Several former cricketers including former chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth, Atul Wassan and Abbas Ali Baig wanted a change in Test captaincy with Virat Kohli's name being suggested as a possible replacement. (Photo: Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni/ PTI file)
Calls for sacking Indian skipper
Mahendra Singh Dhoni grew louder today with batting legend
Sunil Gavaskar leading the chorus after India's dismal
performance during the last 18 months capped by a series
capitulation to England today.
Apart from Gavaskar, several former cricketers including
former chairman of selectors Kris Srikkanth, Atul Wassan and
Abbas Ali Baig wanted a change in Test captaincy with Virat
Kohli's name being suggested as a possible replacement.
Gavaskar said it was time the selectors looked to the
future as Dhoni seemed out of sorts in this series.
"Till the fourth day of this Test I said there is no
alternative to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but now that Virat
(Kohli) has come up with a 100 under trying circumstances I
think he has discovered a good part about himself. I think he
is ready to take on the mantle," the former India skipper
"I think this is something to be looked at in a positive
manner because that's where the future is," Gavaskar said.
Srikkanth was of the view that Dhoni will be better of
without the captaincy burden from now on.
"Dhoni's become stale and doesn't know what to do when
things go out of the way. He shouldn't be the Test captain
anymore. Had I been the chairman of selectors, I would have
picked Dhoni as a wicket-keeper batsman but it is time to look
beyond him as a Test captain," Srikkanth said.
"I will pick Dhoni as a keeper/batsman because his
contribution has to be considered. I think he will be better
off without captaincy and add more value to the Test team,"
Former cricketer Abbas Ali Baig also called for a change
of leadership and said Kohli should be given the mantle. "We
have to look ahead to the future and plan accordingly".
Dubbed 'Captain Cool' ever since India won the 2007 World Twenty20 Championships under him, Dhoni's stock has been
falling over the past couple of years with poor away results
Add to this, the series loss to England in the
home series, have severely exposed India's batting
shortcomings after the retirement of middle-order batsmen such
as Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.
"The easiest thing for me to say right now is 'I quit
captaincy' and be a part of the side. But that's like running
away from the responsibility," says Dhoni.
"Of course there are others who will decide. There is
BCCI and the administrative people who also want to look
into that (captaincy)", Dhoni had said after the defeat in
Kolkata when asked whether India needs a change in captaincy.
But his captaincy record of the past two years shows
that the skipper needs to introspect.
In the last two years, India's winning percentage in
Tests stands at a poor 33.33.
Of the 22 Tests played in this period, including the
just-concluded Nagpur Test, India have won just seven, lost
10 and drawn five -- an abysmal stat given that this team was
placed at the top of the ICC rankings not too long ago.
Majority of these wins, five, have come on home turf and
given the current stat of affairs, this record too would be
Away from home under Dhoni, India have lost eight of the
13 matches they have played, managing just two wins in the
last couple of years.
Meanwhile former India spinner Bishen Singh Bedi has also
demanded Dhoni's removal as captain.
"Dhoni should feel lucky that he's still there. If Tiger
Pataudi or Sunil Gavaskar had lost as many Tests, they
wouldn't have lasted this long. He hasn't done enough to
continue being the skipper. He should have been eased out
after the World Cup win," Bedi told Headlines Today.
"He's is not a Test skipper. You need a skipper who's
worthy of his place in the eleven. Tell me is his 99 of any
use to the team," he asked.
Bedi believes that Virat Kohli should be handed the reins
of the team.
"You can't say we can't bring anyone else. I would make
Virat Kohli the captain. He's got a sharp cricketing brain.
You got to trust the young blood. This is a young man's game.
We've been carrying a lot of dead wood for a long time."
The spin ace, however, stoutly defended batting maestro
Sachin Tendulkar, who has been under relentless attack for his
low scores in the last two series, against New Zealand and
"None of us, neither the experts nor the media, are
qualified to judge Sachin. Only one person can judge him, that
is Sachin Tendulkar himself. But its very sad to see him like
this," said Bedi.