Star India batsman Rohit Sharma on Tuesday reiterated his position on the debate around Mahendra Singh Dhoni's future in India's limited-overs side. Having firmly backed Dhoni during his media interactions in the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka, Rohit expressed his shock at constant questioning of Dhoni's place in the Indian cricket team. "I am shocked that this question is being raised. If you look at the recent performances, I don't understand why people are still taking about it. It is not about whether he will be part of the 2019 World Cup, his recent form has been good," Rohit said in an interview.
The Mumbai batsman added that those criticising Dhoni needed to focus on the present given that there is still time for the next 50-over World Cup.
"It is too far and we should focus on what is happening now. He bats at No. 6 and does not get to play so many balls as some of us at the top of the order," Rohit told India Today.
Rohit even promoted Dhoni up the order in the first of the three match T20I series between India and Sri Lanka. Dhoni scored a quick fire 39 off 22 balls that helped India reach a challenging score of 180 for 3 at the end of 20 overs. Talking about Dhoni's batting position, Rohit said the team management's decision to promote Dhoni to the no.4 position in the bating order paid off as he is the "ideal" man for that slot.
"MSD (Dhoni), he's just class. No. 4 really paid off. He's played so many games for us, won so many games for us and moving forward, we feel making him bat at No. 4 is ideal," Rohit said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
"For a long period of time, MS has been finishing games off, but we want him to bat freely now, without that pressure. We were not sure what the ideal score would be, with dew and the wicket playing weirdly. So I thought 180 was a great effort."
(With inputs from PTI)