Thiruvananthapuram: A day after Bhuvneshwar Kumar backed MS Dhoni, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli has come out in his predecessor’s support after India’s Twenty20 series win against New Zealand here on Tuesday.
Dhoni has come under scrutiny after he could not go hammer and tongs from the first ball in the second Twenty20 against New Zealand, who had scored 196 runs batting first.
While Kohli had scored a quickfire fifty, Dhoni, despite ending up scoring 49 off 37 balls, failed to up the ante in the chase.
After the Rajkot T20, former India cricketers VVS Laxman and Ajit Agarkar had asked Dhoni to make way for the youngsters in the shortest format of the game.
Not pleased with the criticism against Dhoni, Kohli threw his weight behind Dhoni after the Thiruvananthapuram Twenty20 win.
"First, I don't understand why are people only pointing him out, I'm not able to understand this. If I fail as a batsman three times, no one is going to point fingers at me because I am not over 35. The guy is fit, he is passing all the fitness tests. He is contributing to the team in every tactical way on the field. With the bat, if you look at the series against Australia and Sri Lanka, he did really well. In this series, he has not got much time to bat,” Kohli said during the post-match press conference.
"You have to understand, the position in which he comes out to bat, even Hardik (Pandya) could not score in that game So, 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 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 being bowled,” added Kohli.
"Obviously, 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 you know the kind of wickets that we have played on, the wear and tear has been much more in the latter half. You have to assess everything,” Kohli continued.
"As team members and the management, we understand the situations in which people go in 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. When you are on the field, you understand how the wicket is behaving like and what situation you are in,” said the Indian skipper.
“So, I think he is doing absolutely fine. He is working hard on 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," concluded Kohli.