Former India cricketer Ajit Agarkar’s recent remarks on MS Dhoni’s T20 career created quite a storm in cricketing circles. After India’s 40-run loss in the 2nd T20I against New Zealand, Agarkar said India needed to look beyond Dhoni in the shortest format of the game. The former Mumbai pacer also went on to add that the Men in Blue were unlikely to miss the services of Dhoni in T20 cricket.
“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.
Considering Dhoni’s cult status among Indian cricket fans, it hardly came as a surprise when Agarkar was trolled for his views. In fact, VVS Laxman and Aakash Chopra too had echoed Agarkar’s sentiments on the matter.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, however, disagreed with the analysis of the trio.
Commenting on Laxman and Agarkar’s views, former Gavaskar told NDTV, “VVS and Ajit are completely entitled to their opinion. They have played a lot of cricket for India and it is their view. It might not necessarily be the selectors’ nor the captains’ view and we just have to wait and see.”
Asked whether Dhoni should quit the shortest format of the game to concentrate on the 50-over format, Gavaskar remarked, “For a cricketer, it helps if he plays continuously. Because you are in rhythm and in the groove most of the time even if you might not be taking wickets as a bowler or scoring runs as a batsman. Having actual games and match practice is very important. Match practice is fantastic not only for the physical aspect but also for the mental aspect. So, clearly the more cricket anybody plays it is better for him.”