Former players want Dhoni axed from T20Is

MS Dhoni

Former India internationals VVS Laxman and Agit Agarkar believe MS Dhoni must be dropped from the T20 side to make way for a younger player.

Dhoni, who won the 2007 World T20 as captain with a young India team and retired from Tests in 2014, struggled to get going as India lost by 40 runs in the second T20I against New Zealand in Rajkot on Sunday.

Chasing a target of 197,  the 36-year-old Dhoni joined current captain Virat Kohli at the crease when hosts were 67/4 in the ninth over.

While Kohli was hitting boundaries at will, the former India skipper was finding it difficult to get his timing and scored his first four runs off 5 balls,

He was on eight after nine balls and took 18 balls to score 16, which shifted the momentum in New Zealand’s favour, the wicketkeeper eventually finished with 49 but he got late boundaries when the game was already lost.

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Former national team batsman Laxman feels it would benefit India to blood a young gloveman in the shortest format so that he could take over from Dhoni after the 2019 World Cup.

Laxman said in a post-match show: “I still feel it’s time for MS Dhoni to give youngsters a chance in T20 format.

“It will be an opportunity for a youngster to blossom and get confidence playing international cricket. He is definitely an integral part of ODI cricket.”

Former seamer Agarkar feels now is the perfect time for the selectors to make a change, saying Dhoni’s experience is no longer needed in the shortest format.

Agarkar told ESPNcricinfo: “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.”