Australia v India, 3rd Test, Perth, 3rd day January 15, 2012

I am the main culprit - Dhoni

136

After India's seventh straight loss away from home, MS Dhoni almost admitted that he has been saying the same things at press conferences after his side has made the same mistakes for seven Tests and lost them all. He said he was the "main culprit" because he was the captain. He also said he was more disappointed with his batting than the captaincy.

"I need to blame myself," Dhoni said. "I am the leader of the side. I am the main culprit so of course I blame myself.

"[For] Not getting runs more because tactics is something you do on the field depending on the execution of all the players. Ultimately execution is important. If you are consistent … just for example, if you take the bowling department, if the bowlers bowl consistently on one line then you have the option of defending that side of the field, and then having catching fielders to catch the mistimed shots.

"If you are not consistent when it comes to the line and length, with nine fielders if you want to have two slips and a gully and the rest of the fielders to defend, it becomes really difficult. That's what the Australians have taught us, how to be consistent in bowling lines and lengths. Ultimately force the batsman to make a mistake."

Dhoni also admitted this was among the worst times he has seen in cricket. "As far as the amount of cricket that I have seen this is definitely one of the worst phases where we have not done well consistently," he said. "Again I am repeating myself, four Tests in England, three Tests here, we have not put runs on the board. [In] Bowling, I think [in] England because of injuries we had a bit of a setback.

"Over here I think we have not been as consistent [as we would like], [but] if you see this particular Test match, apart from that session where David Warner attacked the bowlers, I don't think they bowled badly. He just went after the bowlers, and it became difficult to contain him. Once he got out we were able to put pressure on the rest of the batsmen who came in, and we got them out cheaply. Overall I don't think bowling is a real worry. Of course we have not consistently bowled well also, but what's really consistent is the batting line-up flopping. We have to score at least 300 to 325-odd runs depending on the wicket, which we haven't been able to."

Then of course it was back to what might sound like the same reasons but in words sterner than before. "In the games that we have played in England and the three Tests over here, we haven't put enough runs on the board," Dhoni said. "There is only one instance where we have scored over 350 [in the second innings in Sydney]. That's something we need to be careful about. Because we want to give bowlers those amount of runs so that they can look to get the opposition out. One or two bad innings can happen in Test cricket, but overall I think seven Test matches is a bit long for the batting line-up to fail."

Dhoni said the team needed a couple of really good sessions to turn it around. "Somebody will have to step up, rise to the occasion, and get those good sessions," he said. "Especially when it comes to the batting. Once the number of matches [in which] we haven't scored runs increases, the pressure keeps on mounting. The only way to get out of this pressure is to put runs on the board. It's always one innings that starts a different mentality altogether. Somebody will have to step up and do the rightful thing."

"It's not like he [Fletcher] has become coach and we have lost two series, and all the blame needs to go to him. Ultimately, it's the players who go in there, and look to perform. The coaches look to motivate and work on few technical areas, they help out. Overall it's about the 11 players who go out there to bat and take wickets."
MS Dhoni

Dhoni was asked if the new coach Duncan Fletcher, reputed to be very good when it comes to batting technique, had done his job properly. He came out in full support of Fletcher. "He is a great guy to have," Dhoni said. "[Someone] Who has got a great knowledge about the game. He is one the most experienced coaches around. The small interesting technical things he knows about batting and bowling; it's very crucial to have.

"It's not like he has become coach and we have lost two series, and all the blame needs to go to him. Ultimately, it's the players who go in there, and look to perform. The coaches look to motivate and work on few technical areas, they help out. Overall it's about the 11 players who go out there to bat and take wickets."

Dhoni is known to not show too much emotion after the biggest of wins and the gravest of defeats. He was asked if this was the time his side needed a sterner talk, a kick up their backsides. "What is important is what kind of culture you belong to, what really works for your side, what kind of man-management skills you got," Dhoni said. "I feel every man needs to be managed in a different way.

There are certain people [with whom] who you need to get personal and explain what's to be done. And there are some who need to be treated your [the harsh] way. Most of our cricketers have really stepped up when the need has come, and we don't need to take any extreme steps. Of course we need to do well as soon as possible and there will be pressure on everyone. It's just not players, even the support staff. Most of us are feeling bad about this. At the end of the day we are professional cricketers but we are also human beings."

Dhoni's statement that he might consider retirement from Tests in 2013 has come under severe criticism from former India captain Sourav Ganguly. Ganguly spoke of Dhoni's "complete disinterest in the longest format of the game" and said that he definitely felt that Dhoni didn't enjoy Tests. Dhoni reassured against those claims. "Only I know how seriously I am taking it," he said. "For anybody else to judge how seriously I take something is difficult."

Dhoni also said that all won't be forgotten if the side goes back to India and starts winning home matches. "Maybe we will go back to India and do well," he said. "What we have to realise is how to do well when we come out of India. We need to take steps as to what can be done. These are the things we need to be careful about."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • GravyMon on January 18, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Part 1/4 (Revised): Captain Dhoni's post-match mea culpa may have been quite the noble thing to do, if only he hadn't tried in the next breath to throw his young bowling charges under the bus. Have a thought for him, though; after all, it was under his watch and guidance that India lost 7 proverbial cricket battleships at sea, one after another. Loss is only acceptable when you have given of your best efforts and fall just short of your goal. India is yet to show up in the park and put her best on show.

    If Dhoni thinks that his batting was worse than his leadership on the field, and is of the honest opinion that he gave his best effort as captain, then it is quite evident that ship SS Cricket-India is in serious need of a steady hand at the wheel. A great Test captain once said that Captaincy is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill, but that it shouldn't be tried without that 10 per cent. Dhoni, it would appear, lacks most of the 10%.

  • vint on January 18, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Dhoni's a good captain, he just needs the right guys filling in the batting positions. I believe that dravid and laxman retire asap and tendulkar has to hang around for another year or so to help with the transition.... In terms of Fletcher look what he did with the england side in 2006 ashes in aus... best solution is to add kapil dev into the support staff roles

  • shreyas3305 on January 17, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    being a top team in the listings is easier than consistently maintaining it. Australia has shown this in the past. Now that India was on top in all three formats and now they have started declining, some things should be sorted out. Its not wise to blame an individual but we need to understand why dont we have good bowlers after the duo of J Srinath & V Prasad. Zaheer khan is over rated, half of his career was in the injury list. he should start thinking of retirement in long format of the game. Harbhajan is sure to comeback but i m impressed with Ashwin as well. Vinay Kumar has been given a lot of chances, he better starts playing the domestic competitions. coming to the batting line for which we have been known has shown some disasters in last few months. VVS - retirement is on. Dravid still has some life (6 tons last year). Sachin,as an individual he has been performing odd fifties. Gambhir - wake up call. Sehwag - trump card(not dependable) Dhoni - not good for test captaincy.

  • Jaggadaaku on January 17, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    First time Mr. Cold said truth and meaning-less.

  • Liontamer on January 17, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    This is not Dhoni's fault. He is just taking it on his chin, because he is being a responsible captain. That's all. The bottom line is Aussies bowled a disciplined line and length which our batsmen frankly are not good enough to handle. IPL and 20-20 screwed up the discipline, patience and fous that the batsmen need for test cricket. The only solution for this problem is to have separate batting squads to play 20-20, one days and test cric. We got plenty of players to pack teams for each of these formats. For example yuvi, sehwag, yosuf, Dhoni, suresh raina etc should playing 20-20 and one days and keep away from test cricket altogether. Then there are test prospects like kohli, Rohit sharma, Robin uttappa etc should be protected and limit them to tests and one days. Of course the players have a choice.

  • rosltd1 on January 17, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Dhoni - Retire Now , Laxman OUT , Gambhir Out , -- Plenty of Young talent in india - Give them a chance

  • sachinsjaihindustan on January 16, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    Tysonlanka, you are right. The Australian bowlers were relentlesss, not only with their pace and swing, but more importantly with line and length. But there is no denying that the batting has been below par from India. It is concerning to see the same mode of dismissal over and over again. They are continuously playing the ball away from the body, in front of the pads. Hence they lose their balance with the defensive shots and end up offering catching practice to Brad Haddin and the slip cordon. Compare this to England in the ashes last year. They were so good in leaving the ball outside the off stump, forcing the Aussie bowlers to bowl more towards middle. Once that happened they would easily hit the ball throught the on side. Everyone can see the poor batting technique of Indian batsmen (except for Tendulkar at times, whose scored far more runs than his team mates). But it takes a lot of effort to correct these bad habits, once they become part of your game.

  • chak-day on January 16, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    2 simple reasons why india keep loosing outside india 1, The batsmen are not of a quality to face seam and swing. What Shoaib akhtar said about tendulkar is enough to semmerise. He (tendulkar) walked away without the ball nicked his bat (he cant face real pace and bounce). 2, The bowlers are not real threat to the world class batsmen. It is almost impossible for them to bowel out any world good batting team under 200.

    Be realistic, dhoni taking responsibility is not a reason.

  • GravyMon on January 16, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Part 2/4: Dhoni hangs around a little too much waiting for things to fall into place, while Rome burns in the process. Were I him, I would seek out the advice of past captains like Sourav Ganguly (still India's best captain), Anil Kumble or Kapel Dev. They were good gritty fighters, and could all teach him how to better marshal his troops; certainly more so than he has done so far. Although India has really never been a true No. 1 Test team, their best performances have been under the leadership of "We know, and they know, that we can beat them" Ganguly. The man never said die. The current situation is not as bad as 1976 when Bedi's team literally threw in the towel in a Test match in the WI, but it must still be quite painful for him to witness his country's gutless surrender.

  • GravyMon on January 16, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Part 3/4: Yes, it's true that India is an aging 11, but she still boasts 3 of the best Test batsmen today. With half a chance, that trio can plot and scheme to prevent losses, and even get the occasional victory. In the Series so far, they have had little chance to do either, partly because of Australia's ascendancy, mostly because overall leadership was found lacking.

    Dhoni hints at phasing in new blood, but is he aware that the blood type mostly in demand is of the captain's variety? Anyway, while new blood is vital to the survival of any team, no selection of infusion can help India unless attitudes change. India is highly vulnerable to sustained speed on fast bouncy tracks, and while BCCI's powers may seem limitless, I don't see any low dusty spin-assisted drop-in pitches on opponents' home turf. It's time to prepare better cricket wickets in India. Their batsmen and bowlers need to develop the proper technique for creditable performances on sporty pitches away from home.

  • GravyMon on January 18, 2012, 18:40 GMT

    Part 1/4 (Revised): Captain Dhoni's post-match mea culpa may have been quite the noble thing to do, if only he hadn't tried in the next breath to throw his young bowling charges under the bus. Have a thought for him, though; after all, it was under his watch and guidance that India lost 7 proverbial cricket battleships at sea, one after another. Loss is only acceptable when you have given of your best efforts and fall just short of your goal. India is yet to show up in the park and put her best on show.

    If Dhoni thinks that his batting was worse than his leadership on the field, and is of the honest opinion that he gave his best effort as captain, then it is quite evident that ship SS Cricket-India is in serious need of a steady hand at the wheel. A great Test captain once said that Captaincy is 90 per cent luck and 10 per cent skill, but that it shouldn't be tried without that 10 per cent. Dhoni, it would appear, lacks most of the 10%.

  • vint on January 18, 2012, 2:16 GMT

    Dhoni's a good captain, he just needs the right guys filling in the batting positions. I believe that dravid and laxman retire asap and tendulkar has to hang around for another year or so to help with the transition.... In terms of Fletcher look what he did with the england side in 2006 ashes in aus... best solution is to add kapil dev into the support staff roles

  • shreyas3305 on January 17, 2012, 6:59 GMT

    being a top team in the listings is easier than consistently maintaining it. Australia has shown this in the past. Now that India was on top in all three formats and now they have started declining, some things should be sorted out. Its not wise to blame an individual but we need to understand why dont we have good bowlers after the duo of J Srinath & V Prasad. Zaheer khan is over rated, half of his career was in the injury list. he should start thinking of retirement in long format of the game. Harbhajan is sure to comeback but i m impressed with Ashwin as well. Vinay Kumar has been given a lot of chances, he better starts playing the domestic competitions. coming to the batting line for which we have been known has shown some disasters in last few months. VVS - retirement is on. Dravid still has some life (6 tons last year). Sachin,as an individual he has been performing odd fifties. Gambhir - wake up call. Sehwag - trump card(not dependable) Dhoni - not good for test captaincy.

  • Jaggadaaku on January 17, 2012, 5:57 GMT

    First time Mr. Cold said truth and meaning-less.

  • Liontamer on January 17, 2012, 5:30 GMT

    This is not Dhoni's fault. He is just taking it on his chin, because he is being a responsible captain. That's all. The bottom line is Aussies bowled a disciplined line and length which our batsmen frankly are not good enough to handle. IPL and 20-20 screwed up the discipline, patience and fous that the batsmen need for test cricket. The only solution for this problem is to have separate batting squads to play 20-20, one days and test cric. We got plenty of players to pack teams for each of these formats. For example yuvi, sehwag, yosuf, Dhoni, suresh raina etc should playing 20-20 and one days and keep away from test cricket altogether. Then there are test prospects like kohli, Rohit sharma, Robin uttappa etc should be protected and limit them to tests and one days. Of course the players have a choice.

  • rosltd1 on January 17, 2012, 0:03 GMT

    Dhoni - Retire Now , Laxman OUT , Gambhir Out , -- Plenty of Young talent in india - Give them a chance

  • sachinsjaihindustan on January 16, 2012, 23:07 GMT

    Tysonlanka, you are right. The Australian bowlers were relentlesss, not only with their pace and swing, but more importantly with line and length. But there is no denying that the batting has been below par from India. It is concerning to see the same mode of dismissal over and over again. They are continuously playing the ball away from the body, in front of the pads. Hence they lose their balance with the defensive shots and end up offering catching practice to Brad Haddin and the slip cordon. Compare this to England in the ashes last year. They were so good in leaving the ball outside the off stump, forcing the Aussie bowlers to bowl more towards middle. Once that happened they would easily hit the ball throught the on side. Everyone can see the poor batting technique of Indian batsmen (except for Tendulkar at times, whose scored far more runs than his team mates). But it takes a lot of effort to correct these bad habits, once they become part of your game.

  • chak-day on January 16, 2012, 18:46 GMT

    2 simple reasons why india keep loosing outside india 1, The batsmen are not of a quality to face seam and swing. What Shoaib akhtar said about tendulkar is enough to semmerise. He (tendulkar) walked away without the ball nicked his bat (he cant face real pace and bounce). 2, The bowlers are not real threat to the world class batsmen. It is almost impossible for them to bowel out any world good batting team under 200.

    Be realistic, dhoni taking responsibility is not a reason.

  • GravyMon on January 16, 2012, 16:43 GMT

    Part 2/4: Dhoni hangs around a little too much waiting for things to fall into place, while Rome burns in the process. Were I him, I would seek out the advice of past captains like Sourav Ganguly (still India's best captain), Anil Kumble or Kapel Dev. They were good gritty fighters, and could all teach him how to better marshal his troops; certainly more so than he has done so far. Although India has really never been a true No. 1 Test team, their best performances have been under the leadership of "We know, and they know, that we can beat them" Ganguly. The man never said die. The current situation is not as bad as 1976 when Bedi's team literally threw in the towel in a Test match in the WI, but it must still be quite painful for him to witness his country's gutless surrender.

  • GravyMon on January 16, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Part 3/4: Yes, it's true that India is an aging 11, but she still boasts 3 of the best Test batsmen today. With half a chance, that trio can plot and scheme to prevent losses, and even get the occasional victory. In the Series so far, they have had little chance to do either, partly because of Australia's ascendancy, mostly because overall leadership was found lacking.

    Dhoni hints at phasing in new blood, but is he aware that the blood type mostly in demand is of the captain's variety? Anyway, while new blood is vital to the survival of any team, no selection of infusion can help India unless attitudes change. India is highly vulnerable to sustained speed on fast bouncy tracks, and while BCCI's powers may seem limitless, I don't see any low dusty spin-assisted drop-in pitches on opponents' home turf. It's time to prepare better cricket wickets in India. Their batsmen and bowlers need to develop the proper technique for creditable performances on sporty pitches away from home.

  • GravyMon on January 16, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Part 4/4: With Dhoni out for 1 Test, we get a peek at India future. There'll be no swan song for Laxman, and V Kumar carries the drinks. Kohli stays, Gambir gets a huge reprieve and Sehwag, well what can we say, he's the skipper. Tendulkar and Dravid not only speak for themselves, but they are actually India's main run getters, this Series and all time. Z Khan, I Sharma and U Yadav should do ok, just as long as they are managed properly. W Saha, R Sharma and R Ashwin / P Ojha should round out the team for Adelaide. It would be pretty sad if they ask Dravid to keep wicket just to play Laxman.

    As he serves out his ban, Dhoni should utilize the time to get a new perspective on his game. The view from the sidelines can sometimes be a bit of a rude awakening, and every once in a while something good will come of it. I'm still waiting, though, to see if the BCCI will bring about an overturn of his ban. For sure, they will try, and probably can. Remember Harbajan?

  • Vishu.Madishetty on January 16, 2012, 15:49 GMT

    Continuation of the previous post... He is very sharp, making good averages for himself by batting at 7 down and staying not out and then he will say top order is not performing well, why can't he step up and perform?... for IPL he will bat at 1 down, 2 down some time, why can't he do the same thing in ODI & Test matchs? He was luck to win the World Cup as a Captain!!!

  • rohanblue on January 16, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Dhoni plz dnt be dishearten, u r a winner, dnt listen 2 our stupid media or fans, u have given us some brilliant memories, we r going through a tough time, we cn surely overcome that, u r awesome dhoni, keep smilling, we r with u.....

  • Nutcutlet on January 16, 2012, 14:53 GMT

    It's noble of Dhoni to take the flak. His fearless attitude to loud & sustained criticism speaks well of the character of the man. As a test captain, he has shortcomings as many have noted, but he cannot be wholly responsible for the well below-par performances of the vast majority of his team or the limited resouces at his command. His attitude reminds me of those worthy young officers on the Western Front in World War I, leading his men from the front even if they are going to fall under intense enemy fire. Meanwhile, back at base (that's Mumbai in this instance) the generals (the BCCI) are sitting back, making light of the losses (fortunately test matches, not men) and ordering another scotch! It is they, the generals of Indian cricket, who are massively culpable for this fiasco, for India's failure to compete, far more so that the fall guy, the benighted captain at the front.

  • tan_vkfan on January 16, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    let people say anything i am feeling bad for dhoni....i mean it needs a big heart to take all blame on oneself if we did some loss to our friend we dont take the balme on us but dhoni has done the loss of our country still he is taking blame on himself..................i know he is not playing well,there is fault in his batting,captaincy etc but still it needs a big heart to take all balme on oneself

  • jayantac on January 16, 2012, 10:40 GMT

    Although it is true that Dhoni is not a capable captain in test cricket, Dhoni can not only be blamed for the debacle in Australia, it is the failure of so called great batting unit. Time has come when all senior players shown the door and play with a junior team for the future of Indian cricket

  • rajat-column on January 16, 2012, 10:00 GMT

    At least he has taken blame on himself rather than previous captains criticising their team's batting or bowling.

  • Tysonlanka on January 16, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Indian team, support staff, coach & BCCI should understand & accept the defeat to Australia & England was basically of good quality blowing which did not allow any batsman to counter attack when they kept loosing early wickets to the new ball. We got to understand batsman from the subcontinent will find it very hard to hit back and come on top when the foreign bowling attaches are this good in test match cricket How much changes we talk about is useless, if the current Indian team cant face this hostile bowling no other side can face it. this it the truth. Aussi side looks like it's back on track becoming the force they were and even better if they fine some good middle order batters and one good spinner.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 16, 2012, 8:26 GMT

    sir ,No comments are being added in this article, have u forgotten to take a look ?

  • dmqi on January 16, 2012, 8:17 GMT

    Man, why don't you retire now. You are not a test player. You were gifted the world cup by the Pak fielders, you know that. Go away with the old players and give the youngers a chance, they can take the match to 5th day for the spectators.

  • Anup82 on January 16, 2012, 8:06 GMT

    Well its ok, as a leader Dhoni takes responsibility.everyone knows that things are not going well, batsmen are aware of their job but somehow are not able to come out of the bad patch. But what next? this definately cant continue for long. I have sincerely believed that since last year the selectors should have rotated the sniors. ie play only two senoirs per series. For example Sehwag and Dravid ( since thay have contrasting styles),can play in one test series. In next one sachin and laxman can play. By this way we are able to fill in two youngsters and that too at different batting slots (this will aid to nurture /find specialists like openers-middle order batsmen) . The seniors too are rested sufficiently and their use-by date can be extended. For long term, BCCI with all its money/power can have bilateral ti-ups with some english counties to exchange players for some seasons so that our Ranji players can play there and their talent can come here and play in our conditions.

  • world.cricketer on January 16, 2012, 7:25 GMT

    "I am the main culprit" this statement just want to escape from the criticism the real test was started to indian captain just 7 months before and he decided to quit one of the formats why not quit IPL and CLT20 to play for india.............i think need a better captain and coach for team india

  • world.cricketer on January 16, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    he is not so good captain in any format only he is too lucky person, because u see gambhir won5-0 against NZ, sehwag won 4-1 and even suresh raina was able to produce good results in ODI's only thing is the whole team needs to do well to win matches

  • crindex on January 16, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    The real culprit is not Dhoni, not the players and not even the selctors and BCCI. Its the Indian Fan who is either extemely focussed on individual glory and achivements and records than collective team success. The Indian psyche is one that of hero worship and witch hunting. Both are the reason for India's failures abroad. Also indian payers are too pampered by Indian Fan's adoration at home, they miss it sorely , abroad. This is another unmotivating factor for players playing abroad.

  • johnathonjosephs on January 16, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    why did dhoni drop the 2nd most successful batsman in the team (Ashwin) for a joke of a bowler? reminds me of his incredulous RP Singh decision for the England tour. Dhoni must be watching those IPL highlights

  • Juniorklassy on January 16, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Well Said Dhoni, yeah we are disappointed as Followers of Indian Team, but, no one goes to Lose, when they go on the field, specially when they are representing their Country.. Yes if you analyse the performances of our Team for last 10 yrs away tours, we have definetely done a good job, just these two series (England & Aus)...where we haven't done well at all... just like a player goes through a bad phase, a team can too, all we can do is just have some patience & application and then things will be right on track...! my good wishes to you & the Team for the rest of the Tour..!!! Cheers !

  • royramesh on January 16, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    It takes a brave and honourable man to accept blame; I applaude you MS. Now be more brave and honourable and resign from Test cricket and let a proper keeper take over. You have a role to play in ODI and T20 cricket.Best wishes.

  • Vignesh289 on January 16, 2012, 5:53 GMT

    Dhoni retires after 2013!!!!!!!!!!coz after 2013 only, india is going to play test in other countries..so he decided to captain the winning side in home condition, get good name and retire from test proudly...clever captain:P

  • TheOnlyEmperor on January 16, 2012, 5:31 GMT

    As long as you keep doing the same things you will definitely get the same results. With this thought in mind if one were to look into the batting techniques of the Indian team especially outside India, the" mystery" of India's disastrous performance abroad gets easily unravelled!

  • Desihungama on January 16, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Yeah one thing you can do is stop playing cricket outside of India. In fact, if anyone else wants to play any cricket from now on, can only play in India. BCCI should pull the sponsors plug on all 10 Test playing countries. Really, I expected a lot better from India. If not for the sake of winning odd series away in Australia then at least for the sake of competitive cricket? You still wanna take Bangladesh's Test status away? Sigh-

  • burner1985 on January 16, 2012, 5:03 GMT

    Not a fan of Indian Cricket but Dilshan should take a leaf out of Dhoni's book, accept your own mistakes rather than passing on the blame to others.

  • Rahul_78 on January 16, 2012, 4:59 GMT

    Just have a look at MSD's 2nd innings dismissal at WACA. With 3 sleeps and gully in place he was playing a full bowl outside off stump with angular bat trying to guide it through covers but ended up giving catching practice to the sleep fielder. This is a bread and butter shot for him in ODIs which if he nicks fetches him a single to third man. But captain forgot that he was playing a test match in OZ. It was a terrible attempt on MSDs part to put bat on ball. That too when young Virat was fighting it out at other end. Also it is baffling to see his lack of confidence in Ozha. As Ian Chapell sumed it up nicely..it was plain 'Stupid' to pick 4 seamers on Perth wicket.

  • ravi-1967 on January 16, 2012, 4:15 GMT

    A very frank talk by Dhoni. It needs guts to accept your mistake and this guy has it all. A captain is as good as the team and just blaming Dhoni is not right. Dropping him as a test captain is also not right. When the team fails collectively no strategy would work. Dhoni tries his best.

    The past cricketeers comment what they want to, to gain lime light. Ganguly had problems with Chappel and every one was behind him. He needs to understand the dynamics instead of commenting like this.

    Fletcher - not sure what he has been doing. The moment he has come in things have gone horribly wrong. England also did not do well during his tenure but he helped create a bunch of good guys who later on took England to number 1 status. Hope he can do the same thing with us.

  • Semoli on January 16, 2012, 3:53 GMT

    I am happy Dhoni has identified the problem, how about correcting it? again, Correcting IT, not correcting HIM!!

  • VikkuVinakaram on January 16, 2012, 3:50 GMT

    Sounds sad - just a while ago this man was so well respected ... just goes to show we dont dictate anything ... it is all pre-destined ... the very thought is very humbling to me ...

  • himanshu.team on January 16, 2012, 3:15 GMT

    It is time to take some harsh decisions. Not all harsh decisions can be taken right away, but for a start Drop Laxman and Demote Dravid to lower down the order. Let Kohli be at no. 3, Tendulkar no. 4 and Rohit Sharma at no. 5. Dravid should come in at no. 6 ahead of Dhoni. If Dhoni can not raise his batting in next test, he should consider quitting test cricket right now, rather than at the end of 2013.

  • segga-express on January 16, 2012, 2:47 GMT

    Dhoni is of course the only person who knows how seriously he is taking something. But part of taking it seriously surely is to appear as though you are taking it seriously, not appear as though you are disinterested.

  • satish619chandar on January 16, 2012, 2:31 GMT

    He is indeed.. Apart from bad batting in almost every innings, his captaincy and motivation to the fellow players was terribly missing.. As a captain, he should have done better things and then if it failed, fans might forgive.. First test was entirely his fault and not encouraging the bowlers when Clarke-Ponting partnership was a crime after 37-3.. For the first time ever, i was pissed off against Dhoni.. Never thought this would happen..

  • criccritic1 on January 16, 2012, 1:41 GMT

    Why India is not getting rid of Dhoni?? hope some of the selectors start thinking and talking about it in public!!!!

    Dhoni must leave...

    he is not contributing anything to the team. being cool does not mean anything as it does not help Indian team at all!!

  • couchpundit on January 16, 2012, 1:40 GMT

    I dont see Mr.Tendulkars face at all, nor his name mentioned. LOL Mr.Tendulkar came forward and blabbered a lot, couldnt hear any words form him after england and Australia?

    BCCI and Indian media needs to put him where he belongs, guy is not capable of performing when needed. so much for a legend.

    Great Captaincy from Dhoni in not highlighting about those Big guns failures and taking the blame on his batting.

    there is no point cribbing about indian bowling when you cant pick Pathan but bowlers from Karnataka(thanks to vested interest and regional influence.)

  • Meety on January 16, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    Consistancy is a problem for the bowlers. They were good if you took out the 214 run openning stand at the WACA, but were horrible in Sydney Day 2 & 3. Dhoni is right in that the bowlers did stray onto the pads too often & he had to split his field. Sometimes though you need to set the field you want & force the bowlers to do as you say. He didn't do that.

  • Claydo78 on January 15, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    Dhoni isn't a bad captain, however he is a terrible number 7! He doesn't seem to trust his tail Enders at all to hold up an end so what results is you have the last 5 batters Playing 20/20 cricket and getting out cheaply! Dhoni needs to go up the order to already 4 or possibly even to open the innings. He is a talented batter just needs to be surrounded by other batters to have a better chance to score big runs! Z.Khan needs to bat at 11, if he wants to bat like an 11 then put him there!

  • Masking_Tape on January 15, 2012, 23:39 GMT

    At least he is looking at their mistakes, unlike some of the other players and BCCI.

    India's attitude will only hurt them. They can't blame the luck or wait for a Home series to take revenge. With this attitude India will never be good away from home. Simple as that. Accept the problems and try to fix them, instead of denying it and convince yourself you are doing just fine.

  • mottstreetmoth on January 15, 2012, 23:37 GMT

    What a poor excuse for a leader, they really need to inject some youth into the test team and get a strong man to take them forward. To much emphasis has been highlighted on the World Cup win which was on sub continent conditions anyway. MS Dhoni was the captain of a team which played very well, it seems to have papered over the qualities needed for Test matches. A "test" is as the name suggests and requires hard leaders. Australia need to shed a wicketkeeper and a few more batsmen if we want to challenge England.

  • AH_USA on January 15, 2012, 23:02 GMT

    In order for Dhoni to inspire his team, which is considered as one of the main traits of a captain, he will need to lead from the front, something that is seriously lacking in all these defeats. He is not scoring at all which may be a reflection of his own confidence at the moment. His display of cool demeanors defeats after defeats makes little or no sense because as a captain, he should be angry. Historically speaking , batting has been India's strength but not necessarily overseas though. India needs to produce quality bowlers because it is generally bowlers who play a vital role in teams successes. Just because a team puts a high total on the score board with its strong batting lineup is not enough. You will also need to get the other team out and if you do not have quality bowlers, I am not sure how you would do that. Finally, BCCI's repeated denial that IPL is not playing a role in India's fatigue is not going to help India's test future.

  • smudgeon on January 15, 2012, 23:00 GMT

    I don't get the praise heaped on Dhoni - he seems far too defensive a captain in tests. Perhaps we'll see the "real" Dhoni during the ODI series...but so far, he hasn't done a lot here to warrant the cult-like status he seems to enjoy at home.

  • chokkashokka on January 15, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    The real culprit is the CA board for serving these grazing fields. World cricket is going to get so bitterly polarized due to the quality of the wickets that are being served by Australia, England and SA. What do you think India and SL are going to serve up for their home tests? TEst cricket is so over - Indian audiences have switched off their tv sets for this current series. They will only watch the home series - CA have just killed the hen that lay its golden eggs.

  • Flat_Track_bullies on January 15, 2012, 21:56 GMT

    Indian batsmen need to play county - australian local matches - ditto like most teams are getting used to indian conditions via IPL -

    zaheer learnt his trade playing county we all know...

  • willmot on January 15, 2012, 21:08 GMT

    No, the cowardly selectors are the main culprits for giving dhoni a side already proven to have no fight, ageing stars and prima donna youngsters

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 20:55 GMT

    All the discussion about change in captainship is nonesense. Along with Azharuddin and Ganguly, Dhoni is among the best captains we ever had. In the past we have experimented with Tendulkar, Dravid etc. but all the experiments have been disasters one after another. I think only the fools are asking for a change in gaurd.

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on January 15, 2012, 20:50 GMT

    Yes Dhoni. Thanks for accepting it at last. And now, please leave us unfortunate fans alone. Please go. Thanks much for your mindless defensive captaincy and letting tailenders off the hook from Srilanka to Australia. Go man go. Please! Your Yamahas and Ducatis are waiting for you. I'm gutted boss......go now...

  • SmartStrategy on January 15, 2012, 20:32 GMT

    It was a batting disaster from all of Indian players, can't blame a single one. However, there are clear reasons for that. India had a great chance to win in Melbourne, and due to poor captaincy, the Aussie tale end batsmen scored quite a bit of runs and that made the difference apart from the sudden batting collapse of Indian first innings. In Sydney, only time it was helpful for bowlers was first session of the first day and MS Dhoni should have asked Aussie to bat first. After that it was a batting paradise. Even Dhoni scored a 50, and in Second Innings, team India scored 400. Even England created the same situation when Aussie batted first in Sydney in the last Ashes. Perth was definitely difficult for batsmen. It was Warner's Innings that made the difference. Vinaya Kumar's inclusion was a horrible decision. 125k speed in Perth can only help batsmen. You can see Aussie lost 10-wickets within 150 runs too. Ishant needs to fix his bowling. It's not just luck, he has to pitch up more

  • srikrishsri on January 15, 2012, 20:17 GMT

    Appreciate Dhoni for accepting the real fact behind the dismal performance of team india overseas.... But the team needs a motivational leader rather than a cool head...

  • Philip_Gnana on January 15, 2012, 20:05 GMT

    Dhoni, being the gentleman that he is, is not shirking from his responsibilities and is taking his share of the blame. The worry for Inida is their batting. It is rather strange that the guys who are not performing are the senior batsmen who have all been in the IPL and on other tours. The same goes for the senior players in Sri Lanka too. IPL is the common factor. I do not doubt that Dhoni is serious. The captain can only be good as the team. This is he best team that India could have put out and they seem to be wanting. Complacency, familiarity, IPL???? Philip Gnana, Surrey

  • SRT_GENIUS on January 15, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Agreed that Dhoni has played a big role in these defeats by not taking one of the seniors to task, Or, not trying out the correct talent in WI earlier. But you can't blame him for saying that he will reconsider his future in 2013 (He also said he might give up captaincy in ODIs). He knows his body wouldn't be able to take the same stress when he is 32+.And he doesn't wants to give ample time to board and selectors to plan and not drop a bomb. He also knows that he is vital to team's success in ODI format but not really an equal when it comes to being tests - obviously at 30 he can't simple reinvent himself into a technically perfect test batsman. So if you try to understand where he is coming from, his 2013 plans are not selfish or anti-test (If Sehwag or Gayle say that - it might look ODI/T20 centric as they do make an impact on Tests as well). Ganguly, IMHO, tends to be a wee bit jealous with Dhoni- though the whole country (including Dhoni) gives credit to Ganguly for the revival.

  • ARad on January 15, 2012, 19:30 GMT

    Bowlers win Test matches but batsmen should support them. I am not sure wholesale changes will benefit India. I am a Dravid fan and I thought he should have retired about a year ago but we know what he did last year. I am also a Laxman fan and let's not forget that some of the memorable Indian victories in the very recent past were due to him. Players such as Raina and Yuvraj are not very successful outside subcontinent(-like) conditions because the pitches in which they play most games do not prepare them to play Test matches in other conditions. An under performing Indian team (or any other team) is not good for world cricket so I hope the INDIAN FANS would SCREAM AT BCCI to make changes such as to diversify local PITCHES and modify the CALENDAR (more tours and first class matches to expose Indian players to diverse conditions). India should also send young promising players such as Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Mukund and Pujara to play at least club cricket in SA, Aus and Eng.

  • tusharkardile on January 15, 2012, 18:56 GMT

    "I am the main culprit - Dhoni" - First sensible analysis ever from MSD!

  • anita1_cric on January 15, 2012, 18:50 GMT

    we all know that .................when will u, srt and zaheer will be dropped ......The tag fluke confirms it ..............

  • mahe_28 on January 15, 2012, 18:42 GMT

    So, Indian team can enjoy 2 more holidays. Match performance ? Bowling - Why Indians were not able to create the same pressure against their batting? Because of poor bowling. Though Indians bowled well in the second day, they bowled a boundary ball each over.The rise in scoreboard relaxes them. But australians are bowling one boundary per 5 overs. So even in dravid/kholi face 100 balls,they were able to hit only around 10 boundaries. Need to reduce the error rate in field set up / loose delivery / bowling to batsmen strength / misfield / bowling to tailenders. Batting - Except Dravid, Kholi, no one were determined. How easy to get Shewag, Lakshman, Dhoni to get out. Captaincy- Not did well. Should be always on the edge, sharp, agressive when needed (at least, when bowling to tailenders).

  • Abhimanyu on January 15, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    He is the biggest disappointment of this tour. At least all the senior players were picked due to their past performances. Dhoni has nothing to show to be considered at test level. If he wanted to do any good for the team, then now would be the best time to announce his retirement from test cricket, along with Dravid. Why wait till 2013? So then, whats the hold-up for? What are these guys (except Tendulkar) waiting for? They want to return home and play against weaker oppositions and pile their runs on flat pitches, then announce their retirement in pride? I think so...DO IT NOW, PLEASE!!

  • Punjin on January 15, 2012, 18:24 GMT

    It takes courage to admit fault n it takes a brave man to realize n take action. I see no action from Dhoni. Not that I blame him, leadership requires recognition of problems and doing something about it. He & management failed to make changes but now will be forced to make in 4th test. Strange that there is no mention of poor fielding that is bleeding runs. Mr. Dhoni, time is to act now n not wait to get to India n win home series. Take break from 4th test along with Laxman, Dravid & Sehwag. Prepare for one dayers and T20 and make India proud. Faliure is with management, selectors n coaching- not realizing who is Fit for what aspect of game. I salute you Dhoni for what you have accomplished for India but may be its time to excuse yourself from tests. Show leadership by example, hopefully others will follow and retire. Its time INDIA to thank Dravid and Laxman- great players, great contributions. Diff. roles await- mentors, coach & develop youth. What a great way to give back.

  • m_ilind on January 15, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    Has India's batting left everyone speechless, that the captain is ready to take the blame? How does it matter who is the captain, if the batting is so woeful?

  • thenkabail on January 15, 2012, 18:22 GMT

    No one is really talking of real problems facing Indian cricket. For that one should love the game from bottom of their heart. The first culprit is BCCI. That is one useless organization. First, India should create 3 pitches in every stadium in India. For example, Bangalore must have a fast grassy pitch, a slow turner, and a pitch that gives equally for batsmen and bowlers. Ranji and Deleep Matches must be played on these different pitches. So, players are well prepared (both batsmen and bowlers). Second, A teams should be sent frequently abroad, so we have an excellent set of back up players. Third, what is India's coach doing there. He should be sacked. In the third test, they should have dropped Laxman, sent Kohli at # 3, Rohit at #4, Tendulkar at #5, and Dravid at #6. Fourth, players must be rotated so well that no one complains of fatigue and everyone is fresh. None of these are happening because BCCI is busy making money and Players have become sefish. Get me to run BCCI!

  • Rakim on January 15, 2012, 17:57 GMT

    I wouldn't say anybody is "culprit" here. Whole world knows Indian batsmen are incompetent against seam/bounce. And their "fast" bowlers won't be selected in any local team in SA/Eng/Aus/Pak. Speed Limit=70MPH

  • slashsharma on January 15, 2012, 17:38 GMT

    Brave man to admit his failure and faults!

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    This is not fair. why is every one putting so much pressure on Dhoni. What can he do when the entire team is failiing. In any case what other option do we have. He is indias best captain till date. In the Past we have tried so many captains, including the Tendulkar and Dravid. Nothing has worked. Dhoni is not the porblem. The problem is aging players. by bring in youth it willl also improve the fielding big time. which in turn will automatically help the Bowling.

  • Cpt.Meanster on January 15, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    At least MS Dhoni has spoken with some humility. This is what many people admire him for. I feel sorry for him. I mean there is only so much a captain can do. However.. he has become quite defensive the last 1 year or so. His tactics are poor and he has no clue what's happening once the opposition get on top. I think Dhoni needs to contemplate his own test career after this series. It's time for CHANGE in Indian cricket. Dhoni can still remain captain of the ODI and T20 teams. In test cricket we need a specialist and a proud Indian. A person who could take India back where it belongs - at the top. MSD needs to quit tests in the near future and just do what he is good at doing - playing attacking ODI/T20 cricket.

  • givemefood on January 15, 2012, 17:32 GMT

    Dhoni.. good to read that you're willing to take the heat for the losses but there's no saving of your team by having dead beats like Dravid and VVS. Haters are going to target you but they're ignoring the biggest problem in your team who are Dravid and VVS. They won't go on their own.. they need to be shown the door.

  • Scallopian on January 15, 2012, 17:25 GMT

    He is the best captain to have at the present moment. I really respect his honesty- he is not afraid to take blame for the situation and the failure of his batting line-up. Indian fans like me may feel extremely disappointed at this time (and rightfully so!), but we should not vent our anger against the captain. I also do not agree with Ganguly's comments- Dhoni is definitely a better ODI/T20 player than a Test player. But to say that he is "disinterested" is a bit too much. After all, this was the guy that got us to the No. 1 Test ranking in the first place. I am pretty sure this series is going to be a 4-0 for Australia, but we need not lose faith in our team. Real fans give their support during the tough times.

  • chiggers on January 15, 2012, 16:55 GMT

    "If you are not consistent when it comes to the line and length, with nine fielders if you want to have two slips and a gully and the rest of the fielders to defend, it becomes really difficult. That's what the Australians have taught us, how to be consistent in bowling lines and lengths. Ultimately force the batsman to make a mistake."

    The English bowlers that did that to you all summer didn't teach you that then? You didn't learn anything from that at all? It was blindingly obvious to everyone else watching (apart from the one-eyed fanatics who blamed everything else but the failings of their team). No wonder Australia beat you so easily...

  • SAJIL_KERALA on January 15, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    No Ex-cricketers dare to talk about phasing out the Dinasaur of Indian cricket who is obsessed with statistics and averages. BCCI please arrange 50 ODI involving Bangladesh, Kenya, USA, Tanzania, Uganda, Mongolia, Estonia, Latvia, Maldives, Nepal, Somalia - in home grounds like Pune or Indore. I know that apartment from BD, none of the nations mentioned have ODI status. Since BCCI is BCCI they can force ICC to bend rules to accommodate ODI status. I am sure, the Dinasaur will score 25 laborious ODI out of the 50which will strech the his international centuries to 124.I hope he or the media will not wait for 125th ODI.

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 16:46 GMT

    The Garry - Dhoni partnership was a big hit. get back Garry.

  • honestno2 on January 15, 2012, 16:42 GMT

    Person who is close to play 200 test.....y cant bat ??? how sellfish.... I am not blaming dhoni because i dun even consider him a batsmen....

  • RaMin90 on January 15, 2012, 16:32 GMT

    If he's the main 'culprit' then he shouldn't even be the captain. There should be no excuses from the Indian Team because they have done this far too often. They have been playing far too much cricket over the past couple of years maybe they need a long break and then comeback and re-group. I don't understand why the other big teams invite India to play a full series when they're getting thrashed. India don't even invite the minnows but just look at them, they're playing the worst of cricket, even worse than Sri Lanka. I don't understand how the Indian Team will manage once their most experience players leave the scene. There's even talk of Dhoni retiring from the game. I think once Sachin gets his 100th hundred, he should retire. Both his awaiting century and possibly the IPL are ruining the Cricket of India

  • RK.Chandru on January 15, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    With his unimaginative and defensive field placements and by not being bold enough to rest useless openers and to ask Dravid to open with Rahane, by not guding the tail with his presence in the middle, by selecting a 123kph Vinaykumar ahead of a Ojha or Ashwin and by denying a better player his well deserved chance with his presence in the team, Dhoni can very well call himself as the MAIN CULPRIT.

  • Vishal_07 on January 15, 2012, 16:25 GMT

    Collective batting failure, even by the so called young guns. Really disappointed in Gambhir and Sehwag. The Indian pitches should not be made bouncy, not for international matches anyway. Where will be the home advantage then. The Indian batsmen need to play in Country cricket. Not against IPL either, it is a good way to get new players and get them experience playing along stars such as Warner - Ashwin, Rahul Sharma, Manish Tiwary, etc.

  • Raj12345 on January 15, 2012, 16:11 GMT

    What Dhoni said it is repeated words of Aswin made 2 weeks before. Only difference is Aswin will be out of team slowly in all formats, because he told truth. But Dhoni will be playing next 5 years till India goes to outside sub-continent.

  • charanpatcha on January 15, 2012, 16:10 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain der is no doubt about it.. but he should look over his batting in longer formats. good to hear that he took all d blame on him. now its time to induce youngsters in a sequence in the team. i think even axing seniors(laxman or gambhir) does not guarentee a win in d fourth test.

  • VickGower on January 15, 2012, 16:08 GMT

    Lot of people will continue to go after Dhoni. But India has got no greater leader than Dhoni. He, his team, his brand of cricket has picked us up many times, it is time now for the Indian fans to pick him up. If anything, it is to his tremendous credit that despite the whitewash in England he continued to provide cover to the seniors (batters and bowlers) who clearly overstayed their ability. He says that he is the main culprit because he did not bat well. Yes, he did not bat well, but who did? The skyscrapers of the game - Sehwag, Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman - all more or less failed. At least he was keeping wickets and keeping exceptionally well. We tend to take that for granted, but look at Haddin. Dhoni should be given a young team like he was in ODI cricket - he should be given the right tools. He should be fully supported because greater disaster awaits India if Dhoni is lost too. I think we just found out what we have got in the so-called alternatives - Gambhir/Sehwag.

  • Bang_La on January 15, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    Being billboard heroes and modelling corporate products, supported by biased media to make supporters believe that India is #1, and bullying power politics at ICC would not make a cricket team. A cricket team should have players who can play cricket, have courage, love and honour motherland would produce cricketers, look at Sakib Al Hasan. Learn from him.

  • x-squire-x on January 15, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    the more dhoni speaks, the less sense he makes... time for india to change their captain and get rid of a couple of the older heads, otherwise they would end up like the west indies and take a decade to finally get back on track.

  • Vpx23 on January 15, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    GET MORE COMPETITIVE PITCHES WHICH ASSISTS BOTH THE QUICKS AND THE BATSMEN. REST WILL ALL FALL IN PLACE.

  • Nampally on January 15, 2012, 15:58 GMT

    There was no back up opening bat either. Mukund who was tried in England shoulod have been that guy & he was in good form scoring heavily in Ranji this year.After second test he was justified in asking for Irfan Pathan (all rounder), A.Dinda (Seamer) & Mukund (opening bat).This would have Dhoni more options for his XI. Lack of all rounders in the team hurt India very badly.Finally the Captaincy was thrust upon Dhoni. He is not an outgoing type of personality.He is not an authoritative or inspirational Captain with leadership qualities like say Gary Sobers, Kumble or Kapil.Amongst the younger players only Kohli fits this bill.India needs to have 3 different captains for 3 formats to develop future caprains.Dhoni is successful only when batting & bowling produce.He lacks the killer instint which makes a team lacking in intensity - failure to finish the tail or a player to rise up with big score when team needs one.A"person guy" is the best captain.Dhoni lacks it thats why he is Mr. COOL!

  • Vpx23 on January 15, 2012, 15:54 GMT

    THE BIGGEST MISTAKE THAT GARY MADE IN HIS OTHERWISE EXCELLENT RESUME WAS RECOMMEND FLETCHER TO THE BCCI.

    NOW THE BCCI NEEDS TO BE DUNKIN FLETCHER BY A MILE

  • SAJIL_KERALA on January 15, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    Laxman will be made scapegoat. Non playing captain will remain and lead the team for next two years.

  • Empty-Sequence on January 15, 2012, 15:43 GMT

    Feel sorry for the guy. What will the captain do when he has a set of mediocre bowlers except zak and his batsman fails miserably. He is still the best wk batsman in India and the best captain - who will take over from him Sehwag(lol),Gambhir,Ishant,Parthiv patel.

  • Nampally on January 15, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Dhoni is right when he says he is the main culprit!. As a captain his selection of final XI was never based on current form. He missed a goldern chance to play Rohit Sharma thrice. Many fans were of the opinion that both Rohit & Kohli should play at the expense of one of the Fab 3. Before the 3rd test there was a full column dedicated to Rohit in place of Laxman.But Dhoni is so stubborn that his opinion always prevails over rest of the World!.Even playing Ashwin as a batsman made more sense than playing out of form VVS.As a captain he needs to talk to his wayward bowlers more directing them sternly to stick to lin & length - he never does.He "needs to prepare his bowlers where they should bowl & to what field". He needs to demand replacements when his players are failing - instead of calling this "the Best team" .He is the guy responsible for results. So he has a right to get right players.Clearly Vinay & Mithun needed to be replaced by another seamer + an all rounder. (continued)

  • raveekoomar on January 15, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    Mr.Dhoni why retire in 2013 when you take the whole blame yourself? Be more favouring to the team, and i mean TEST TEAM, please do retire now itself and concentrate on just T20 and one dayers. You can be a legend in those two but test matches are the real characters as the great Sunil Gavaskar will tell you. All you want is how the 200 crore deal you had recently can be more money thats it. If am the chief selector i will immediately replace Dhoni for the future coming test matches with immediate effect. Period. No more comments.

  • dmqi on January 15, 2012, 15:34 GMT

    If you are the main culrit, then step down as Shahid Afridi did, not in the middle of the tour but after 4th test, which will be a lost match. The team will get another batsman.India is sticking with same team for a long time, you need to overhaul. There are the things ? no, there were the things needed to be careful about. BRING GANGULY back.

  • Crazy4cricket40 on January 15, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    Zaheer khan should be Captain for Test side. Dhoni should be retained as wk/batsmen for at least 1-2 series, if he does not perform drop him. Sehwag and gambhir should also be dropped from Test side. Bring new talents

  • AbdullahShaikh on January 15, 2012, 15:31 GMT

    I think unnecesarily everyone is pestering Dhoni. What other choice do we have in Captains. We have tried the big names of Tendulkar and Dravid, they were horrible. We know that Dhoni is better, infact one of the best in the world. In any case, What is his fault. if the selectors give him the serniors in the XV, then he is under presure to play them in the XI. I think all countries struggle in foreign Conditions. And the indian team plays a llot of circket at home. More specially with the advent of IPL and ICL. Their batting style and bowling habits are bound to be hardwired in the subcontinent conditons. The change cannot be easy, though in bowling Zaheeer has adjusted and we would expect the same with Ishant. But Ishant has dissapointed again. The pleasant surpirise wias Yadav.

  • samonly007200 on January 15, 2012, 15:28 GMT

    Cannot blame Dhoni foe all defeats as it collective failure.. Bowlers not delivering batsmen not scoring. But dhoni played politics which is not good. He has some problem with Irfan Pathan.. I wonder why. He was dearly needed by team India... Specially at Perth. Also more because he made a good come back and was bowling at good speed too. Second problem was not picking Rohit sharma.. May be would also not have clicked... But not thinking out of the box was a problem. He should have asked for irfan Pathan to be drafted in the team and allowed Rohit sharma to play a game..when the moral is down u need something... A captains innings was also missing but again one cannot demmnd everything from one person. He is human.

  • s3ns3 on January 15, 2012, 15:23 GMT

    Dhoni is just truly awesome!

  • mayakee on January 15, 2012, 15:21 GMT

    Dhoni is right. People tend to easily blame our bowlers but lets face it, bowling has never ever been India's strength. We have always boasted of one of the best batting line-ups in the world but more often than not it has been strong only on paper. Most of the good batting performances abroad have been due to Sehwag and Dravid. Once these two have stopped performing, you can see how pathetic the batting looks. Sachin seems to be passionate about batting and his own scores but has never been passionate about winning. Given his supreme talent, I think he has grossly underachieved in test cricket in terms of value for the team. It is nice to see a captain take complete responsibility for defeat. MSD is very sensible and has a lot of insight. It is time for Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman to hang their boots. I think Dhoni should retire from tests and Dinesh Karthik should come in. Sehwag and Gambhir should be rested as well till they find form. But then, who will be the next test captain?

  • Capt.Hilts on January 15, 2012, 15:06 GMT

    Atleast Dhoni has done first step right. He has accepted the mistakes where they really are and also not blamed it all on Coach. Some people are arguing that its just an acceptance to woo fans and nothing else. Time will tell. This debacle happened because of various factors. Indian team underestimated Australian Bowling, probably unintentionally. Siddle & Hilfenhaus were poor in previous games and suddenly they became vicious pacers. They could have done their homework on Pattinson, he has been talked about since months. Another factor for failure is that suddenly Pitches in England, Australia are returning to their natural state. They were pretty flat in 2003/4 and 2007/8 tours down under, now they are better sporting tracks. All said, Indian Batsmen with their experience should have countered these tracks and bowlers, they failed. Unfortunately wrong people will be axed. Dravid may be one, but he should be the last senior going out. Laxman, Tendulkar first ones.

  • sylvester.stallone on January 15, 2012, 15:02 GMT

    every indian fan should ignore these press conferences

  • itsthewayuplay on January 15, 2012, 14:56 GMT

    Traditionally batting has been India's strength so in the past runs on the board gave India the best chance to win tests overseas and at home. India was won most of our overseas matches on good batting tracks. Now Aus has changed its pitches, IMO for the better, to green tops, so on good bowling wickets and in conditions conducive to bowling such as India have faced in Eng and now Aus, the weakness of India's bowling has been ruthlessly and humiliatingly exposed. Par scores for the Eng tour and the Aus so far should been between 250 to 280. That India has not consistently achieved par scores is due to batting failure as a unit. That Eng and Aus have consistently scored at least 300+ against India is due to bowling failure as a unit. The priorities must change - rather choosing than players who they think will win, Ind must select players who they think can adjust to the conditions and compete.

  • RK.Chandru on January 15, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    It's not that, there are no better players around. Deserving players must be given exposure at inter zonal competitions and practice matches against visiting teams. There should be 3 different teams under 3 different captains for each format (Tests, ODIs & T20s) of the game. This will give fair chances to all good players and players will not complain of overwork and exhaustion; hence, less injury risks too. Any player however great he may be should be replaced if fails in consecutive 4 or 6 innings not withstanding the idiotic saying, "form is temporary ans class is permanent". But, all this won't sure fall in the deaf ears of men concerned. But if only someone has an idea of marketing the game better and making some more money, they'll be too interested to give their ears and time. That's how, things run here.

  • rapidchase88 on January 15, 2012, 14:43 GMT

    Well, All 7 batsman failed in this series, all except Dravid failed in England. when team is failed, loss come to captain head. captain also failed. Finally it goes on coach head.coach also failed. Finally India failed. So total India Lost. Blame games started, some says IPL some says delhi boys some says hyderabadi, some other says all seniors are faulty. some says our dogs can bark at home only, outside tails can't go up. Some says Indian can play only on flat and spin pitches not on bouncy and swinging fast pitches. Some times too many blames irritating to read and head-ache at many things. Mr. Chikka (srikanth) has got lot of work to do. Who will get chopped when all failed, all can not chop then whom on what basis. TOUGH. But this problem., failing outside INDIA is happening from few decades, nothing new. We are never so great in outside INDIA in 50 years. After world-cup winning we are not able bare these losses, Except few players as a TOTAL TEAM winning very very rare outside.

  • getgopi on January 15, 2012, 14:41 GMT

    "There is only one instance where we have scored over 350 [in the second innings in Sydney]."

    Yeah, and it was Ashwin who took the score to 400!

  • Romenevans on January 15, 2012, 14:33 GMT

    Blah Blah Blah...same old speech repeated again and again...why do you cricket media guys even spend money on coverage, hotel rooms and stuff like that, just record one speech and play it over and over again...Don't waste your money on Dhoni Folks..Please! Period.

  • SagirParkar on January 15, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    these are courageous and brave words from Dhoni.. no indian captain has till date accepted full responsibility in so many words.. Dhoni has character, he is a leader of men but the bcci needs to realise that he should be allowed to build his team rather than burdening him with players that are clearly past their prime.. team india need an athletic outfit and half of the current one do not achieve that purpose.. Dhoni should still be the captain and India need to get those necessary changes in team composition, not to mention work on fielding, fitness and consistency...

  • kat73 on January 15, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    After seven straight losses outside India, Dhoni is the main culprit? One of many in this one sided series. Dhoni as captain has to take the heat, but when the captain of your national team is talking of retirement from test cricket in 2013 and appearing to be disintersted in test cricket it begs the question why is Dhoni captaining the "2nd Best" team in test cricket? Dhoni's lack of runs and poor wicket keeping technique/captaincy mirror that of the Indian team as a whole. This current Indian team is a team of culprits. Hard to find postitives to come out of this series from an Indian perspective. Sadly for India, and facts support that India have struggled to compete outside India. Seven losses in a row, just one innings total over 300 and a bowling attack that is competative at best. Age and poor technique have caught up to this current Indian team. Maybe after the series has ended India need to make some tough calls on some of the aging and under performing culprits?

  • Built_4_the_Kill on January 15, 2012, 14:07 GMT

    Dhoni and/or Indian Selectors , stubbornness is a poison for strategy. You strategize the game well in advance especially when the team is on an offshore assignment. When Indian team was announced for Australian tour... Australia was happy to plan all four test matches on wickets that can offer bounce, swing, and/or seam. India planned each test matche with one genuine swing bowler and one fast bowler in the team. In comparison Australia had a pace attack which can use seam or swing and bowl at express speed throughout 80 overs. If we analyze the batting of Indian team in the last three test matches, wickets were fallen when the ball was seaming and/or swinging. Same with Australian team, most of the wickets were fallen when ball was seaming and/or swinging. If I was a selector of Indian Team, I would have picked Irfan and Harbhajan in the squad. My three permananet bowlers would have been Zaheer, Umesh, and Harbhajan....and fourth bowler would have been either Irfan or Ishant.

  • Dr.Hasan on January 15, 2012, 14:03 GMT

    Oh well he should not worry about it at all. He has another 24 months of dead flat track with knee high bounce pitch cricket coming up plus IPL which will send the indian fans into another sense of false grandiosity.

  • Potatis on January 15, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    Dhoni talks like a really weak leader. I also think he'd have a problem going around telling people what they need to do better, when he has set no example whatsoever. There's also no guarantee that India will do well in India either. People feel they will do well, because history says they will, but this is a new low in the team form. If the players are used to IPL, then they may lack the concentration and stamina to beat an eager high class team in their own country, even on a flat wicket. The Indian players don't even look like they care. How much are they hurting?

  • BoseDeeKay on January 15, 2012, 14:00 GMT

    We know Dhoni has been the main culprit and we are glad to see that he has admitted it. But the question is: What is he going to do about it? What are the next steps? Does he have an action plan to improve and improvise on the core drawbacks?

  • stark-truth on January 15, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    He needs to take a leaf out of Imran's book. You have to lead from the front.

  • Ngaraj on January 15, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    True to his nature, he has been reasonably candid and carefully diplomatic too.. but, time has come when the selectors DO have to make up their mind about having two different captains for the longer and shorter versions.. and groove more youngsters both in and away matches.. otherwise, Indian cricket will have a natural death, and faster than its ascent!!

  • WeeBee on January 15, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    yes you are indeed, cheers

  • khusihaitu8 on January 15, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    Everyone and anyone would stand beside you when you are at your peak and going good, but it takes real fan and a friend to stand tall beside those people who need your love and support. I might be angry for a while but not forever. Team India I'm not leaving you alone in this storm. Together will over come and succeed once again. Share this if your true fan of Team India :)

  • Pathiyal on January 15, 2012, 13:42 GMT

    i say it was a fantastic effort from both the teams, but the better team prevailed over the other by leaps and bounds. team India's inability to face the rising deliveries is nothing new. by getting busy blaming the team, we often often fail to send cheers to Clarke and team.

  • samudralakiku on January 15, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    The day Dhoni retires from tests is the best day for test cricket. I welcome it with great jubilance. Way to go Dhoni. I wish you can retire after this series.

  • AndrewFromOz on January 15, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    Who knows if Dhoni is hurting from these thumping defeats or if he just doesn't care. His public attitude to this disaster seems to be a shrug of the shoulders. What are his team members to make of their captain's lack of passion? I think the answer is clear in the team's results...

  • OhhhMattyMatty on January 15, 2012, 13:35 GMT

    Most overrated player of this generation. Compared to Matt Prior, this guy is 2nd rate.

  • ChuckyDoll on January 15, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    It is EXACTLY like Fletcher has become coach and we have lost 2 series. I would start with firing Fletcher. What's in his contract ? Is there anything in this contract that will minimize the (monetary) damage to the BCCI ? Wjy is Dhoni defending Fletcher. ?What has Fletcher done for him ?

  • Sumanth_P on January 15, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    so what if India lost back to back series? doesn't this mean that there is only scope for improvement from here on and nothing else? team could not have been in worst place than this. so now one would argue how is that team would start winning without any changes being made? well answer is the same way, the team went on to become No 1 in test rankings. no changes were made then. just time was given for them to click as a unit and start winning and once they did, they just made that habit.

    even if Rohit is brought in to the team instead of Laxman, that wouldn't have saved matches and that doesn't explain why India lost, team failed as unit. So why just take it on one individual like Laxman?

    I would say give team, captain and coach couple of more series to blend in and give them chance to click as unit.

  • tearsinblue on January 15, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    I am not sure if people should be too harsh on Dhoni. He has proved to be a good leader but is probably going through a lean phase. More than anything, people should probably be more critical of his current test batting than anything else. None of the current lot of International test captains have proved that they are as good away from home as they are at home. So, it is a bit premature to pass judgements on Dhoni.

  • gilly_danda on January 15, 2012, 12:56 GMT

    it is useless even you are taking seriously when you don't have interest, the problem with our bowling not with the batsmen, still the Indian batmen are no.1 compare to other teams, and will be no.1 in the future, the problem is with bowling , we need to produce a very good fast and swing bowlers, then only the opposite batmen don't score runs against us and our batmen can play freely with confidence, for that we need fast and green pitches in India, Kapil dev said this long before but BCCI doesn't care about this.

  • agam99 on January 15, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Thats what a real captain is...taking all the blame and crediting others when some success is achieved. We back u MS !!!

  • Vedahametham on January 15, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    Nothing succeeds like success. All this talk all along is a waste. Why does he use theword "some one". Why doesn' the say "I should". It appears he doubts his own abilities. Look at Clark. he lead from the front. As a true wicket-keeper he led from the back. Just joking because all Iindians are truly hurt. They have so much of money and now no motivation to perform. Think about the Indian tour to WI during Lloyd's time. How Amarnath and Gaekwad after injuries came to bat and the entire team fought like wounded tigers. Here even if India has lost, it is certain that they will lose, they should have given a tough fight. That's waht we expected from them. India is th eonly country where everyone knows cricket theoretically very well and passionate about it but our players are a great disappointment. Sorry to say all this.

  • spinkingKK on January 15, 2012, 12:43 GMT

    I always hated Dhoni's captaincy in tests and also the way he bats most of the time. I do agree Dhoni is a special talent. But, his selction policy and his approach to the test cricket hasn't been good. However, reading what Dhoni has to say after this loss, I do have a different view of him. He is an honest critic of himself and a cool head. I don't think he is completely honest about his coach, though. Part of the job of the coach is to prepare each players for the series. I don't know what Laxman did by coming to Australia early. It looks like he only had some australian beer during those time to put on some weight. The coach should work on the players with their fitness and their technique. What I feel that the players like Laxman, Sehwag and and even Gambhir hasn't been fit. When you are not fit, you become lazy when batting and that will cause you to not use your feet and your body properly when defending and playing shots.

  • Dashgar on January 15, 2012, 12:42 GMT

    Dhoni shouldn't blame his batting. The batting has been bad at the top of the order, he comes in at 7 where he shouldn't have to rescue the innings. Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar are the leaders of the batting order and should take responsibility for batting failures (along with the others in the top 6). However in the field Dhoni is the culprit because as captain it is his job to keep the spirits high and the team motivated and they have been appaling on that front. That said other leaders need to stand up and make an account of themselves and despite a wealth of experience no-one seems to want to. No wonder Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman never made good captains, they provide no leadership or inspiration in the field at all.

  • avani on January 15, 2012, 12:33 GMT

    I repeat, (though earlier commnet not published), give India 'A' and under 19 teams more abroad tours besides domestic tournaments. Select those players who have performed consistently well with both domestic and outside bouncy pitches. (More abroad tours I mean not 1 or 2 tournaments. It should atleast 30 to 40 matches on pitches in eng, aussie, SA and NZ). Is it difficult?

  • Plz_Dont_Get_Whitewashed on January 15, 2012, 12:28 GMT

    plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed... plz don't get whitewashed...

  • LillianThomson on January 15, 2012, 12:26 GMT

    This is pretty harsh on Dhoni. He's a conservative captain with a conservative coach, but he's taking his catches and his series average of 20 is only around 5-10 runs per innings short of what would be considered a decent number seven's return in Australia. It's not his fault that the team has scored less than 200 in 4 innings out of 6 this series - that is the responsibility of the senior batsmen, but Tendulkar, Sehwag and Dravid seem to be beyond being held accountable, while Kohli, Gambhir and Laxman get blamed for everything. Worse still, the only bowler who has historically done well in Australia is Irfan Pathan, whom the selectors seem desperate not to pick. The other bowlers are performing exactly as they always do - Zak's averaging 30 per wicket, and Yadav's averaging 33 but at 4.5 runs per over. Ishant's average of 81 per wicket is similar to last time. Why is this Dhoni's fault?

  • KingOwl on January 15, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Indian and SL captains are both talking about consistency. It is something that is impossible to achieve until they become comfortable on alien pitches. The moment they get a really good ball, they get out. One cannot be consistent under such circumstances. So you need to ask the question WHY they are not consistent. It is because they can't bat. At least SL won a test very comprehensively in SA. India seems loaded with flat track bullies. Amazing for a nation of 1.2 billion people.

  • samtech on January 15, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    BCCI must hold IPL or Champions League in Aus.

  • Rags57 on January 15, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    If Dhoni is really serious about winning outside India he needs to change his attitude about what kind of tracks he wants in India for tests. If he needs tracks that turn square on day 1, India will continue to win only in the sub-continent and lose in Australia, England and South Africa. It is high time we produce sporting and lively tracks in India for the domestic circuit as well as the test matches. Even if we end up losing a few home series, we can build a world class outfit in the next 5 years. Hope this series has served as a wake up call for the BCCI.

  • Mary_786 on January 15, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Marsh has scored 17 runs this series. The only guys with less runs in the series are Yadav, Harris and Lyon, and the latter three have all missed at least one test. He averages 38 in First Class cricket for a reason, 7 centuries in 120 odd innings. Get Khawaja or Watson into the team now.

  • SaravananIsTheBest on January 15, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Nothing to worry, time for the revamping, 7-0 is in a way a good thing, otherwise replacing the seniors wouldnt've come into picture in the country like India, where one success will overshadow even formidable defeats...

    On Ganguly, he has been waiting for this moment for since last 4 years, where was he when we won against NZ & Drew against SF, he's still digesting the day he was kicked out, we know that you're a Warrior with Pure Commitment, you can safely ignore him...

  • Dhoni_Backer on January 15, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    I am not a great fan of dhoni s batting or wicketkeeping (though i like his stumping),I dont think India has ever had a leader as good as dhoni. He lets people be and keeps a poker face to the twin imposters [success,failure].On top of that he lets other teammates take the limelight during success and come forward to face the flak when the team is down.Kudos.This article is just another example of the same.

  • crindex on January 15, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Mark of a great Leader ! - taking responsibility for collective failure of the team in Eng and Oz. Hope otherts follow Dhon's example.

  • amjadmayo on January 15, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Mr. Dhoni Play IPL and enjoy with dance & make money... Hakuna Matata , Leave Test cricket for scak ok test cricket.

  • dsig3 on January 15, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    It would not matter who captained India, if you bat like that you lose. They are facing some tremendous bowling though, I have never seen a test match were we have bowled as well as we have this game. Even when the Indians got some runs they were being beaten continuously.

  • hhillbumper on January 15, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    It isn't really fair to blame Dhoni.i mean this team are just total crap really.They can;t bowl people out and their batting just seems so self interested.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • hhillbumper on January 15, 2012, 11:52 GMT

    It isn't really fair to blame Dhoni.i mean this team are just total crap really.They can;t bowl people out and their batting just seems so self interested.

  • dsig3 on January 15, 2012, 11:55 GMT

    It would not matter who captained India, if you bat like that you lose. They are facing some tremendous bowling though, I have never seen a test match were we have bowled as well as we have this game. Even when the Indians got some runs they were being beaten continuously.

  • amjadmayo on January 15, 2012, 11:57 GMT

    Mr. Dhoni Play IPL and enjoy with dance & make money... Hakuna Matata , Leave Test cricket for scak ok test cricket.

  • crindex on January 15, 2012, 12:03 GMT

    Mark of a great Leader ! - taking responsibility for collective failure of the team in Eng and Oz. Hope otherts follow Dhon's example.

  • Dhoni_Backer on January 15, 2012, 12:05 GMT

    I am not a great fan of dhoni s batting or wicketkeeping (though i like his stumping),I dont think India has ever had a leader as good as dhoni. He lets people be and keeps a poker face to the twin imposters [success,failure].On top of that he lets other teammates take the limelight during success and come forward to face the flak when the team is down.Kudos.This article is just another example of the same.

  • SaravananIsTheBest on January 15, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    Nothing to worry, time for the revamping, 7-0 is in a way a good thing, otherwise replacing the seniors wouldnt've come into picture in the country like India, where one success will overshadow even formidable defeats...

    On Ganguly, he has been waiting for this moment for since last 4 years, where was he when we won against NZ & Drew against SF, he's still digesting the day he was kicked out, we know that you're a Warrior with Pure Commitment, you can safely ignore him...

  • Mary_786 on January 15, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Marsh has scored 17 runs this series. The only guys with less runs in the series are Yadav, Harris and Lyon, and the latter three have all missed at least one test. He averages 38 in First Class cricket for a reason, 7 centuries in 120 odd innings. Get Khawaja or Watson into the team now.

  • Rags57 on January 15, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    If Dhoni is really serious about winning outside India he needs to change his attitude about what kind of tracks he wants in India for tests. If he needs tracks that turn square on day 1, India will continue to win only in the sub-continent and lose in Australia, England and South Africa. It is high time we produce sporting and lively tracks in India for the domestic circuit as well as the test matches. Even if we end up losing a few home series, we can build a world class outfit in the next 5 years. Hope this series has served as a wake up call for the BCCI.

  • samtech on January 15, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    BCCI must hold IPL or Champions League in Aus.

  • KingOwl on January 15, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Indian and SL captains are both talking about consistency. It is something that is impossible to achieve until they become comfortable on alien pitches. The moment they get a really good ball, they get out. One cannot be consistent under such circumstances. So you need to ask the question WHY they are not consistent. It is because they can't bat. At least SL won a test very comprehensively in SA. India seems loaded with flat track bullies. Amazing for a nation of 1.2 billion people.