MS Dhoni should give chance to youngsters in T20I format, says VVS Laxman

MS Dhoni scored 49 runs off 37 balls but made a slow start to his innings when India needed him to score quick runs.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: November 6, 2017 1:52:09 pm
ms dhoni, mahendra singh dhoni, india vs new zealand MS Dhoni scored 49 runs off 37 balls. (AP Photo)

MS Dhoni is replacable in the Indian cricket team for the T20I, former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar and VVS Laxman have said. The two criticised the former Indian captain for his average performance against New Zealand in the second T20I at Rajkot. India were chasing a target of 197 runs for a win but were reduced to 67 for 4 when Dhoni joined Virat Kohli in the middle. But he made a slow start to the innings and could not take off the pressure. Kohli later said that batsmen ‘did not do enough’.

“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.

“I heard people say that he should bat at different number, but he came into bat in the 10th over in this match. How many times you get to bat 10 overs in T20 cricket and in my opinion, there was enough time,” Agarkar added.

Laxman also said that Dhoni at number four needs to work hard while chasing. He said that the second T20I against New Zealand was an example that Dhoni struggles.

“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,” Laxman was quoted as saying by NDTV.com.

“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.

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