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Dravid backs Dhoni as Test captain

ESPNcricinfo staff

November 12, 2012

Comments: 101 | Text size: A | A

Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni bring up their century stand, India v Sri Lanka, 1st Test, Ahmedabad, 1st day, November 16, 2009
Rahul Dravid: "Dhoni has every right to survive [0-8]; he has had a disappointing last year but he has won India a World Cup, we've been the No. 1 Test side under Dhoni" © AFP
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Rahul Dravid believes MS Dhoni remains the right man to lead India despite his seven straight Test defeats as captain in England and Australia last year, but, in the near future, the selectors will need to consider reducing his captaincy workload in one format to get the best out of him as wicketkeeper and batsman.

Speaking to Harsha Bhogle and Sanjay Manjrekar on Time Out, ESPNcricinfo's fortnightly audio podcast which will feature on the website on Wednesday, Dravid said it was important that Dhoni started planning towards rectifying India's recent overseas record at their next major away assignment, against South Africa late next year. Dhoni, Dravid said, would have to play an active role in getting the selectors to pick the type of players he wants and also open himself up to more ideas and suggestions than he has shown to do so far.

"From his own personal point of view, you also want to see the best of Dhoni as a player. He has a lot to contribute as a batsman and wicketkeeper and we want to see the best of that," Dravid, Dhoni's predecessor as captain, said. "I don't think we want to lose that and if that means at some stage, maybe the time's not right now but in the near future, we have to relieve him of the responsibility from one format to get the best out of him as a player then I think the selectors have to take that call." Across all three formats, Dhoni has captained India in 203 of his 318 matches.

"He has got to have an eye on some of the challenges he faces in his career, to be seen as a good overseas captain as well. That will be a function of the team he gets, but he's got to try and have an influence on the kind of team he gets, the kind of personnel he wants and that's a process that he's got to start now," Dravid said. "It's a process of communication and negotiation with selectors, coaches, working on some of the skill-sets of some of the bowlers and young batsmen coming through on what is required in a year's time.

"So while he has a micro view of what needs to be done in these [home] series [against England and Australia], he needs to discuss with the selectors about the kind of players he wants in South Africa and entrust them with the job of actually finding those players in domestic cricket."

The upcoming home Tests are an opportunity, Dravid said, for Dhoni to show he has learned the lessons from the overseas disappointments of last year. While acknowledging that many captains would not have survived in the role after losing seven overseas Tests - Dhoni had missed the final Test in Australia with an over-rate ban - in a row, Dravid said Dhoni's successful record prior to last year's poor results justified giving him another opportunity. "Dhoni has every right to survive it, because he's Dhoni. He has had a disappointing last year but he has won India a World Cup, we've been the No. 1 Test side under Dhoni. If you put pressure on him so early in the piece, or if you try to change someone like Dhoni now, I don't think you'll get to see what he's learned from the last year."

According to Dravid, captaining in India and overseas are two vastly different challenges, largely due to the conditions and the quality of the team's bowling attack. "When [India are] fielding, you can obviously see the difference because on the field is where you've got to manage that bowling attack," he said. "And when you don't have the necessary skills with the bowling attack, you can start looking a bit defensive, a bit flustered, bit rattled and start looking around for answers. But otherwise he's been pretty similar and that's been one of his strengths - his ability to stay balanced even through the highs and lows of Indian cricket, to be able to manage and stay in a cocoon, and not get too affected by what's happening around him."

While Dhoni's calm demeanour and ability to isolate himself from pressure in times of difficulty was an asset, Dravid said "there are a lot of good suggestions outside of the cocoon and there's a lot you can learn and pick up outside of this cocoon as well, which maybe he sometimes misses out on."

Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been stand-in captains in Tests and ODIs respectively in the absence of Dhoni, but their own concerns with injury and form in recent times, Dravid said, may have affected their long-term captaincy prospects. Virat Kohli was a good candidate for a successor in Dravid's eyes, provided he was able to extend the success he has had for another year. "In the next 12 months, if he has the kind of 12 months he has had and establishes himself in all three formats of the game, people are going to seriously have to look at him."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by m_kamb on (November 15, 2012, 4:13 GMT)

thats how sachin spend 23 years in indian cricket.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 14, 2012, 16:29 GMT)

Excellent point by @Adingoth. We lost in England and Australia because of the inability of our batsmen to put some runs on the board. The biggest culprits were our Fab 4 - 10dulkar, Sehwag, Dravid (except against England) and Laxman. Dravid and Laxman had the decency to retire.

Posted by Return-of-Sinhaya on (November 14, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@GRVJPR: Well, do u know that there exists a team named Pakistan? Their bowlers regularly bowled well to dismiss opposition below 200 and 150, but despite that they lost those tests because of their poor batting, you need 20 wickets to win a test, but what's the point if you lose your 20 wickets for fewer runs than your opposition?

Posted by Narbavi on (November 14, 2012, 9:41 GMT)

@GRVJPR: Hey guys mr.GRVJPR thinks that Dravid's twin knocks of 233 and 72 not out were absolutely nothing compared to Agarkar's 6 wickets in the second innings in the Adelaide test in 2004, please explain him that you need both runs and wickets to win test matches!!

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 14, 2012, 2:00 GMT)

@Narbavi Hey Guys Mr Narbavi is saying You can win matches only by scoring 200 runs and there is no need to take wickets. Please explain him, wheter you score 200 or 1000 you need to get opposition all out to win test matches.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 23:00 GMT)

Dhoni is the best thing to have happened to indian cricket since sachin & dravid. A captain is as good as his team, period. Our pace attack is mediocre. Remember Jawagal Srinath dancing around the aussies in australia? He used to knock down 3 wickets in first 50-60 runs always!

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (November 13, 2012, 21:58 GMT)

Dhoni is the best captain India has had in a long time. There's no wicketkeeper batsman who comes even close to Dhoni's average in tests and ODI. The problem is with non-performers like Sachin and Sehwag. They haven't done anything in last 1 year. Get rid of all non-performers and send a message - perform or perish. There's no shortage of talented young cricketers in India.

Posted by ICCODIWorldChampions2011 on (November 13, 2012, 20:11 GMT)

Theres No problem with Dhoni's Captaincy. The Problem is with our Openers, Zaheer Fitness and Form, Tendulkar not at his best after WC 2011. Dhoni Should be Continued as Captain till the end of Next WC in all the Formats and then give it to Kohli in ODI's Raina in T20 and Probably Pujara in tests. Also we lost 8 Test matches because whole team failed Miserably except for Dravid in England and Kohli in Australia and Bowling Below Average. Dada and Dhoni has the Teams with Same strength but Dhoni achieved everything as Captain which every Captain will dream of like winning WC's in T20 and ODI format, Asia Cup and all the other existing trophies including World # 1 in ODi and Tests. It is beacuse Dada was not having good Wicket Keeper batsman and Finisher like Dhoni.Also Dhoni as Test Batsman Scored almost 4000 Runs in 7 Yrs but other WK batsmans took 20 yrs to score same runs Dhoni Scored. That shows the IMportance of Dhoni as a Captain and Player in test Cricket.

Posted by ICCODIWorldChampions2011 on (November 13, 2012, 19:52 GMT)

india has Never done well in Australia and England in Tests. As we all know It is because of the poor performance by Openers India failed miserably in the past 2 Years.No need to worry atleast we keep winning in INDIAN soil both Tests and ODI's against any team. If selectors really want to make changes be it Captain or Team selection they should make after this Series.Looks possible that One of the Openers will be shown the Exit and Tendulkar will take some decision on his Retirement.Dhoni may Resign Captaincy from test Cricket.Finally Tiwari may also get a chance to play complete series possibly ODI.Also Zaheer will cosider playing only ODI or Tests. God Luck INDIA. My good luck to Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer, Tendulkar and Dhoni.

Posted by CrissCross786 on (November 13, 2012, 17:24 GMT)

@spinkingKK couldn't have said it better myself, totally agreed !

Posted by Narbavi on (November 13, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

@GRVJPR: Oh in that case who scored those 24000 intl runs for him? i think you need to know a bit more about his technique, and Agarkar and Laxman also played superbly in that test, but everyone would agree that it was Dravid not only because of that 200, but also because he stood up in the run chase when everyone failed!!

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 12:18 GMT)

Did some one here suggested Pujara/Tiwary for Tests captaincy? Lol these guys are not even regular in the team... May be Pujara will play regularly but Tiwary has no chance to continue playing in tests. Get real guys.

Posted by spinkingKK on (November 13, 2012, 10:06 GMT)

I have seen comments here suggesting that India lost the overseas test series because of lack of bowling power. It is WRONG. It is also proved just now when Australia plundered runs against the so called strong bowling of South Africa. Only difference is, South African batsmen were also able to make a decent score against the Aussies and the match is a draw. If it was India, they would have been all-out for 201 and then everybody will blame the bowlers for giving 500+ runs to the aussies. India's problem was that of Ponting in this match. India were playing with 3x Pontings in the middle order who were finding it difficult to handle pace in the benign pitch on which the Aussies were able to score triple centuries and double centuries.

Posted by spinkingKK on (November 13, 2012, 9:53 GMT)

Kapildev was sacked immediately after winning the world cup. So, why not Dhoni? There is something seriously wrong with Dhoni's captaincy in tests. He can bring in some excellent captaincy at times. However, in tests, a captain must be more consistent and he should also understand the strengths of his players more than the weaknesses of his players. Dhoni seems to be more concerned about the weaknesses than the strengths. His handling of Sreesanth was an example. I just don't understand what is the big problem about his antics. Every former Indian cricketers and Indian cricket columnists seems to suggest that Sreesanth's career was over because of his antics. Antics can not end someone's career in any other countries. One just has to accept that everyone's got their individuality. It is the performance which matters. If the captain doesn't let him perform because he hates his antics, that captain got some problems.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 13, 2012, 9:52 GMT)

@Shaju.K: You are surely a DADA fan who simply refuses to accept the truth that Ganguly was in his worst phase with the bat at that time, how on earth do you keep on playing if you don't make runs at all, how would you expect team mates to respect a non performing captain? And you call this conspiracy, truth is DADA should have been dropped much earlier!! Dravid lead only for one and half yrs, in that time he won a test series in WI after 35yrs and in England after 21yrs and also had an impressive ODI run, if you want to talk about 2007 debacle you can talk about DADA's 60 of 135 balls against BANG in the first match and also Sachin's failure with the bat throughout the tournament!!

Posted by Narbavi on (November 13, 2012, 9:44 GMT)

@Alexk400: In that case there are many, only Dravid and Praveen played well in England, only Kohli and to an extent Umesh played well in Aus, in that case there should have been a total revamp!!

Posted by Shaju.K on (November 13, 2012, 9:03 GMT)

Dravid has no rights to comment on Dhoni's captaincy. MS has nothing to prove himself. Under his captaincy India have won 2 world cups in ODI as well as T20. India reached no.1 ranking in test format also under his captaincy only. So the current dismal run of Indian team is not just Dhoni's fault. Someone else is trying to create infiltration among the team / trying to apply divide & rule policy like what Greg Chappel had done earlier... and knowingly or unknowingly, Rahul also was a part of that movement by snatching the captaincy from Saurav. At least Ganguly deserved to lead the team in one more WC & what happened in the subsequent world cup under Dravid's captaincy, that everybody kbnows..!!. Dravid happened to be a tool in that conspiracy, I would say...

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 13, 2012, 8:47 GMT)

@Narbavi Mr. Ajit Agarkar was the real architect of that win in Adelaide. You need Bowlers to win test matches. Beside that test, Dravid also struggled in australia and got stuck at one end before getting out. Because of the way he played, he put lot of pressure on guys like sehwag and sachin at other end. It's ok to keep defending, but you need to play some strokes for the sake of team scoring, Can't leave all the scoring to others

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 13, 2012, 8:32 GMT)

i want to bring analogy of Diego maradona. He was pure genius and there is no better player in the planet for another century in future or past (pele is a scorer that about it). Diego maradona captained and won in 1986 and lost in 1990. Both team was no good but maradona made them good by his sheer talent. We all know now that team had politics left and right. He tried to coach , team was exposed just like 2007 indian world cup team. Team was good , it was coach who did not give confidence to his players and made them play as a team. Darvid , ganguly were ok captain but they would be worst coach. I hope BCCI never give coach job to dravid or ganguly. We do not want analyst to be coach of team. It would be disaster in waiting like duncan fletcher now and before greg chappell.

Posted by HarishVS on (November 13, 2012, 8:19 GMT)

If you read carefully, Dravid is implicitly mentioning that Dhoni should improve his performance as a batsman (and/or wicketkeeper) in overseas tours by fine tuning his technique. However, Dhoni has scored runs in sub-continent whenever situations demanded whether it were tests or ODIs. It is only on abroad that he has been found short of runs or skills or whatever you call. Regarding test captaincy, Dhoni still needs to continue to be captain since there is no other candidate immediately. Kohli has done exceedingly well for last one year in every format of cricket India has played. If you take away Kohli's runs or performance, India would have lost many more games than actually won. No need to burden him with captaincy immediately. Pujara has to still establish himself in the team and can't be an option to lead. Sehwag and Gambhir's prime duties will be to fetch good opening runs. I dont think they are in the fray of leading teams anymore.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 13, 2012, 7:58 GMT)

I am big fan of dravid as a player. I found dravid ultimate team man. But he could not make team play as a fighting until. X&O on board and brain and professionalism did not help him to make his player fight to last minute. 2007 world cup team was ready to quit any time. May be it was not due to him or may greg chappell influence on players and dravid let greg chappell control team too much and created un easiness. Dravid is india's greatest TEST player miles above sachin for me. That said he can talk anything about cricket except who should be captain and coach. India can beat england 1-0 in india , that won'tc hange my mind of duncan fletcher untfit for india and dhoni is non performing captain in test team. His wicket keeping shoddy and slog batting do not work in test. We need to give young players chance to be captain. 8-0 loss anywhere you lose your job and lose your house. Dhoni is wrongly supported by Don N srinivasan. :). For me someone should be accountable for 8-0 loss.

Posted by Naikan on (November 13, 2012, 7:37 GMT)

While the topic seems to be of Dhoni's captainship, I am not sure why people are commenting on Dravid's captainship. At least as an ex captain he has a right to opinions on captainship. None of us here have that qualification - so we should let the man be instead of passing disparaging remarks about his captainship. Unlike most captains he was courageous enough to drop it when he found it unpalatable instead of sticking to that power. Also, do not forget that his away test record as a captain in right at the top in terms of series victories (Pak, WI and Eng).

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 13, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

Some of the people commenting Dhoni was great captain. For me dhoni is decent captain when he has all the tools. He had great team of super star players playing at their peak. He managed resources very well especially bowling. More bowling problem now he start to put pressure on batsman more plus now he has world cup ego. For me dhoni is non performing test captain like sammy. WI have no body but india have gambhir , raina, kohli all showed they can captain. Only BCCI chief blocking the captaincy change to test team. No one else. I am not sure dhoni can perform any better. I want dinesh karthik back to Test team as wicket keeper. Raina or gambhir should be captain and kohli need few years before he can be captain. Captaincy can destroy batting. That said i would make kohli captain of all forms in 2 years. He can make any player play for him.

Posted by Shreejitudr on (November 13, 2012, 7:30 GMT)

There is absolutely no point blaming dhoni for the failures India have had overseas. We have to blame our system of not producing good quality fast bowlers. If we look at our domestic circuit, the pitches provided are of no assistance to fast bowlers and batmen go on to make big scores. And when these batsmen get picked on the basis of their domestic performances, they have no clue when they face quality fast bowlers in Aus/SA/Eng. With all the money BCCI has, they surely can come up with some better sporting wickets to nurture cricketers good with both bat and ball in most conditions.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 13, 2012, 6:19 GMT)

@GRVJPR: Agree he could have had a better record in South Africa, but he is the architect of india's greatest overseas win, the one in Adelaide, i think u need to learn about facts before disrespecting a guy who is a team man to the core, someone with over 10k + odi runs and 13k + test runs!!

Posted by Narbavi on (November 13, 2012, 6:15 GMT)

@Alexk400: That's funny!! Dravid is probably the most knowledgeable of all indian cricketers, he squandered a great team? What did he do to get a response of such kind from u, he had always done well, if u want to blame the 2007 debacle then blame Sachin Dhoni etc for failing miserably with the bat in crunch games

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 3:17 GMT)

@alexk400 - may i ask you something? do you remember the last time sehwag performed in test matches for India bcoz i don't. when did sehwag score half century for India in T20Is but he scored 5 consecutive half centuries in IPL 2012. don't say that he is not confident bcoz of dhoni and duncan fletcher. he is not confident bcoz of his guilty conscience of not playing well for past two years. as regarding your comment on sehwag's form during ganguly and dravid's captaincy i agree that he performed well during that period and also he was in peak form. but don't forget he was dropped from the side before that for his poor performances. finding excuses for sehwag's poor form and blaming it on captain or coach doesn't change anything. any great player will be determined based on how he return from slump that every batsman will face eventually.

P.S. I am a great fan of sehwag and i will feel very happy if he returns to form. but i also have the feeling that he will turn the tide this serie

Posted by maddy20 on (November 13, 2012, 2:35 GMT)

@Alexk400 Thats absolute rubbish. Why on earth would you not fire Raina when he averages 30 with the bat and hardly contributes anything more? We have several quality players like Rahane, Mukund, Pujara, Tiwary, Bist, Manish Pandey waiting in the wings. They have the temparment and technique to survive in the 5 day game and thats the key. T20 slogfest is entirely different from test cricket. As for Dravid's leadership, the man who has won our first ever series in Pak, won in Eng, WI after a long time and this is what you have to say about him? A strong team is created by stringing together strong players getting them to work as a unit. When India toured England we did not even have a coach, we lost our captain to guru Greg and yet we won that is exceptional. He is the second best captain after Ganguly. The likes of Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin do not even come remotely close!

Posted by Stalwart07 on (November 13, 2012, 1:59 GMT)

Well said Rahul. Dhoni is the right guy for captaincy and no one can even think of giving captaincy to any others in the team.

Posted by praveen4honestremark on (November 13, 2012, 1:58 GMT)

I agree with @Tahir_Anjum and @ piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda. I dis agree with @ Alex400 when he is saying Dravid is not a good captain. After Ganguly was removed with "Chappell" controversy Indian team was going no where. He brought stability to team and famous 16 straight wins under him does show his intensity as Captain. Dravid was best person to handle the crisis and he did well after Ganguly was removed. 2007 world cup exit doesn't make Dravid a failure. Players like Sachin should be blamed who have taken opposition like Bangladesh easy and played rash shots to loose match for India. @ Nampally..Dhoni as a test captain is Disaster?? You may be counting after 8-0 loss. But please have a look at his record and you will find him among top 3 best test captains India ever had. The team composition with un-fit players like Zaheer khan whom you were supporting so much was to blame for that losses. Sachin was un-fit too with toe injury. Dhoni can't make them fit by a magic, sorry.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (November 13, 2012, 1:41 GMT)

@ piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda: thanks and I want to add few words... someone mention in other article on Ranji Trophy that in second Round 34 centuries have been scored... a match (Raina team,sorry i don't know the name) in which 1453 runs were scored just 13 Wickets were fallen.. I mean what is the reason behind such flat tracks?? Who will want to be a bowler if you can score so heavily as batsman?? Certainly its very unfair with bowlers.. I really feel for them.. And one should check out other countries Domestic cricket that whats happening there like NZ,Pak, Aus and even Bang are producing results in 4 day matches.There should be something on the pitch for bowlers too.Although I am from Pakistan but I really feel it because im a cricket lover with no boundaries..Regards Tahir_Anjum

Posted by AnishRPatel on (November 13, 2012, 1:32 GMT)

@ Alexk400: who are you to say that Dravid should not talk about captaincy!!!! and giving rights to yourself to talk about captaincy!!! I believe He played more cricket at highest level than yours. Am I right?

Posted by nilb on (November 13, 2012, 1:20 GMT)

Regardless of whos' captaining the side India will always remain to dazzle within India and suck miserably outside subcontinent.

Posted by   on (November 13, 2012, 1:10 GMT)

Don't forget that India beat England in England under Dravid's captaincy...

Posted by WC2011Champs on (November 12, 2012, 23:51 GMT)

The only captaincy Dhoni should give up is CSK's. A little aggressive coach bring the best out of Dhoni. Duncan is absolute failure. Get rid of panoti personalities (Duncan, Rohit) and bring in positive, lucky people. It DOES help!

Posted by Udaypatel on (November 12, 2012, 23:04 GMT)

RD as classy as ever even after retiring. Agree with him completely.

Posted by piyo_thanda_jiyo_thanda on (November 12, 2012, 22:27 GMT)

@Tahir_Anjum Excellent and balanced comments. We Indians tend to make everyone hero or zero in no time. If people are losses in Eng and Aus on Dhoni - man, just look at India's bowling. Zaheer, Sreesanth, Harbhajan etc. won't scare Kenya and Somalia even. How are you expecting to win test matches with this third class attack? India was able to win a few away test matches solely because of batting (mainly Sehwag and Dravid), but in Eng and Aus, the batsmen were out of form, and things went downhill from there. Things are not going to change until we find bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a test match. And we choose to continue blaming the captain instead.

Posted by Naikan on (November 12, 2012, 22:11 GMT)

I agree that Dhoni has to be given a longer run, especially he has won us two world cups (do not forget the first 20-20). His test record is as good as the team was in the circumstances. I do not agree that he has failed to develop players. We must remember that talent is usually born. A Gavaskar, Kapil dev or Tendulkar are entities. To go beyond physical talent needs sheer strength of mind like Dravid and Kumble. Also developing needs the right circumstances. With so much importance given to IPL and 20-20 where the bowler does not usually target taking the wicket but more on how to contain, it is no surprise that we are not seeing any new bowlers on the horizon in India that can take the mantle of Kapil, Srinath, Kumble or for that matter Zaheer. In fact, over the last decade I cannot recall even one test bowler in the team who consistenly had a bowling average under 25 for more than an year or two. So having test success abroad will depend on our batting as usual.

Posted by Alexk400 on (November 12, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

Dravid had great Team in 2007. He squandered it completely. He shoukd not talk about leadership issues., he does not have that skill. I am big fan of dravid in everything except when it comes to leadership and he should not comment on who should be captain. I would give gambhir capatincy because raina is out by dhoni plan. Dhoni got rid of all people who threatening his spot. Raina voiced support for sehwag in 20/20 worldcup then i know dhoni will get rid of raina. i knew it. Sehwag can get rid of dhoni in no time , sehwag has to score few centuries. No once support player who can't score. But even if there is no sehwag , my target of dismay is duncan fletcher not as much dhoni. Dhoni is not bad guy but he can be influenced with bad theory from duncan fletcher. Duncan fletcher has to go.

Posted by IndCricFan2013 on (November 12, 2012, 21:20 GMT)

With Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly gone, Shewag and Tendulkar ( and possibly Gambhir) to follow, 6th position being merry-go-around, Kohli and Pujara are the only future here. So, it is important to fill another 4 position solid, or at least 2 of them, before talking about changing the Keeper slot and Captaincy. Dhoni needs to carry through until at least 2 more key player cement their place. Then One of them could become a captain and they can find a replacement for Dhoni in Test Cricket. So, removing Dhoni is pretty much depends on how others can cement their place and make India look stronger in tests. Dhoni for his part needs to make his batting look stronger. While Dhoni can take some blame for lag of new test talent ( say Tiwary), some part of the blame goes to selectors (say Bowlers), some goes to BCCI for not having good plans ( not enough test talent of International quality) to develop test cricketers and some blame goes to players themselves ( say Rohit Sharma).

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 20:42 GMT)

I think MSD is an excellent captain. Like any captain, he is only as good as his players. Let's face it, India did not play good enough, meaning, batters did not get centuries and bowlers did not take wickets (sometimes for days). Plus the opposition played very good cricket. Where exactly was this debate when India were number 1 for a couple of years and when India won the World Cup. Plus Dhoni the batsman is even better, I would rate him with the likes of Steve Waugh...

Posted by Nampally on (November 12, 2012, 19:47 GMT)

The Indian Selectors must be aware that Dhoni as a Test Captain has been a disaster. As a cricketer, Dhoni is a good hitter & a very fast runner between the wkts. However his perception of Cricket is uni-dimensiona with no plan for infusing new talent. He selects an irrational XI & sticks with it. How many new players were developed under Dhoni's captaincy? I can see only Yadev & Kohli. Dravid & Laxman have retired, ZAK & SRT are due to retire. On the negative side, MSD as a captain failed in very fundamentals of keeping a united team. Captain should get the best effort out of his XI, which was absent both on England & Aussie tour. Pujara had to get into the squad via "India A" route! Good Talents like Pujara should be well ahead of Rohit Sharma. Why were Rahul Sharma & Murali Kartik not in the team ahead of Jadeja, when India is short of bowlers? Progressive change is to give Young Pujara or Tiwary the Test Captaincy + include young talent based on Fitness, Performance & Form.

Posted by SwapnilDudhane on (November 12, 2012, 19:01 GMT)

Sir Dhoni's the best captain and wicketkeeper.

Posted by HyderabadiFlick on (November 12, 2012, 18:42 GMT)

@RaviKiran - For that to happen first Dhoni needs to score a 99 let alone the last ball six. Please comment on what is being discussed and not always try to Glorify Sachin.We are not discussing club cricket anyways. - Jai Hind.

Posted by Tahir_Anjum on (November 12, 2012, 18:38 GMT)

I'll take Dhoni any day as a Captain. Very good Skipper just going through a bad patch. All of you were praising him when he brought glory to India (Test No.1) (WC 2011)(World T20 2007) and now You are bashing him... As a famous saying ' everyone is will be with u n success but no one will support when u fail' ( excuse me for the English, im not native speaker though.. hope u understood me)

Posted by inswing on (November 12, 2012, 18:31 GMT)

Dhoni should be captain for ODIs and T20s, not Tests. His Test record and performance is not good. Make Kohli the Test captain. He is young that that is all right. Please no Sehwag, he is not a thinking person. Let Sehwag focus on his reflexive game.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 18:26 GMT)

those who doubt dhoni as a test batsman surely dont know what is his record....till date he is india's most successful wicket keeper and other indian test keeper till date has a better wicket keeping or batting stats...look at his average more than 38 runs per innings...let me tell you there have been specialist batsmen with less than his average in teams of not only india but also eng sa aus...for eg. even hansie cronje a specialist batsman and a successful south african captain who captained for more than 50 tests has worse test batting record than dhoni...take a look at how many 50 plus scores dhoni has scored in tests and how many innings he takes for each such score...about 3.5 innings per 50 plus score...also he has contributed with an average of almost 50 runs per innings in TEST WINS by india...only one player will be required to replace a good batsman or a good bowler...but dhoni's replacement will be more difficult..wicket keeper + batsman + captain..

Posted by muski on (November 12, 2012, 17:14 GMT)

Outrageous comments on why the Wall is supporting MSD. Anyone with a bit of common sense will understand that right now apart from MSD there is no one in the Indian team to fit into the shoes. Will you chose the 2 blokes who once were formidable openers and now are only FTB's or Bhajji who keeps his brains in the dreassing room when he comes to play. The less said about the others the better. Rahul is right in the fact that Kohli is the skipper in waiting. He will be the natural successor to MSD. Lets hope and pray that he bats his way in the coming months and packs the Jumping Jack away.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 17:04 GMT)

I rate dhoni ahead of selfish tendulkar. Imagine both batsman are on 99 and India need 6 to win of last ball. What selfish sachin will do is take a single and complete his century and on the other hand dhoni will try for a six no matter he misses ton. Hope U guys remember the last ball of the innings in ipl match which sachin scored a ton.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 12, 2012, 17:02 GMT)

@Aashick Muhammed: Tell me which former indian test wicket keeper had an average of 37 in test cricket? Dhoni played poorly in Aus which everyone agrees, but this isn't the end, he deserves his chance very much, i would advice you to learn more about the greatness of Dravid, if not, then feel free to ask me!!

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 16:57 GMT)

Make kohli captain of T20 atleast.....greame smith was made the captain of SA team when he was just 10 match old...y not kohli?

Posted by joshvino on (November 12, 2012, 16:54 GMT)

what the hell did dhoni did in the no.1 journey .he never proved as a individual test player.. in recent 8-0 loss if seniors are the one to blame ..then what did he inspired as captain(seniors have contributed for more than 10 years in every country tour .expect the last 2 tours .. when did Dhoni contributed from his 2005 ....never ...and you wants him as captain.he doesn't even qualify as a test batsman .then comes captaincy).he never played good when we are no.1 team and never inspired when we are losing 8-0..dont forget he was not even in the squad of previous tour(srilanka) before he became captain in 2008 :)..An unqualified test batsman captains the team from 2008.......and u still support him as best player.This is the IPL effect!!(What a joke it is!when seniors perfomed and made India no.1 .the fame went to Dhoni but when dhoni perfomed as poor captain and team flopped seniors got critisised and retired)..

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 16:52 GMT)

I cant understand who do u want to make d captain....viru nd gauti hav not scored runs for more than a year...kohli is new..raina is not even in the team...ashwin cant bowl overseas and pacers are constantly out with injuries.....Dhoni unfortunately is the best available captain.

Posted by Prabhash1985 on (November 12, 2012, 16:35 GMT)

Dhoni is simply great! Win is not something you can get all the time.

Posted by hunksurat on (November 12, 2012, 16:34 GMT)

I think India has lost all 8 matches in England and Australia as a Unit. They have failed in both the departments abysmally. Our bowling Unit is below par or even with Bangladesh (overseas). Our bowlers look jaded and seem to forget the basic. Yadav has the pace but lacks bowling skills (no swing, penetartion). Zaheer is getting old. Ashwin only takes wickets in favorable conditions. Ojha is mediocre at the best. Bhajji has lost is charm and fails to even impress state selectors. Hence we need atleast 3-4 match winning bowlers. Now turning to batsmen, we seriously need a good opening pair and a good no.5 and no.6. To sum up I think it going to take lot of efforts from selectors and players themselves to build a good test team. May be years......

Posted by GRVJPR on (November 12, 2012, 16:16 GMT)

Rahul Dravid is a Good Talker, didn't contributed much in that last tour of Australia. Always Struggled in South Africa. Some who talk, can't walk! Did will in England though, evern azhar did, sunny did, ganguly did,vengasarkar did....

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 16:08 GMT)

CanTHeeRava Thats what Jammy meant when he said Mahi needs to be releaved off some of the burden.

Posted by Baber_Baloch on (November 12, 2012, 16:05 GMT)

Dhoni is triple in one for India,,,keeper,good batsman also cool wining captain...first bring his perfect replacement then talk kick out Dhoni

Posted by ProdigyA on (November 12, 2012, 15:19 GMT)

Forget captaincy, except for ODI's Dhoni does not even deserve a place in the team for Tests and T20. Kohli should be immedietly made captain of T20 team. The problem is Tests, not enough options are availabe when it comes to Tests. I would love to see GG but he is terribly out of form.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 15:16 GMT)

If someone can hardly walk on their feet then how he can drive a bus, same in indian test cricket Dhoni is hardly scoring runs in test cricket average less than 20 then how we can understand that he can guide well the indian team, I think its time to give a chance 2 young Kohali.

Posted by whereis.mykake on (November 12, 2012, 15:10 GMT)

@kamala4reddy , Excellenmt suggestion. where should i send 5M your fees?

Posted by Rahul17_1983 on (November 12, 2012, 14:56 GMT)

I hope those who r claiming Virat as captain would remain unmoved even when he will have bad 2013.Thank god normal citizens like us r nt in the selection comittee otherwise every match would had a new captain and players.

Posted by RISHI2016 on (November 12, 2012, 14:31 GMT)

well if i am correctly reading between the lines, dravid suggests Dhoni should not captain in test matches.. which is quite apt and indirectly acceptable t Dhoni as well.. (he did indicate that down under)

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:16 GMT)

I think the biggest problem with India is the bowling unit. Indian bowlers; Yadav, I Sharma, Aaron, P Kumar, Awana etc and the spinners; Ashwin, Ohja and R Sharma, should play County Cricket in England to get a better handle on how to bowl, build pressure and take wickets in Seamer-friendly conditions. The batsmen too. I think sending Raina, Yuvraj, Kohli and Pujara to play County Cricket would do a world of good for their ability to handle the quicks on greener surfaces. That and getting a bowling coach like McGrath or something. Dhoni has always been able to rely upon on the spinners (and Zaheer) to bowl well and take wickets in India; hence him being much more assured in his decision making and feild placement. If he can rely on his bowlers to take 20 wickets in foreign conditions, I think his captaincy will be much better overall.

Posted by kamala4reddy on (November 12, 2012, 14:15 GMT)

I have solution for the current scenario, if you like this idea; pay me $5 M :) I have a beautiful idea on bringing more players to international team and having more games played in all format; Just increase the man power (Demand and Supply relationship). The following is in the detail: It is better if India has separate full capacity teams for all formats, but swap the players from these teams depends on the strategy. If this is the practice, then you can have all formats played evenly and can be simultaneously without pressing or exhausting any player efficiency.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:12 GMT)

i would also like to point out what many people have missed in this whole affair...that dhoni did not lose 8 matches in a row...dhoni was captain for 7 out of those 8 matches...and it was sehwag who was captain for the adelaide test in australia which we lost by 298 runs...because of slow overrate dhoni was handed a one test ban and sehwag captained indian team and the result was the same even though dhoni was not there either as a captain or as a player...

some people think that dhoni is a lucky captain...i would like to give my observation that kirsten is even luckier than dhoni...that he decided to retire after wc and devote some time towards his family...if he had decided to leave after the eng and australia tours...

i think you people will get my point...

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:07 GMT)

under those conditions dhoni did as much as he could do but which ultimately did not prove enough because there were too many things beyond his he said afterwards that everything that possibly could go wrong went wrong...which was absolutely correct...

What dravid means is that dhoni's bad captaincy had a small role to play in the defeats...there were many other reasonst oo...which were bigger and more responsible for the loss...dravid is fully aware that he himself along with sachin and laxman were no less responsible for those whitewashes...

Posted by Nampally on (November 12, 2012, 14:06 GMT)

It is time for India to move on & have 3 captains for 3 formats. It is essential to have enthusiastic captainsdedicatedto the format neccessities rather than rely on one guy to change like a Camilion for each format. Dhoni's batting style is more suited for a short format so he should just focus on ODI & T-20. His footwork & defense on a fast & bouncy overseas pitches exposes his poor technique. Saha on the other hand is a technically correct batsman suited for Tests. Secondly, Dhoni's XI selection,bowling changes, field placing were highly questionable both in England & in Australian tours.India needs to groom a captain who is keen on converting young talent into results rather than bench them. Tiwary, Rahane, Rahul Sharma regressed under Dhoni - bench warming rather than playing in XI.India needs specialist bowlers & Dhoni killed it-specialllyGroom young Pujar development of the spinners. My choice of 3 skippers: Pujara/Tiwary for Tests, Dhoni - ODI's, Kohli- T-20.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 14:03 GMT)

very well said, anubhav,,,it is sad that some people cannot understand and appreciate what dhoni has done for the indian cricket team...he certainly looks like atlas carrying indian team over his shoulders...

Dravid is backing dhoni because unlike many indian cricket fans, dravid understands that was not due to bad captaincy (alone) that we lost by such a huge margin...may be dhoni made a few mistakes...after all nobody is perfect....dhoni is also human...others like clarke, smith, vaughn strauss cook ponting, vettori sangakkara jaywardane etc.etc.also have and will continue making mistakes...

There were other reasons like loss of form, mental and physical fatigue because of non stop cricket, inclement weather etc....after all what could the captain or even gods themselves do if players breakdown DURING the test match...

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 13:45 GMT)

Dont know how much Dravid got paid from MSD for this comment...MSD is trying to make sure to stay in the captaincy for as long as he can. otherwise he will loose the place in playing 11 too. because his performance not up to standard in test. So best option is to stay in the captaincy to get a place in the test squad...... otherwise he will be kicked out of test team.....

Posted by Sakthiivel on (November 12, 2012, 13:28 GMT)

Dhoni is the best Captain for India as of now.

Posted by Sobhan_Sachinfan on (November 12, 2012, 13:15 GMT)

I don't think at the moment any one better than Dhoni is available to India, both as a keeper-batsman and Captain.....He is the best under present conditions/

Posted by CanTHeeRava on (November 12, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

Rahul Dravid has been a great servant of Karnataka cricket and I have seen him right from his Ranaji days. While he is one of my all time favourite cricketers, his captaincy and man management skills did not inspire a lot of confidence while he was at it. Perhaps, one should ask Anil Kumble (another Karnataka stalwart) whether he thinks Dhoni should continue as India captain. Dhoni has been the most defensive captain India has seen in recent times. Dhoni has served Indian cricket admirably under pressure with limited resources and he is a great example of how to maximise every ounce of what you have (very similar to Ravi Shastri). Unfortunately, Dhoni's time is up. While Dhoni is a decent wicket keeper, without captaincy I am not sure whether Dhoni can make the Indian Test side. Yes. I emphasize test cricket. He might continue as T20 captain, but in tests we need a new skipper. Dravid is just being sympathetic because he was part of the 0-8 humiliation.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 13:02 GMT)

@SriSanka.. u know who dravid is? test series win in england, westindies.. is that not enough for u? go and sleep or go and watch some other game.. dont u dare speak bad of dravid..

Posted by rahulcricket007 on (November 12, 2012, 12:59 GMT)

every body is supporting dhoni to remain test captain but the real question is whether dhoni is interested in test or not . remember not long ago he said that he will quit one format (may be tests ) in 2013 .@HARI B BHANDARI . sir after 1 or 2 years india will be playing series in sa , eng , aus . do you want a young captain to start his captiancy in overseas tests . TO BE FAIR DHONI 'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS TEST CRICKET IS NOT GOOD . HE DON'T PLAY IN TESTS WITH SAME ENTHUSIASM WITH WHICH HE PLAYS IN ODIS . HE NEVER ENCOURAGE HIS BOWLERS & FELDERS ON THE FIELD .

Posted by RyanHarrisGreatCricketer on (November 12, 2012, 12:54 GMT)

what an eloquent legend dravid is!!! he has seriously got to be used in some or the other role in indian cricket

Posted by Arrow011 on (November 12, 2012, 12:52 GMT)

MSD can play as a batsman after Sachin at 5, Virat at 6 & Yuvi at 7 (the same place as Gilchrist, where he can play his shots whether the score is 100/5 or 500/5, he is a natural attacking player), I dont know why Dhoni never takes his batting seriously. He comes late in the order & curbs his big scoring ability altogether. He should be the captain for few more years. Rahul Dravid is right, he feels Dhoni lives in a cocoon but also is right to say India should persist with Dhoni. It is high time Sachin & Dhoni are asked to stop playing 20-20 circus cricket & play for the nation more than for clubs. India needs a guiding lighthouse in Sachin for few more years.

Posted by ravikb on (November 12, 2012, 12:40 GMT)

No matter who the captain is, for a team to win you need bowlers who can take 20 wickets on all wickets. Unfortunately for India, they never had (I doubt if they ever will have) quality bowling group like WI and Aus had during their hey days. On that note, captain should be aggressive enough to take bold decisions on and off the field. Dhoni has left opposition off the hook not once but several times. Examples: Capetown 2011, Lord's 2011 and Melbourne 2011.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 12:20 GMT)

I think that India can win test series easy ...Best team India Sewagh, gambhir, sachin, kholi, yvoraj, dhoni, raina, aswin, zaheer, yadav, harbajan.

Posted by bleedblue_sach on (November 12, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Indian cricket needs quality bowlers - both in Spin and Pace department. We are struggling to find someone who can bowl consistently 140+, which is a key. BCCI should try preparing some wickets that will resemble AUS or ENG.. Green top ones at places like Dharmashala where the whether also resembles that of traditional ENG grounds! These could be the grooming places for the Pace bowlers .. and, ofcourse we do have our traditional Sping/Turning pitches for conventional Indian spin bowlers.

Posted by nayonika on (November 12, 2012, 12:04 GMT)

Rahul has rightly assessed Dhoni and wishes him to continue as captain.Maybe the selectors may think to hand over T20 captaincy to Kohli. This will reduce the work load on MSD and gradually groom VK to take over in all formats. How about some active role like a mentor or a mental conditioner to the India team? Rahul's patience to stay at the wicket has to be learned and cultivated by players like Pujara, Raina,Tiwari and such like to see that we do well on foreign soils. With T20 influence even yesterday's kid knows how to slog but how many are prepared to slug it out in the test matches? A Rahul Dravid can help out the team youngsters.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 12:03 GMT)

Raina is the only option suitable to handle pressures of an indian captain in limited overs. kohli is too hot headed and also arrogant. In Tests no alternatives.

Posted by sachin_equal_to_bradman on (November 12, 2012, 12:02 GMT)

Great words by dravid!!! All indians should be greatfull to MSD for taking india to the great level like winning 50 overs WC and T-20 WC and TEST NO.1 rankings(With such a weak bowling attack) which no captain in the history of the game has done!!! But at the same time losing 7-0 is also hurting so lets stop criticising MSD and let selectors prepare good tracks for RANJI and from there pick good bowlers and then train them to be good bowlers!!! I heard people telling after IPL tat gauti shud lead india!! Had tat happened means imagine hw pathetic we would hav been??? he s very rude so he s not a captain material....MSD shud lead untill india finds a good captain who has good head

Posted by Buggsy on (November 12, 2012, 11:38 GMT)

Why not give Kholi the captaincy of the ODI or T20 team now? It's pretty clear that he's the next Test captain, so a few years of leadership experience until Dhoni calls it a day will make it a smooth transition.

Posted by vinodzz on (November 12, 2012, 11:01 GMT)

I think... Itz all bcoz of the unsung master... GARY KIRSTEN, aftr he left de Indian cricket team .... v lost our momentum .... hez de man behind Dhoni & team's triumph

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:40 GMT)

I don't think we will produce person like Dhoni again even if we did succeed in producing a Tendulkar. His attitude is simply out of the world, no one in the current have similar attitude. The challenges as cap. of indian team are multifaceted as we all know and person has to have different attitude than a normal person to succeed....

Posted by Narbavi on (November 12, 2012, 10:37 GMT)

@SriSanka : Dravid one of the worst captains? You obviously have lots to learn about cricket before commenting such stuff!!

Posted by akpy on (November 12, 2012, 10:31 GMT)

anything new here that most of us didnt know about?

Posted by PheonixD on (November 12, 2012, 10:27 GMT)

India does not have any option other than Dhoni. Sehwag, Gambhir are out of form, There is no point to give them extra burden of captaincy. Virat Kohli is too young to handle Test captaincy. Yuvi, Pujara are struggling to find their places. In Bowling side only, No one is able to handle captaincy. So India have to carry on with Dhoni and wait for either Sehwag or Gambhir to come in form.

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 10:19 GMT)

I absolutely stand with the Dravid's statement. Dhoni should captain at least 1 or 2 years.

Posted by tanstell87 on (November 12, 2012, 10:00 GMT)

@CricketMaan - why should BCCI make green need for that will Australia,England & South Africa churn out rank turners in thier domestic they wont so why you want India to change its traditional wickets...?

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 9:59 GMT)

dravid is right..selectors shud pay attention to him

Posted by Nutcutlet on (November 12, 2012, 9:57 GMT)

Rahul Dravid as a batsman was always worth watching! Now retired, he's equally well worth listening to. His advice here to his erstwhile captain repays close reading. He says that MSD's strength (to stay in his cocoon & therefore away from criticism) is also his weakness (not open to fresh ideas/not a listener). Gently, he chides the setup in which MSD works; it's dysfunctional as there's a glaring absence of communication between selectors, coaches & the capt. That's why India often selects the wrong players, some of whom clearly don't have the capt's confidence as they've been foisted upon him. This must impact on team unity. RD's concerned about India's woeful record away from home & sees this as something that hasn't been addressed, intimating that there is a complacency/resignation to the challenges thrown up when competing in foreign condtions & MSD betrays this in his body language (flustered, etc). Overall, RD sees MSD as overworked, not managed, no longer sharp. He's right!

Posted by roversgate on (November 12, 2012, 9:55 GMT)

Dhoni should be dropped from the T20 format completely. Let Raina or Gambhir take over and train Kohli to be the vice captain and future captain (Kohli hasn't played much T20 international, unfair to make him captain so early). Dhoni can remain in the test squad for another 2-3 years until the present squad gets settled and eventually Saha or someone else who steps up should take over as wicketkeeper with one of the recent additions taking over as captain. Dhoni can play ODI till he is Sachin's age for all I care, he is far too consistent to drop him from ODIs ever.

Posted by veerakannadiga on (November 12, 2012, 9:54 GMT)

Once again excellent observations by the Great man. You just don't damn a person for losing a couple of series. As, RD, rightly points out, MSD, has won us 2 WC's. Any captain, even the greats like Clive Loyd,Border,Steve waugh,Hansie Crojne had their ups & downs.

Posted by SriSanka on (November 12, 2012, 9:50 GMT) of the worst captain talking about an ordinary captain....

Posted by   on (November 12, 2012, 9:37 GMT)

I feel we need to look ahead....selector should handover captncy to virat kohli aftr 1-2 years probably when dhoni quits captaincy himself......considering gauti or viru I think is nt appropriate ...virat has everything in himself ....jst wait for some time..

Posted by CricketMaan on (November 12, 2012, 9:32 GMT)

Two points that RD made, Dhoni should ask for a team he wants. I have no doubt he has done that for Eng series and the selectors have responded. Else Bhajji and to an extent Yuvi, GG, Viru would have been doubtful. He has even managed to retain Zak and Ishant (ahead of Dinda) not that the pipeline is gr8. So Dhoni got what he asked for. Secondly, he says that Dhoni does not have kind of bowlers you need to win Tests especially aborad. That is a BIG statement coming from Dravid given that he was part of the 8-0 debacle. Unfortunately when i see the Ranji 2nd round, BCCI has not learnt anything, docile pitches, no green tracks seems to be the order of the day. Dhoni might get away with home test wins, come 2013 SA tour can he make it count is a HUGE question mark, home test wins cannot gaurantee that.

Posted by karthik2203 on (November 12, 2012, 9:13 GMT)

As usual spot-on by Rahul Dravid. Dhoni must be preserved, no point in criticizing his captaincy with such a workload. Relieving him from T20 and ODI captaincy must make Dhoni a better player and a confident captain in Tests and a better prepared team for South Africa 2013. Kholi, Raina, Yuvraj... the list goes on for Strong probable contenders for T20 ODI Caps.

Posted by satish619chandar on (November 12, 2012, 9:01 GMT)

Let us look for the alternatives. Saha can certainly be the test keeper as of current form. Even Dinesh Karthik can be moved in there. So Dhoni the batsman and Dhoni the keeper is easily replaceable with two of ready options available.What lacks is a good captain. But you never know who will be a good captain unless he had actually captained the team. Dhoni's captaincy does have flaws where he allowed England and Aussies to get away from the hook atleast two times in the 8-0 debacle. Dhoni as a captain is weak but we don't have a direct replacement yet. Just need to trial and error the available options. If Viru and Gauti are in race, they are even woeful in their roles than Dhoni. Virat is very young and Sacin can't captain. Why not simply persist with Dhoni and leave others with less pressure.

Posted by Narbavi on (November 12, 2012, 8:49 GMT)

There u go, words of wisdom from the great man himself!! He has put it rightly, lets see if the concerned people implement it!!

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