MS Dhoni is still India’s crisis man and he is virtually indispensable to the team, at least in the ODI format.Recently, Dhoni drew criticism over his poor run of form in T20 Internationals. After a rather slow approach in a T20 International against New Zealand, former India batsman VVS Laxman reckoned Dhoni should pave the way for younger batsmen.However, skipper Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri were quick to jump to his defence even as other experts rummaged through numbers and backed up their argument through stats.WATCH FULL VIDEOBut when it comes to one-day cricket, Dhoni is still the man India need in a fragile middle-order. The top-three – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Kohli – pick themselves. However, the vital spots at Nos 4 and 5 are still a cause for concern.Dhoni, tasked with steering the middle-order has done reasonably well this year after stepping down as captain in the limited-overs formats.In 2017, Dhoni has scored 781 runs from 27 matches including one hundred and six fifties.On Sunday, Dhoni saved India from real humiliation when they were faced with the prospect of being bowled out for the lowest score in ODI history. For a while, the Champions Trophy runners-up were also in danger of being bowled out for their own lowest team total.But Dhoni salvaged the situation with some gutsy batting and made 65 in a team total of 112. Who knows what India could have done had Dhoni received some more support from the rest of the line-up.advertisementBesides, his skills with the DRS have come in handy for the team.Kohli does not have the kind of support he needs to take accurate referral calls in Test cricket but Dhoni’s presence in the shorter formats allows the side more breathing space.A case in point was Dhoni’s referral after Jasprit Bumrah was given out LBW in the opening game against Sri Lanka in Dharamsala. He had also helped India get a few vital breakthroughs with his astute awareness of DRS and an uncanny tendency to see what others cannot.No wonder then Kohli was upset when Dhoni’s place in the team was questioned by a few former cricketers.”I don’t understand why people are pointing him out. If I fail as a batsman three times, no one is going to point fingers at me because I am not over 35,” Kohli had said in Dhoni’s defence. “The guy is fit, he is passing all the tests. He is contributing to the team in every tactical way on the field. With the bat, he did really well against Sri Lanka (away series) and Australia,On Sunday, with Kohli on a break, Dhoni showed exactly why his captain and team need him so much. Mahi could not help India avoid defeat but he certainly showed his younger colleagues how they could put their heads down and fight.