now he has improved his slower deliveries,” said Bhuvneshwar.

“When you bowl with these kind of bowlers, you get a lot of confidence that in case I fail, he is there. We always discuss strategies, how we can trouble opponent batsmen while bowling in tandem. It helps us both,” said Bhuvneshwar.

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The visiting team has given India a tough time, pushing both the ODI and T20 series into the decider. New Zealand batsmen, in particular, have excelled with Colin Munro standing out.

“If you look at the statistics, it is Colin Munro who has troubled us but they have got Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson too. We can’t really pinpoint one batsman and say only Munro is dangerous. Overall, they are a very good team,” concluded Bhuvneshwar, who has played 18 Tests, 78 ODIs and 22 T20s.

First Published: Nov 06, 2017 19:23 IST