New Delhi:Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday received sound backing from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who refused to blame him for his team's shock ouster from the World Twenty20.
Dhoni has found himself in the firing line for his decisions on the batting order and his own indifferent form after the defending champions were shown the door by unfancied England at Lord's on Sunday.
One of the TV channels ran a poll on whether Dhoni should be forgiven for the T20 debacle, while there were also reports of irate fans burning his effigy in his hometown, Ranchi.
Gavaskar, though, pointed out some of the young batsmen's inability to deal with the short ball as the reason for India's defeats to West Indies and England in the tournament.
"Dhoni will bear the brunt of the attack... but is there anybody better to lead India than him?" he wrote in his syndicated column for Hindustan Times.
"Dhoni is a young captain and is still learning the trade, so he will get it wrong sometimes... But then is there an individual who in his line of profession has never got anything wrong?
"What the two losses have shown is that some of our young batsmen have little clue how to deal with short-pitched bowling and both the West Indian and England quicks came hard at them."
Former Australian batsman Matthew Hayden, who plays for the Dhoni-led Chennai franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), also spoke in support of the beleaguered captain.
"Dhoni does not deserve unwarranted criticism for the exit, as he is the top dog in the team, and the best man to lead India to further success."
An editorial in the mass-circulation Times of India called on fans to show more patience.
"It would be a pity if Dhoni were to become a victim now of overreaction by an erstwhile adoring public," it said.
"In the immediate aftermath of the exit, he has shown the right attitude, owning up to the team's shortcomings. Now he must show that he means to do more than just identify them.
"For India's young side there remains work to be done."