Dhoni's calm reply to Amarnath & Co
As former selector Mohinder Amarnath and other former players launched an offensive on Mahendra Singh Dhoni, questioning his place in the Test side, India's captain was calmness personified on the eve of the fourth and final Test against England in Nagpur.
"As ex-cricketers we respect their opinion, but we have our own problems to solve and that's what is of foremost importance to us on how to get the things right.
"We don't have to worry about things that are not in our control, and definitely all of them are reputed ex-cricketers who have played for India," Dhoni said, on Wednesday.
Amarnath, sacked earlier this year as national selector after just one term, launched a scathing attack on Dhoni, saying: 'Who is Dhoni to say that I want to stay there [in the team] and take this challenge [of captaining the side]. What has he done? He doesn't deserve a place in the team. There are better keeper-batsmen in the country. They are not getting an opportunity because he is the captain.'
The former all-rounder's criticism comes in the wake of back-to-back defeats to England, which has the home team trailing 1-2 in the four-Test series.
Dhoni also took a potshot at former players who are critical of his captaincy and the team, asking them to come up with solutions rather than point out mistakes.
"If you are part of Indian cricket what you will see is that everything is under the microscope and everybody has an opinion about cricket. The good thing or bad thing is that everybody is asking questions which we are also asking, but nobody comes up with a solution, and that is the brilliant part of it. That is how it goes in India," he said.
Dhoni said it is natural for every team to go through a rough time when senior players retire, as it takes newcomers time to get settled to the rigours of Test cricket.
"Everybody was talking about this phase in Indian cricket where the big players will move on and the pressure will come on the youngsters who may go through a rough patch.
"Of course, we struggled in the last two Test matches, and if you ask big questions after two tough Test matches, I think, it will come in the future too where we will lose two Test matches and people will say all the youngsters should go out and somebody else should come in. You have to be consistent and you have to keep faith in the players," he said.
He pointed out that despite winning the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup and the 50-overs World Cup last year, and taking the team to No.1 ranking in Tests, he never let success get to his head.
"One thing good I have done is, whether after winning the 2007 World Cup or the 2011 World Cup, when people appreciate me a lot, I didn't go to seventh heaven.
"And so when people criticize me it is the same. I know in India the kind of fan-following we have, we have extreme opinions and we praise someone highly if he does well and then we start pulling the same individual down. I always say it is very important to be in the middle path and that is how we will enjoy the sport," he asserted, urging fans to be a bit restrictive with their opinion.
Image: Mohinder Amarnath and MS Dhoni