India news January 6, 2014

New captain not feasible before World Cup - Dhoni

ESPNcricinfo staff

Passed the point of no return - Dhoni

MS Dhoni has indicated he is not averse to continuing as India captain in all formats, saying it would be unfair to burden a new player with the mantle of captaincy with just a year left for the 2015 World Cup.

"It's a point of no return with the World Cup literally one year away from now," Dhoni said at a promotional event in Delhi, according to PTI. "It won't give a new guy the ideal time to play at least 70-80-90 games [before] the World Cup. That's what we would like to have him play before the World Cup.

"I understand the pressure… you get the kind of things which give you more experience than the others. So, we have to go through it."

Dhoni was responding to a question on giving up captaincy in one format to prolong his career. In 2012, Dhoni had said he might have to give up a format to lead India's title defence in 2015, but would take a call only at the end of 2013.

There have always been concerns over how much workload Dhoni can take across his multiple roles but he said his body was holding up fine at the moment. "I am really fortunate to see where I am right now with the amount of cricket that we are playing these days. As of now, it's looking good. The body is closely knit together. How it will be [in future], I don't know but so far so good."

India lost their recent two-Test series 0-1 in South Africa but Dhoni said India's performance on the tour showed they had promising players, who would only get better with the exposure on upcoming trips. "Yes, we had some tough times. We had a bad session [in Durban]. We had one really bad session because of which we were on the losing side.

"I think the process is more important. It can go worse than that [the performance in South Africa], but the good thing is that at least we know the players are there. We had a lot of good sessions in South Africa.

"It's a process where we have to improve. Also the fact [is] that now we will be continuously playing out of India, so it will give more exposure to the players. Most of the players who are part of the side, barring a few, they have not played maybe more than five Test matches outside India. I know they will take some time, but the overall performance was good."

India's bowlers were unable to bowl South Africa out in the second innings of the first Test despite having 457 runs to defend, and Dhoni acknowledged they required progress on that front. "We have bowlers who can take 20 wickets but still this is one area where we need to improve. I think on the wickets that are helpful we have done well. Outside India, at times, you get wickets where we have to hit the deck hard and that goes [against] what our bowlers actually bowl.

"I am talking about the majority of bowlers, that's one area where we have to still learn. We have seen in the past also, if there's help, then we will get 20 wickets. That's one area where we have to improve a bit. But looking at the of bowlers we have got, definitely it seems they have the potential to take 20 wickets in Test matches."

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