Mahendra Singh Dhoni deserves respect, not flak: Ravi Shastri
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been under fire for his prolonged run of poor form and a spate of defeats in one-day internationals, found support in Team India director Ravi Shastri. (MS Dhoni threatens to sue Hind daily after fixing allegations )In 13 ODIs since the World Cup last year, Dhoni has scored only two fifties, with a highest of 92 not out. Gone is the skipper’s finishing touch which India relied upon to wriggle out of several tight spots in the past. India have also lost ODI series against Bangladesh, South Africa and Australia in the same period. There is now a growing demand to install Virat Kohli, the Test captain as leader in the T20 and ODI formats.However, Shastri, a former India captain himself, said Dhoni knows when it is time to step away and once he decides his time is up, the charismatic captain will call it a day. (India top contenders for ICC World Twenty20: Dhoni )”Never fool around with champions. When someone has done it so well for so long, they have a right to decide,” Shastri told the Hindustan Times.”You saw how he left Test cricket, when no one expected. So what makes you think he will hang on for the sake of it? If he believes he is good, he will stay, if he believes his time is up, he will go, that much I can assure you of MS Dhoni.”Dhoni left experts, fans, the media and his teammates stunned when he announced his decision to retire from Test cricket in the middle of a tough tour of Australia in 2014. He had been in the line of fire after successive series defeats in New Zealand, South Africa and England before the tour of Australia.advertisementShastri said India should feel lucky that they have had someone like Dhoni at the pivotal N0.6 position and it “really annoyed” him when people slam the Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman.”People forget it is (No 6) one of the toughest positions to bat. India should feel lucky they have had someone doing that job for so many years and like a champion.”That’s why when he gets the flak, I get really annoyed because he deserves respect for what he has contributed to Indian cricket. Don’t mess around with legends and champions,” Shastri said.