Ajit Agarkar slams MS Dhoni: Former Indian fast bowler hurled severe criticism at the Indian wicket-keeper batsman.
Former India fast bowler Ajit Agarkar sounded to be at odds with former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the latter scored 51 (96) in the first ODI against Australia at Sydney yesterday.
Dhoni came in to bat at No. 5 in only the fourth over after India lost their first three wickets cheaply. Chasing a 289-run target, a substantial partnership was the need of the hour for India.
Vice-captain Rohit Sharma and Dhoni stitched a 137-run stand for the fourth wicket but Dhoni seemed to have consumed too many deliveries which was the rationale behind him receiving a lot of criticism.
Dhoni did well to see out a tough period when India were 4-3 in 4 overs. Once that storm was weathered, Rohit & MS put on 137 off 172 for the 4th wicket.
Rohit 75 from 76.
Dhoni 51 from 96. #AUSvIND
— Raunak Kapoor (@RaunakRK) January 12, 2019
First time in 9 years MS Dhoni is batting inside 4th over of the innings – last was v SL, Dhaka, Jan 2010. #AusvInd
— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) January 12, 2019
Among one of the critics was Agarkar, who understood Dhoni facing plentiful deliveries initially but also felt that he didn’t provide the needed support to Sharma. “Yes, tough situation to come in when you are three down with four runs on the board. And you could argue that the first 25-30 balls, you’ve not been here. But once you are set.
“I mean Rohit can get 288 all by himself. There has to be a support from the other end. And not from someone who is striking at 50 when he finishes after 100 balls. And, 100 balls are a lot of deliveries in one-day cricket,” he said on ESPNcricinfo.
“You can argue for the first few deliveries because the pressure is on and you don’t want to throw your wicket. But eventually, you need to do what the team requires you to do. And if you are not doing it then you got to worry about whether the person is good enough to do it or not. Yes, he got a fifty but even then it was fifty off like 100 balls. That wasn’t helping Rohit at the other end,” Agarkar added.
For those “Cricket experts” saying we lost the match BECAUSE OF Dhoni: We were 4/3. You don’t win matches from there, you can only reduce the margin of defeat and take it till the end. #AUSvIND #INDvAUS
— Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) January 12, 2019
India’s answer to Australia’s retro kit is Dhoni’s retro strike rate of 50.
— cricBC (@cricBC) January 12, 2019
Another thing which didn’t work for Dhoni was his mode of dismissal. The 37-year old cricketer was given leg before the wicket on a delivery which pitched outside the leg-stump. While Dhoni also received some sympathy for the same, Agarkar didn’t buy it as an excuse.
“Dhoni fans might argue that he got a rough one otherwise he could have carried on. But it did not look like in that stage. It seemed that Rohit was doing the bulk of the work,” Agarkar concluded.