India news February 15, 2009

Kirmani questions Dhoni's keeping technique

Cricinfo staff


Mahendra Singh Dhoni lacks the natural instincts of an athlete, according to Syed Kirmani © Getty Images
 

Syed Kirmani, the former Indian wicketkeeper, has criticised the wicketkeeping technique of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He said Dhoni lacked the "copybook basics" of a wicketkeeper and said the flaws were not attracting attention because the Indian team has been in top form in recent months.

"He is improving with every match, though he is not technically sound behind the wicket." IANS quoted Kirmani as saying. "He doesn't have the copybook basics of a wicketkeeper. Dhoni does not have the natural instincts of an athlete, which is very important for a wicketkeeper."

Kirmani, 59, played 88 Tests for India in a 12-year career that started in 1976 and is one of India's greatest wicketkeepers. He was also concerned about Dhoni's long-term future as a wicketkeeper. "No player remains the same after four years. The agility and reflex of a player diminishes with age," said Kirmani. "The body and muscles start wearing out. And Dhoni is playing all three forms of the game round the year."

Kirmani said that at 27, it was too late for Dhoni to modify his technique. "These things have to be done at the grassroot level. Not only Dhoni, I can't change the technique of a Parthiv Patel or a Dinesh Karthik."

This is not the first time Kirmani has found fault with Dhoni's keeping technique. In 2006, he had questioned Dhoni's tendency to stand on his heels while waiting for the ball instead of being on his toes.