Two former Indian greats have come to the defence of under-fire one-day skipper MS Dhoni after he offered to quit following the shock 2-0 series defeat to Bangladesh.
Sunil Gavaskar and Sourav Ganguly said more respect should be shown to “India’s best captain” off the back of widespread criticism of the team’s performance.
“It is a decision he has to take,” Gavaskar said. “Look, you can’t take away the achievements from him. He is India’s best captain by far.
“He has done almost everything, be it, T20, ODIs, Champions Trophy or World Cup. He took India to the number one ranking in Tests.
“He deserves respect for it, and it should be up to him if he feels up for the job. I do not think it’s fair to remove him as captain.
“Yes, the results against Bangladesh has been unfortunate but let’s give some credit to them. They played some superb cricket.”
Dhoni took over the one-day captain’s role from Rahul Dravid after India’s group-stage exit from the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.
Following the second ODI defeat to the Tigers last Sunday (21), Dhoni, now 33, had said: “If it is a justifiable thing that if you remove me and the team will start doing really well, and if I am the reason for all the bad that is happening, I would love to step away and play as a player.
“You want India to win. It doesn’t matter who is the captain. If they want to take it away, I am happy to give it away.”
Commenting on the situation, Sourav Ganguly added: “He has said it in the heat of the moment and it’s not right. He was upset after the defeat. Leave it there. Everybody has to sit together and think. Don’t put Dhoni down, he has a terrific record in one-dayers. Give respect to him.”
When asked if he thinks Dhoni should be in charge until 2016 World Twenty20, Ganguly added: “It’s not an individual decision. Let’s cool down, let the series be finished. Such a decision can’t be taken overnight.
“Whoever has to take a final decision has to take it with a long-term aspect in mind. Dhoni should be given all the time in the world. Whether he wants to continue and has the power to lift the side.”