London: With Team India being battered in England, knives are already out for captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the dismal show.
Former stalwarts have found flaws in Dhoni's wicket-keeping too. Interestingly, calls to include Wriddhiman Saha in the playing XI so that Dhoni can play as a batsman have also been put across the table by the critics. But back home, Dhoni had some respite as he garnered support from his predecessors.
Former India wicket-keepers Kiran More and Chandrakant Pandit were not in favour of criticising the India captain so early, though both admitted to the fact that Dhoni's keeping skills have dipped down drastically, particularly in this series.
"I agree that Dhoni is struggling at the moment but you have to also keep in mind that he is under tremendous pressure. His batsmen and bowlers are not doing well and neither his team, so it's an induced effect on Dhoni which has resulted in lapse in concentration for the skipper," More, who is also a former chief selector of the BCCI, told MiD DAY on Friday.
Pandit also voiced similar views. "Till yesterday he was the toast of the nation, but suddenly after one bad series he is being projected as the culprit. I don't want to be harsh on him. Also, technically he is not a natural wicketkeeper but has delivered the job in so many Test matches," Pandit said.
Besides shielding Dhoni's sloppy job behind the stumps, both former players were of the opinion that wicket-keeping in English conditions is a difficult proposition.
"The ball wobbles too much there and also the vicious swing that makes it more difficult for the wicket-keepers," both said.
The duo also had words of wisdom for the man in trouble.
While More felt Dhoni should constantly move behind the stumps to be close to the ball, Pandit left it to the skipper to decide on how to do better.
"You don't need to tell a man who has played 60 Tests on how to improve. Times like this come and go. The task is to hang on there," said Pandit.