Anil Kumble Defends Under-Pressure MS Dhoni

Former India skipper Anil Kumble has leapt in defence of MS Dhoni who is under pressure to deliver with the bat. 

While MS Dhoni continues to enjoy the selector and team-management’s faith, he is perhaps doing little to justify their faith. The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman has done well with the wicketkeeping gloves but the same cannot be said about his batting. He has struggled to do well since the tour of England last year.

In the second ODI, he had walked into bat when India needed 183 in 23 overs. But never during his stay, Dhoni tried to go for the shots. In the end, he was out after scoring 37 off 59 balls, as India were all out for just 236 while chasing 323.

Anil Kumble Defends Under-Pressure MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni (Credits: AP)

In fact, his innings was so unusual that the crowd even booed him at one stage which was perhaps the first time the legendary cricketer got booed in his illustrious career. MS struggled in the third ODI too. Dhoni managed to score 42 but used up 66 deliveries for the same.

Everybody had hoped that Dhoni would regain his form once he bats in friendly conditions during the Asia Cup 2018. However, those hopes got brutally quashed by the former India skipper. He started the competition with a duck against Hong Kong. It was followed by knocks of 33, 8 and 36. He also struggled to get going in the ongoing series against Windies.

The selectors then sprung a huge surprise by dropping him for the T20I series against Windies and Australia, hinting that they are ready to take the big call. However, they recently recalled him for the T20I series against New Zealand while also naming him in the ODI squad. Interestingly, the selectors dropped Rishabh Pant from the ODI side, thus indicating that Dhoni and not the highly-rated youngster is in team’s plan for the World Cup.

Anil Kumble Defends Under-Pressure MS Dhoni
Unfortunately for MS Dhoni, his role seems to be the same: Anil Kumble (Credits: Getty)

And while Dhoni will be desperate to score some runs, he has received some motivating words from his former teammate and captain Anil Kumble. The legendary spinner sympathised with Dhoni before saying that the latter has enough game time to get his mojo back.

“Yes, it is not easy to live up to those expectations right through your career. You know your roles change. Unfortunately for MS, his role seems to be the same. And the expectation seems to be the same. But having said that he is capable of delivering it. The key moments. Leading up to the World Cup. What’s good for MS is that he has the IPL. You know those 14 matches for sure leading up to the World Cup. So he needs a lot of game time, match time and that is something you need as you grow older,” Kumble said.

Dhoni is currently in Australia for the upcoming ODI series, starting January 12 in Sydney.

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