Virat Kohli: 'People need to be patient about Dhoni'

Virat Kohli backed his former skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, when asked about the latter's struggle with the bat in the recently concluded T20I series against New Zealand.

"He is a smart guy and he understands his body and game and none has the right to decide it for him," said Virat Kohli of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.   -  AP

On a season of highs for India, former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's struggles with the bat in T20Is has triggered a debate on his future in this format. The question, however, elicited a sharp retort from Indian captain Virat Kohli and speedster Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

Kohli wondered why questions 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.

"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 to bat in. 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 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 have to assess everything as team members and management we understand the situations when he goes to bat."

"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. I think people need to be patient and understanding he is 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," Virat Kohli concluded.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar was a bit taken aback when the question came up. "No one is bothered. if you look at his record, he is a legend. What he is doing benefits the teams and no one is worried," said the fast bowler.

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