He has got a lot of flak over his lack of healthy strike rate in final overs and his inability to rotate strikes. Many experts and fans have criticised some of Dhoni's innings in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
Some have even questioned his place in the team and asked whether he is more of a liability than an assest for the tea. However, it seems that there is no such doubt in the minds of those who matter most- his teammates in the Indian cricket team.
Dhoni has got full support from Team India players. While captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma have publically voiced their support of Dhoni, others have also backed the former Indian captain.
Some players told new agency IANS how they still have full faith and belief in MS Dhoni. They also hit back at criticism of Dhoni's strike rate and highlighted how 'Mahi Bhai' is important in the field for India.
The players believe that Dhoni is still the best judge of situations and does exactly what the situation demands him to do.
1. MS Dhoni's strike rate
The players defended MS Dhoni for his strike rate during Cricket World Cup and said that he has to bat with a long tail.
“Let’s be honest. We are not England when it comes to batting. We have a tail and when Mahi bhai walks in, more often than not, he needs to keep that in mind. He doesn’t have the freedom say a Ben Stokes has because England bat till almost number 10, we don’t. We lost two wickets in the final over against Bangladesh the moment he got out,” a Team India member was as quoted by news agency IANS.
2. 'MS Dhoni has answer to all our questions'
The players added that MS Dhoni has answer for every question his team has.
“As for his experience on the field, he is the man who has the answer to every question we have. If Plan A doesn’t work, he gives you B, C and D. In fact, even during the game against Bangladesh on Tuesday, did you notice him constantly guiding Rishabh Pant and telling him about the areas he should target? You cannot buy that experience in the market,” the player further added.
3. Dhoni allows Kohli to field deep
Another player said that Dhoni’s presence allows skipper Virat to field in the deep in the final overs.
“Virat bhai can stand in the deep and cut the important boundaries because Mahi bhai is standing behind the wicket to guide the bowlers. The best part is that when we walk out to field, after a couple of overs he will tell the bowlers the exact areas to bowl on and how the bowler needs to work on his speed and variations. That is irreplaceable let me tell you,” the player explained.
4. 'MS Dhoni is like fielding vice-captain'
The players also added that when playing big tournaments like the World Cup, the presence of an experienced player like MS Dhoni is enough to boost the confidence of the side.
“We know Dhoni bhai is there. Be it the subtle changes in fielding or guiding us with the areas to target while batting, his suggestions are so accurate that you don’t even blink an eyelid. If he says it, we just follow. He is almost like the fielding vice-captain who is constantly guiding not just us, but also Kohli when he feels the need to point something out to the captain,” the player said.