Amidst the ongoing saga regarding MS Dhoni's exclusion from the upcoming T20I series against West Indies and Australia, as well as his struggles with the bat in the ODIs, former Indian batsman Ajay Jadeja has put his weight behind the wicket-keeper batsman, stating the way Dhoni is being treated isn't right.
Expressing his views on a discussion with Cricbuzz, Jadeja believes that the selectors should be held accountable for India losing Dhoni as a T20 player. He said,
"I think he is the greatest ODI cricketer in my lifetime. At least what I have seen in my lifetime. In this series we said what have we gained and what have we lost? I think we have lost MS Dhoni as a player in T20Is, thanks to those selectors."
Jadeja also expressed that the 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup winning captain has a lot more to give, if he is afforded chances. "He needs more cricket, I absolutely believe he needs more cricket because the form of a batsman or a bowler cannot come if you are not playing games," he added.
Prior to Jadeja, Indian skipper Virat Kohli also backed Dhoni, stating that the veteran wicket-keeper is still a very integral part of the team, but is only trying to give youngsters like Rishabh Pant a chance in the shortest format of the game.
Speaking to the media post India's huge win over West Indies in the fifth ODI, which in turn meant the hosts won the series 3-1, Kohli stated that the decision to 'rest' Dhoni was that of selectors. He said,
"I think the selectors have already addressed this if I'm not wrong. And he's been spoken to, firstly... So, I don't see any reason why I should be sitting here and explaining that. I think the selectors have come out and explained exactly what happened. I was not part of that conversation so.. It is what the selectors explained. I think people are putting too much variables into the situation, which is not the case I can assure you of that. He's still a very integral part of this team and he just feels that in the T20 format, someone like Rishabh can get more chances."