MS Dhoni defends Duncan Fletcher, says utmost responsibility lies with players

MS Dhoni (left) was asked about the role played by Duncan Fletcher as India have lost one series after another in recent times © Getty Images

By Amanpreet Singh

New Delhi: Jan 5, 2013

Duncan Fletcher‘s role may be under scanner following India’s prolonged poor run of form but Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni today refused to blame the coach, saying the utmost responsibility for performance lies with the players.

Dhoni was asked about the role played by Fletcher as India have lost one series after another.

“It’s time that players take the responsibility. Coaches are there to guide us. If the player has [a] problem in technique, [the] coach can suggest. [The] Coach cannot go to [the] ground. It will be wrong to blame the coach. The utmost responsibility lies with the players at the end of the day,” Dhoni said at the pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow’s third and final one-dayer against Pakistan.

Asked if India needs a foreign coach, Dhoni jokingly said, “I don’t know. Desi aur videshi (Indian or foreign). Desi aur videshi to bas murge hote hain (Only chicken is Indian or foreign).”

Dhoni evaded a direct answer when asked if some new players, such as Ajinya Rahane, will be given a chance to play tomorrow since India have already lost the three-match ODI series.

“We have given [a] chance to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. We all know he is a good swing bowler. But we have not decided on the playing XI. Jinks (Ajinkya) has been doing well. We will feature the best side,” he said.

Dhoni not only backed the coach, he threw his weight behind his under-fire colleagues, saying that the team was not lacking in talent.

“When you lose, you feel bad. When we bat well, we don’t bowl well, if we bowl well, we don’t bat well. We have talent but we have to perform together,” he said.