Virat Kohli: Hardik Pandya could not have scored at MS Dhoni's position in 3rd T20I against New Zealand
Skipper Virat Kohli has come out in defence of Dhoni recently, saying the latter is still fit enough to hold a position in Team India.
MS Dhoni s recent form has been a debatable topic of late. The former India captain is regarded among the most successful the country has ever had, but his title of being a perfect finisher is at stake. While many want him to continue for his experience and wicketkeeping skills, others believe the spark in him is lost. Skipper Virat Kohli has come out in defence of Dhoni recently, saying the latter is still fit enough to hold a position in the team and it is his batting position that has been the reason behind his not so attractive scores.
Lower down the order
In the post match conference, Kohli said, You have to understand, the position in which he comes out to bat, even Hardik [Pandya] could not score in that game. Then why are we only pointing out one man? Hardik also got out in the last T20 that we played in Rajkot. We are conveniently targeting only one man which is not fair. We also have to look at the fact that by the time he comes in, either the run rate is already eight-and-a-half or nine-and-a-half and the wicket is also not the same when the new ball is bowled.
Also, the batsmen who are set from the top, they find it easier to strike the ball straightaway compared to the guys who come lower down the order. And the kind of wicket that we have played on, the wear and tear has been much more in the latter half. You have to assess everything, he added.
Still fit and fine
Many Team India regulars have had to bid goodbye to their chances of comeback to the side after failing multiple fitness tests while Dhoni has passed them all, says Kohli.
The guy is fit, he is passing all the fitness tests, he is contributing to the team in every way possible, tactically on the field, with the bat. If you look at the series against Sri Lanka and Australia, he did really well and in this series he hasn t got much time to bat.
As team management and players, we understand the situations in which he goes out to bat. We don t get emotional and excited by the opinions of people who are looking at things from a different point of view. If you are playing, you know how the wicket is and what the situation is like. So, I think he is doing absolutely fine. He understands his game, he understands his role, but it doesn t come off every time. He hit a six in Delhi and it was shown five times in the post-match show. Everyone got really happy. And suddenly he doesn t score in one game and we are after his life. I think people need to be a bit more patient. He s a guy who understands various cricketers. He s a very smart guy. He understands where he stands with his body, with his game. So I don t think anyone else has the right to decide that for him.
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