Melbourne: Slamming Mahendra Singh Dhoni as a “serial offender” in the India’s Test debacles abroad, former Australia captain Ian Chappell said if the team fails to compete at full throttle then another capitulation is certain against a highly competitive Australian outfit.
“There’s no disgrace in losing; it’s part of cricketing life. However, what is disgraceful is failing to compete to the best of your ability and continuing to make the same mistakes. That’s what India have done for the bulk of their last two visits to the UK and their most recent tour of Australia,” Chappell said of India’s lacklustre performances abroad.
He said the latest Indian Test debacle, the 1-3 loss to England, was worse than those previous capitulations because India achieved a monumental victory at Lord’s. “That should have been the springboard to a spirited attempt to stretch that lead but instead it became the top step on the slippery dip to oblivion,” the former Australia skipper and Cricket commentator said in his column in ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“If India continue to bat, bowl and field poorly and fail to compete at full throttle under Dhoni’s lacklustre captaincy, then another capitulation is certain to follow against a highly competitive Australian outfit,” he said.
India’s tour of Australia might be over three months away but mind games have already started with pacer Ryan Harris earlier this week saying they will not tone down their aggression and the Indians may face a brutal summer from fellow fast bowler Mitchell Johnson.
“Dhoni is a serial offender in those Indian debacles. In all three cases – the first two full series and the last three Tests of the recent capitulation – his captaincy failed to inspire the team,” Chappell opined.
Chappell was not only critical of Dhoni’s captaincy but also his wicketkeeping. “First slip is a hazardous zone because Dhoni has given up attempting to catch anything other than a straightforward gift on the batsman’s off side. Not only does his inactivity serve to narrow the reach of the slip cordon, it also creates confusion in the mind of the first-slip fielder,” he said.
Slamming Dhoni’s selections, Chappell said, “I’ve never been a believer in the captain having a vote on selection; a say, yes, but a vote, no. In this latest series Dhoni provided ample proof why. His selection of Stuart Binny as an all-rounder was ludicrous. Then, as if his sole aim had been to prove that point, his treatment of the player was baffling. Binny was rarely used as a bowler despite batting at No.8.”
“To pick Ravindra Jadeja as a front-line spinner is a serious miscasting. Then Dhoni proceeded to use Jadeja as a stop-gap trundler in Southampton in what looked like an attempt to prove he wasn’t a front-line spin bowler,” he said.
“One of India’s biggest headaches is finding a replacement for Dhoni as Test captain, following the repeated batting failures of his logical successor Virat Kohli,” he added.