MUMBAI, Aug 9 (Agencies): Former players feel MS Dhoni may be showing the first signs of cracking under pressure but say the captain still remains the best bet for India.
Just four months ago, the skipper was the toast of the nation after he guided India to the 2011 World Cup.
However, poor run with the bat, average glove work and two back-to-back losses have put tremendous pressure on a man generally known to be cool as a cucumber.
Dhoni powered India to the Twenty20 World Cup title in 2007 and has yet to lose a Test series. Former India opener, Anshuman Gaekwad, said it was a bit too early to put Dhoni to the swords.
He said: �If you just forget these two Test matches then as a captain, batsman and a wicketkeeper, he has done marvellously well,� Gaekwad told Reuters by phone.
�It must be tremendous pressure for a captain, especially when he does not have his main strike bowler (Zaheer Khan) and batsman (Virender Sehwag),� said Gaekwad, who played 40 Tests and coached India.
India were unable to call on opener Sehwag, coming back from a shoulder surgery, in both Tests while Zaheer left the field on the first day of the series at Lord�s and was later ruled out of the entire tour with hamstring and ankle problems.
Sehwag�s regular opening partner, Gautam Gambhir, missed the second Test with a bruised arm while off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Yuvraj Singh have also been ruled out for the remainder of the tour with injuries.
India�s number-one Test team ranking is also on the line after they fell 2-0 behind to England in a series the hosts need to win by a two-Test margin to leapfrog the tourists.
Dhoni has averaged 12.25 in the two England Tests and 19.40 in the three-match series in the Caribbean in June, and former India wicketkeeper Kiran More believes lack of confidence was behind the dip in form.
�I don�t think he has dropped any catches. He has fumbled a bit with the ball. He is not doing a great job definitely,� More told Reuters.
�There�s a lot of pressure on him, not only from wicket-keeping, but also from batting and captaincy point of view.�
More, however, was confident Dhoni would silence his critics.