ICC Test rankings January 15, 2010

MS Dhoni hits back at Ian Chappell's comments

Cricinfo staff

MS Dhoni has hit back at the comments of Ian Chappell, who this week said that India do not have the resources to retain their No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings for a long enough period to emulate Australia and the great West Indies teams of the past. Chappell, the former Australian captain and leading commentator, had said on Time Out, Cricinfo's new fortnightly audio show, that India's batting alone will not sustain them and to do so they will have to unearth a couple of champion bowlers.

Dhoni, however, termed Chappell's assessment an unfair and unnecessarily harsh one. "It is not a fair statement. I agree that our bowlers are struggling now. But we have become the Test number one also because of the bowlers and not only due to our batting," he said after India's loss to Sri Lanka in the final of the recent tri-series in Bangladesh.

"Sometimes batsmen struggle and sometimes bowlers. It is not fair to say that we don't have good bowlers. We will prove it [that we can sustain the No. 1 Test ranking]."

Sri Lankan captain Kumar Sangakkara echoed Dhoni's views on India's pace attack. "India has top-class bowlers. Zaheer [Khan] is one of the best fast bowlers in the world and Harbhajan [Singh] is top class," he said. "Even Sreesanth can bowl reverse swing. There are always critics and doubters but it is your job to prove them wrong."

India stay on in Bangladesh to contest a two-Test series against the hosts starting January 17 in Chittagong. India bagged the top ranking from Australia after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in the three-Test series at home last month. India jumped from No. 3 to No.1 for first time since the rankings came into place in May 2001.