Former India opener Virender Sehwag has leapt to the defence of out-of-form Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying player of Dhoni’s stature should not be judged on the basis of his performance in the Indian Premier League.

Considered as one of the best limited-overs batsmen of all time, Dhoni has looked like a pale shadow of his former self in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League.

The former India skipper has managed only 33 runs in four outings. As expected, Dhoni’s indifferent performance has drawn heavy criticism and former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has joined the bandwagon too.

Earlier, this week, Ganguly had expressed his doubt over Dhoni’s ability to play the shortest format of the game. (READ: MS Dhoni Not A Good T20 Cricketer: Sourav Ganguly)

However, Sehwag feels all the criticism is unfair and totally uncalled for a proven player like Dhoni. Sehwag also emphasised that the position at which Dhoni comes into bat is a difficult one before backing his former India teammate to come good with the bat sooner than later.

“The position at which he’s coming in to bat is very difficult. He is still the best at No. 5 or No. 6,” said Sehwag while talking to ABP News. “There’s no doubt that he will be back in form sooner rather than later. There’s a lot of time left in the IPL. One should not judge a player of Dhoni’s stature just by the outcome of three-four games.”

Sehwag also lauded Dhoni’s performance against England in ODI series earlier this year. Dhoni had scored 165 runs at an average of 55 with the help of one century, as India won the three-match series 2-1.

The former cricketer also feels an Indian team without Dhoni for the upcoming Champions Trophy is unimaginable.

“He recently scored a match-winning hundred against England. So I don’t think he’s out of touch. You can’t even imagine an Indian side going to Champion’s Trophy without Dhoni. Things like this can happen in a tournament like IPL,” he said.

“IPL should not be a platform to judge an experienced player like Dhoni. It’s fine if you judge a youngster on the basis of IPL as it is difficult for a newcomer to showcase his talent in front of a huge crowd,” he added.

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