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MS Dhoni’s captaincy poor, but no replacement around: Dilip Vengsarkar

Dilip Vengsarkar feels Mahendra Singh Dhoni might have past his sell-by date as a Test captain.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Kolkata | Updated: August 19, 2014 10:11 am
MS Dhoni last won a Test series away from home in West Indies in 2011 (Source: AP) MS Dhoni last won a Test series away from home in West Indies in 2011 (Source: AP)

In 2008, when Anil Kumble decided to quit Test captaincy and retire from the game following a finger injury during the home series against Australia, the then selection committee headed by Dilip Vengsarkar handed over the reins to Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Six years down the line, Dhoni has become India’s most successful captain with 28 wins in 58 Tests. At the same time, his record outside the subcontinent is abysmal with only four Test wins to his credit.

Another poor show at the Oval on Sunday evening put the relatively young side and its captain under the scanner.

Vengsarkar feels Dhoni might have past his sell-by date as a Test captain. There’s, however, still no one ready to replace him.

“I must say his (Test) captaincy has been very poor of late, especially in this series. Then again, who would you replace him with? We don’t have a replacement available,” said Vengsarkar, speaking to The Indian Express.

“Not only the captain, there’s a dearth of quality Test talent at the moment, which is the real tragedy of Indian cricket. The selectors can’t be held responsible. They didn’t have other options apart from those 18 players who were picked for England. This was the best available squad but it failed to perform,” Vengsarkar added.

The former chief selector also felt that the lack of sufficient preparation for the challenging tour also resulted in India unable to sustain the intensity.  “The team wasn’t prepared for a five-Test series overseas. The players, most of them are very inexperienced, had about a couple of weeks off after the IPL and played only two first-class matches before the first Test in England. Preparation was inadequate and BCCI must look into this. You can’t win a Test series away from home without proper preparation,” said the former India captain – one of most successful batsmen in English conditions with three centuries at Lord’s.

What about coach Duncan Fletcher? He took charge three years ago when India were the No.1 Test team in the world. The 65-year-old Zimbabwean has presided over a spectacular fall in fortunes overseas. India have lost 13 overseas Tests under his charge and also suffered a home defeat against England. Does he deserve to continue as India coach?

Too long a rope

“The BCCI must review Fletcher’s performance with immediate effect. He has been given too long a rope but where are the results? He and his team of support staff owe us an explanation about why the players keep repeating mistakes. It’s BCCI’s prerogative to decide whether they will continue with Fletcher. We don’t want a knee-jerk reaction, but Fletcher must be questioned. If the Board doesn’t take up the cudgels now, then god save Indian cricket,” Vengsarkar said.

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  1. A
    Aug 19, 2014 at 6:28 pm
    totally agree with Krishnan. what point is there to retain a person who laughs at every defeat.
    1. c
      Aug 20, 2014 at 8:20 pm
      he has nobody to replace him because he got all the probable captains (viru, gambhir, bhajji etc.) kicked out in time with a little luck...just to prolong his reign and have a complete hold over Indian cricket along with his master srini....deadly on-field and off-field combo....one common which binds them so well....their thick-skinned nature.....(beyond disgusting)In the name of rebuilding a young team he has mostly got selected his YES-MEN...he enjoys his greatness among his mediocre core group (jadeja, ashwin, raina, vijay etc.)........everything keeps getting swept under the carpet courtesy indian team's packed odi and t20 schedule (the slam-bang cricket)....when comes the test for their real cricketing skills they fall miserably short (foreign test performance in last 3 years)....it's not that india doesn't have talent....its just that they are not allowed to come up....the selections are made on the basis of IPL performance (CSK being a hotbed for selections...) and not Ranji performance......the biggest ill besetting indian cricket is dhoni-srini combo....they both need to be sacked and srini needs to be banned from all kinds of cricketing affairs......a new management and new captain with 'test cricket' as priority should be set up....too much money and the greed and arrogance that it brings is slowly pulling indian cricket down....
      1. K
        Aug 19, 2014 at 6:22 am
        No point in keeping Dhoni just because there are no alternates. 4-0 Hiding in Australia by an innings is on the cards irrespective of the captain, best to groom a new captain and sack Dhoni & Co
        1. A
          Aug 20, 2014 at 8:15 am
          Bh0sdika Vengsarkar BCCI paid chamcha hai. He will always say from his $hitting mouth in favour of BCCI and Dhoni only.
          1. W
            Aug 21, 2014 at 7:16 am
            Is it not the responsibility of the selectors to prepare a replacement? Was Vengsarkar himself not the chairman of the selectors? So he failed in his job. Remember Mohinder Amarnath being thrown out when he wanted to find a replacement and at that time Viru and Gambhir were around and in good form. Capable players who could have been replacements were forced out because they revolted against Dhoni's lacklustre captaincy.
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