Cricket

People are conveniently targeting Dhoni: Kohli to critics

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Left) and Virat Kohli (Right). File.   | Photo Credit: AP

On a season of highs for Team India, former captain M.S. Dhoni’s struggles with the bat in T20Is has triggered a debate on his future in this format.

However, the question about Dhoni’s continuation in the team elicited a sharp retort from India captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli wondered why queries were being raised after one failure and blamed the detractors for their lack of knowledge about Dhoni’s role in the team and said the player was unfairly targeted by a section of the media.

“'I don’t understand why people are only pointing him out. I don’t understand if I failed three times as a batsmen no one is going to point a finger at me because I am not over 35. Besides, he is fit and has passed the fitness test and he is contributing to the team in every possible way tactically,” he said.

Unfairly targeted

“Look at the series against Sri Lanka and Australia; he did really well. In this series, he hasn’t got much time to bat. I would say in Kanpur game as well. Look, you have to understand the position he comes in to bat. Even Hardik Pandya failed in the T20 game at Rajkot. Targeting a player is not fair. The fact is that when he comes in, the run rate is 8.5 or 9.5 and the wicket isn’t the same as when the new ball is bowled. Obviously, the batsmen who are set at the top find it easier to hit the ball than the guys coming down the order. The kind of wicket we played in, the wear and tear has been much later on.”

“We don’t get emotional and excited from opinion of people who are looking things from a different point of view. When you are on field, you understand how the wicket is behaving. He is doing fine. He is working hard on his game but it doesn’t come off every time. He hit a six in Delhi and it was showed five times in the post-match show and everyone was really happy and suddenly when he doesn’t score in one game, everyone is after him. People need to be patient and understand he is a guy who knows his cricket. He is a smart guy and he understands his body and game and none has the right to decide it for him,” Kohli concluded.

Bhuvneshwar was a bit taken aback when the question came up but recovered to shower praise on Dhoni and his contribution as a player to the team. “'No one is bothered. He is a legend; what he is doing benefits the team,” he said.

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2020 12:51:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/people-are-conveniently-targetting-dhoni-kohli-to-critics/article20002795.ece

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