MSD brushes aside attacks by Amarnath and others

For once an Indian Test captain's on-field problems came to his aid. M S Dhoni's off-the-field image has taken an unprecedented beating over the past few days, with former players and captains calling for his head. On the eve of the final Test in Nagpur, Dhoni brushed the pundits — and their views — aside.

"We've got bigger problems," the captain said. "We respect their opinion, they are reputed former players, but we have our own problems to solve. That is of foremost importance to us. We need to put things right on the field and not worry about some of the stuff that is not in our control... We have bigger problems to solve," Dhoni said.

A day after The Indian Express reported that three former selectors led by Mohinder Amarnath had wanted to strip Dhoni of the Test captaincy in January this year but were stopped by BCCI chief N Srinivasan, Amarnath confirmed the development on Wednesday.

When a British journalist asked Dhoni if he "would have preferred being anywhere but here" because of the things that were being said and written about him, the captain replied, "In India, we have extreme opinions. We praise someone very highly, and in a few games, we start pulling the same individual down. For me, it hasn't been difficult to not watch TV or read newspapers. I have been not doing it for quite some time now."

Cricket web site cricketnext.com reported on Wednesday that Dhoni had complained to the board about opener Gautam Gambhir's poor "attitude" and "selfishness". Though the story broke after his press conference, Dhoni was asked a question about Gambhir's commitment. He replied: "The best thing I like about him (Gambhir) is that he is an aggressive character. I have always talked about that. Nagpur is a big game and he is a big game player."

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