Bangalore: Former Australia captain Ian Chappell does not find Mahendra Singh Dhoni good enough to be India’s Test captain, saying he was past his prime as far as leading the side and it was right time to hand the reins of the team to Virat Kohli.
“I think it time for Dhoni to go and may be it is right time for Kohli to come in as captain,” Chappell said. “Certainly, he [Dhoni] is not a Test captain. I think he is a good captain in shorter-version of the game. I don’t think there would be a problem to give it Kohli now, though,” he said.
Chappell said India need a fresh brain to lead the side, but Indian selectors are not ruthless to take hard decisions. “Indian selectors do not have the ruthless quality as Australian selectors have. They wait for the guy to retire. I mean after he [Dhoni] lost 4-0 to England and Australia, if he would have been an Australian captain he would have gone. He did nothing to inspire the team,” he said.
“You can always lose, that is fine, but you go down fighting. I did not find him do that. To me the captain has lost his usefulness and it is time for him to go.”
Chappell said 27 years is about the right age for Kohli to lead the side. “I don’t think captaincy would affect Kohli adversely because he is a very strong character and is a confident cricketer. So he can work out [things] as a captain. At 27, you have got four to five years for a player to peak, and it is crucial to give the guy the captaincy. No good giving him captaincy at the age 32 to 33, when he is started to go over the top. You got to give him his best chance,” he opined.
Chappell said the biggest problem for the Indian team is selection as he put question mark over Stuart Binny’s place in the playing XI in the first Test against England. “The selection was wrong. If you don’t get selections right it is pretty hard to win. How can you leave Ashwin? Why did they pick Binny? Binny is not a bowler and he bats at number eight. Ashwin also can bat and far better bowler. Ashwin is far better bowler than Jadeja as well. So they have to sort that out.”
In next Test at Lords, Chappell said he would love to see Rohit Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin in the playing XI. “Lords is not that good for spinners. So, I will drop Jadeja and Binny, and play Rohit Sharma and Ashwin. That will be far better balanced side.”
Chappell also spoke about Alastair Cook and former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, saying they are not great leaders. “Apart from Dhoni, Cook and Smith, all are very-very average captains. In my opinion they are miles behind Michael Clarke. A captain should have respect from players and they should believe in his ability as a captain. Australia will be delighted if Cook is the captain when the next series takes place,” he said.
Chappell said Clarke was the best captain in the world at the moment. “Clarke is a really good captain and I cannot think of another one who can – I haven’t seen much about Angelo Mathews. I really don’t know about him,” he said.
However, Chappell doesn’t see Clarke going too long as captain because of his back problem. “He seems to know how to manage his back problems but I don’t see him going for long time. I enjoy watching him as a captain because he makes things happen,” he said.
Chappell said Steven Smith and David Warner could be potential future captains for Australia. “Steve Smith probably. I think he is a very good cricketer. He has captained in shorter-form of the game. He has got all the attributes. He is just starting now to really establish himself as a player.
“Warner also wouldn’t be a bad captain. I would like to see Warner to shut up and stop stupid talk on the field. It is not a good thing to come in as a captain with that kind of reputation. Somebody should tell him ‘David you can win matches with the bat – forget the tongue,” he said.