India's Twenty20 World Cup flop show notwithstanding, Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains one of the best skippers in international cricket and it is unfair to criticise him on the basis of just one bad tournament, said Sri Lankan spin wizard Muttiah Muralitharan.
World's highest Test wicket-taker both in Tests and ODIs, who plays under Dhoni in the Indian Premier League champion side Chennai Super Kings, said he was amused to see the outrage that greeted India's early exit from the showpiece event in the West Indies.
"He is one of the best captains. He won the IPL for Chennai Super Kings. A week later India were knocked out of the World Cup and in India when you win you are the best but when you lose you become the worst," Muralitharan quipped.
"But you cannot become the worst in just a week. The media cannot bring him down like that," the off-spinner said.
Apart from the team's poor batting and fitness, critics attributed India's dismal show to Dhoni's uninspiring captaincy as well.
Muralitharan said India cannot be overnight labelled a bad team as it has proved itself in the Test and ODI arena.
"They don't lack skill. They are the number one in Tests and number two in ODIs. You cannot reach there if you don't have the skills," he reasoned on the sidelines of a function to announce the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards which would be held in Sri Lanka this year.
"Twenty20 is a game anybody can win on his day. While in Tests and ODIs, there is time for you to come back. There is no such thing in Twenty20. India had a good team but they lost the grip after winning two matches initially. In Twenty20 you need a bit of luck also.
"England was the best team and they won the title but Australia won all their matches and lost in the final. It just shows that you need some luck too. Like in IPL, the game can change in just one over," he said.
As for the IPL post-match parties, which Dhoni had blamed for exhausting players, Muralitharan said he never attended any of them.
"No, I don't think it's fair to blame the IPL. I never attended the parties. As a franchisee, we never attended those parties. So, I cannot say," he said.
Nursing a groin now, the ace off-spinner is all set for a comeback in next month's Asia Cup.
"I will be there at Asia Cup. I am fine now," he said.
Muralitharan will quit the game after 2011 ODI World Cup in the sub-continent and the 38-year-old veteran of 132 Tests and 334 one-dayers said he wants to sign off on a high.
"I never dreamt of getting what I have got. I have everything and I want to go on a high, instead of when I am down," he said.
Dhoni Still One of The Best Skippers, Spare Him: Murali
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