After visitors New Zealand won the second Twenty20 International to level the three-match series one each at Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) in Rajkot against India, the former Indian fast bowler Ajit Agarkar takes a subtle dig at Mahendra Singh Dhoni and believes the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) selectors should look out for other viable options.

Very blunt in response, Agarkar observed India is more of an experienced side while stating the changeover has become the norm in the gentleman’s game.

“I think T20 cricket is a lot easier to make the transition (owing) to the shortest format. There’s enough experience in that team apart from MS Dhoni now,” Agarkar told ESPNcrininfo’s matchday video capsule.

Ajit Agarkar, BCCI, Team India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, T20Is, India Vs New Zealand
Agarkar criticizes Dhoni for his approach in T20I format. Photo Credit: Web.

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While chasing down the target of 197, India managed to post 156 for seven in 20 allotted overs, as skipper Virat Kohli was the top-scorer with 65 off 42 deliveries.

The 39-year-old Mumbai-born Agarkar revealed the new set of players could find it easy and further have the ability to adapt in the 20-over format, as he believes Dhoni has been struggling to leave an impact straight away with the bat while adding he is suited for the 50-over format.

“India needs to look at other options in Twent20 cricket for sure. (In) One –day cricket at the moment they seem happy with the role he [Dhoni] is playing,” Agarkar remarked.

Ajit Agarkar, BCCI, Team India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, T20Is, India Vs New Zealand
Dhoni is featuring in as a wicket-keeper batsman after relinquishing from captaincy earlier this year. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Agarkar takes a dig at Dhoni; however, he was quick to react while admitting it could have been difficult to chase the target Kiwis set for the hosts while responding a question from the host regarding Dhoni’s style of play.

“Yeah, look it might have been still difficult to chase down the score. You had a chance if he [Dhoni] got going immediately, but that has been his problem for a while,” Agarkar asserted.

According to Agarkar, Dhoni starts off slowly and has been doing it for a while for the team while adding India have plenty of options available besides the gloveman Dhoni particularly in the shortest version of the gentleman’s game.

“I mean it’s not tonight or over the last few games, he takes a little bit of time. And in T20 cricket there’s (supposed to be) no time,” Agarkar added.

Agar reiterated India has the pool of talent and the youngsters could play an imperative role in such a format.

“Younger player(s) can sometimes make a (massive) difference,” Agar maintained.

Ajit Agarkar, BCCI, Team India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, T20Is, India Vs New Zealand
For the fifth wicket in the second T20I, Dhoni posted 56 for the fifth wicket alongside Kohli. Photo Credit: BCCI.

Interestingly, Dhoni scored 37-ball 49 at the strike-rate of 132.43. He struck three sixes and two boundaries before being dismissed by Trent Boult when Mitchell Santner completed a simple catch.

“I heard people saying he should bat at (a) different number, but he has come in to bat in the 10th over (laughed). How many times do you 10 overs to bat in a T20 game? That’s a fair enough time (of impact) for any batsman,” Agarkar further added.

The former paceman, who also represented English County Club Middlesex in the past, himself featured in the four T20 Internationals for India while donning the colored jersey in which he claimed three wickets after sending down 10.3 overs – to concede 83 runs.

Ajit Agarkar, BCCI, Team India, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, T20Is, India Vs New Zealand
Agarkar represented India between 1998 and 2007. Photo Credit: AFP.

In the four-minute video, Agar added it was a different story altogether when Dhoni was leading India, and he feels the team won’t miss him as a batsman now while taking in the context of the ongoing T20 series against the Black Caps.

When he was (the) captain it was a bit different. And just as a pure batsman will India miss him? I just don’t think so,” Agarkar concluded.


Agarkar made his international debut in April 1998 against Australia at Kochi, and he went on to play 191 ODIs and 26 Tests for India. He bagged 349 wickets across formats.

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