'It is tough when you are not playing regularly; it can affect your performance.'
'Unfortunately India has not been able to find that magical person in recent times.'
Not quite impressed with Mahendra Singh Dhoni's batting in the ongoing ODI series against Australia, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar said the wicketkeeper-batsman is "struggling but shouldn't be singled out" for criticism just yet.
India lost the second ODI to Australia despite setting the hosts a 300-plus target for the second time in the series.
"He used to be the finisher, India's pride and world's envy, but he is struggling a bit now. It is tough when you are not playing regularly; it can affect your performance. But my advise would be to just let him be because he has won India so many matches," Gavaskar told NDTV.
"I don't think we can single him. I think with the contribution in the last 10 overs from everybody, maybe, India could have had 20-30 runs more, but I doubt even then Australia would have won because they won today with an over to go. So I think it has to be a team effort. Bowling and fielding has to be better. At the moment batting is clicking but down the order there is not much contribution," he pointed out.
Gavaskar felt India has failed to find that one "magical" person who can take the team through and will have to bowl with lot more discipline to put brakes on a rampaging Australia in the five-match series.
The visitors lost the first ODI too in similar fashion despite posting 309-3.
"It is quite remarkable that in both matches one man has scored hundreds for India and then India losing. Perhaps it is a pattern and unless that pattern is broken, like the batting pattern of Australia, India needs to put pressure, bowl with discipline because it is a batsman's game with the white ball doing little. The wides and no-balls are one of the areas where India really need to have control.
"You need a little bit of extra performance which takes you over the line. Unfortunately India has not been able to find that magical person in recent times. This is an area where India is floundering at the moment. They also missed out a couple of catching opportunities."
Gavaskar said Australia definitely have an advantage being the host country.
"They are the World champions, they know the conditions well, they can pick any player they want. The touring team also finds it difficult. It is always difficult to defeat the home team. It is happening all over the world."