Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s batting form for Rising Pune Supergiant in the ongoing Indian Premier League had been a constant point of debate, with even former India skipper Sourav Ganguly questioning his current T20 abilities.
Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir has hit out at Dhoni's critics. “There is no one like a finisher or a starter. Ultimately, the one who scores the winning run is a finisher, irrespective of whether he’s an opening batsman or No 11. What matters is how much you are contributing. If you can win matches for your team, you are a finisher,” Gambhir said while speaking to reporters ahead of KKR’s match against Rising Pune Supergiant.
Dhoni played a match-winning knock on Saturday, but struggled against Mumbai Indians on Mumbai. “Here (in India), we start criticising if someone has one or two bad matches. He (Dhoni) is a quality player and we all know what he has done for India and the IPL. It is an important game, and rather than thinking what he can do, I think what KKR will do is all that matters,” added Gambhir.
On facing Pune Supergiant, he admitted it was a challenge. “That is very good for the team because if everyone is contributing, it is a great sign for any team. And that is what we want in KKR as well. We don’t want to be dependent on one or two people; we want to be dependent on everyone. If everyone starts performing, starts chipping in, because in the T20 format, there will be players who would end up getting one or two important wickets and there will be people who will get 10-ball 20.
“So those teams are obviously far more dangerous than the teams who are dependent on one or two individuals because it’s not assured that one or two individuals are going to perform in every game, but there is far more assuredness of 11 individuals chipping in, in important situations. If Pune is doing that then it is a great sign for the team,” added Gambhir.
--By A Cricket Correspondent