India's chief selector completes a year in office October 4, 2007

Dhoni has the qualities of a good captain - Vengsarkar

Cricinfo staff

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been given the thumbs up by Dilip Vengsarkar, India's chief selector © Getty Images

Dilip Vengsarkar, India's chairman of selectors, has expressed confidence in Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain.

"I have been watching Dhoni from close quarters for quite some time now. I found him to be a very good student of the game," Vengsarkar told Hindustan Times. Before his appointment as captain following Rahul Dravid's resignation, the selection panel had elevated Dhoni to vice-captain for the tour to England. "He is extremely focussed, down to earth and very disciplined. He is modest about his achievements and possesses good man-management skills. He has all the qualities of a good captain."

Vengsarkar has been at the helm of India's selection affairs for over a year now, a period in which the team had an early exit at the World Cup in the West Indies, followed by a win at the recently-concluded World Twenty20 in South Africa. "Well, it was rather satisfactory because, apart from the early exit from the World Cup, the team did reasonably well, winning a Test for the first time in South Africa," he said about his tenure. He indicated that he was undaunted by the task. "I have been selecting teams for a decade and a half. It is nothing new."

Vengsarkar also said the selectors' decision to bring back Sourav Ganguly and Zaheer Khan was vindicated by their performances. "There has to be a good blend of youth and experience in the team. In the Tests, temperament plays a major role," he said. "Though Sourav and Zaheer were not in the best of forms when selected, as selectors, it was important for us to back our gut feeling."

On Munaf Patel, Vengsarkar said he could be recalled if his regains both form and fitness. "Munaf has the potential to become the front-line bowler for India. However, he must realise that to bowl consistently fast match after match, he must be extremely fit. He just cannot be a line-and-length bowler, not in Test cricket."