New Delhi, Dec 27: Days after India head coach Ravi Shastri backed veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India's stand-in captain during Sri Lanka limited-overs' series Rohit Sharma too threw his weight behind Dhoni.
In an interview to India Today, Rohit - who led Men In Blue to ODI and T20I series win over Sri Lanka in Virat Kohli's absence - said he's surprised why critics constantly scrutinise Dhoni - who has had a great 2017.
"I am shocked that this question is being raised. If you look at the recent performances, I don't understand why people are still talking about it. It is not about whether he will be part of the 2019 World Cup, his recent form has been good," Rohit was quoted as saying.
The Mumbaikar also stressed that the 36-year-old former India captain doesn't get to play a lot of deliveries as he comes to bat at No. 6 but he has still taken the side out of troubled waters on several occasions this year.
"It (50-over World Cup) 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 said.
The talismanic keeper-batsman did well in the just-concluded limited-overs series against Sri Lanka to silence some of the criticism.
When asked about Dhoni's batting position, the 30-year-old right-handed batsman said the former can bat on any position depending upon the team's requirement.
"That decision (about Dhoni's batting spot) lies with the coach and captain. I have seen him bat from four to six and even batted at three in the IPL. That wicket in Rajkot (the second T20I vs New Zealand) was tough and we had lost four wickets when he went into bat. People need to look at the game situation before they talk," Rohit said.
Earlier, India head coach Ravi Shastri declared Dhoni as one of the fittest players in the side. Shastri claimed fitter and faster than players 10 years his junior, Dhoni is irreplaceable in the Indian ODI team right now,
Shastri also said critics should perhaps analyse their own careers at 36 before finding faults in the former captain.
"We are not stupid. I have been watching this sport for the last 30-40 years. Virat has been a part of this team for a decade now. We know, at this age, he (Dhoni) can beat players aged 26. People who talk, forget that they played the game," Shastri told India Today earlier.