<
>

Dravid, not Chappell, needs to call the shots - Shastri

Ravi Shastri, the former Indian allrounder-turned-commentator, has stated that Rahul Dravid needed to assert himself more as captain of the team. Shastri came down heavily on India's team management in the wake of their disappointing showing in the recently concluded DLF Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

"It's time Dravid exerted himself and told Chappell that in future he will call the shots," Shastri told Gulf News after India failed to qualify for the final of the tri-series. "A coach must only help the captain but the final decision must rest with Dravid. He should decide who should bat at No. 3 and not the coach. Dravid should stand up and say that he is the boss and that he controls matters once he crosses the boundary line. He should get an eleven of his choice."

India experimented with Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar opening the batting and Virender Sehwag at No.4 in all the matches except the last against Australia when Sehwag opened with Tendulkar. Shastri felt that the constant shuffling of the batting order cost India their chance at winning the tournament.

"It's time Chappell stopped his experiments with the team. I cannot understand how he could send Virender Sehwag at No 4. I will always prefer Sehwag as an opener. If he gets going even three out of ten times, it would bring victory to the team," he said. "To ask Dravid, known as the world's finest middle-order batsman, to open the innings, is a big blunder. One must have a solid batsman like Dravid coming in at No. 4."

Dravid had a poor tournament with only 39 runs in four innings while Sehwag managed only 28.