India's prolific opening batsman Rohit Sharma joined head coach Ravi Shastri in backing wicketkeeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni's place in India's limited-oversside.
Rohit, who led India in the recent limited overs series against Sri Lanka in the absence of Virat Kohli, expressed his shock at the constant questioning of Dhoni's place.
"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 was quoted as saying India Today TV.
"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.
Under Rohit, Dhoni batted at No. 4 in the first T20I and hammered an unbeaten 39. In Indore, he walked in at No.3 after Rohit and KL Rahul had posted 165 for the first wicket and hit a 28. In the last match in Mumbai, Dhoni slipped back down the order to help navigate a bit of a tricky chase with an unbeaten 16.
"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.
Just after the Sri Lanka series, Shastri had made it clear that Dhoni was irreplaceable in the Indian ODI team right now. He had slammed Dhoni's critics, asking them to analyse their own careers at 36 before finding faults in the former captain.