Rahul Dravid backs Dhoni as Test cap­tain

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

COLOMBO

Rahul Dravid be­lieves MS Dhoni re­mains the right man to lead In­dia de­spite his seven straight Test de­feats as cap­tain in Eng­land and Aus­tralia last year, but, in the near fu­ture, the se­lec­tors will need to con­sider re­duc­ing his cap­taincy work­load in one for­mat to get the best out of him as wick­et­keeper and bats­man.

Speak­ing to Har­sha Bhogle and San­jay Man­jrekar on Time Out, ESPNcricinfo's fortnightly au­dio pod­cast to be pub­lished on Wed­nes­day, Dravid said it was im­por­tant that Dhoni started plan­ning to­wards rec­ti­fy­ing In­dia's re­cent over­seas record at their next ma­jor away as­sign­ment, against South Africa late next year.

Dhoni, Dravid said, would have to play an ac­tive role in get­ting the se­lec­tors to pick the type of play­ers he wants and also open him­self up to more ideas and sug­ges­tions than he has shown to do so far.

"From his own per­sonal point of view, you also want to see the best of Dhoni as a player. He has a lot to con­trib­ute as a bats­man and wick­et­keeper and we want to see the best of that," Dravid, Dhoni's pre­de­ces­sor as cap­tain, said.

"I don't think we want to lose that and if that means at some stage, maybe the time's not right now but in the near fu­ture, we have to re­lieve him of the re­spon­si­bil­ity from one for­mat to get the best out of him as a player then I think the se­lec­tors have to take that call." Across all three for­mats, Dhoni has cap­tained In­dia in 203 of his 318 matches.

"He has got to have an eye on some of the chal­lenges he faces in his ca­reer, to be seen as a good over­seas cap­tain as well. That will be a func­tion of the team he gets, but he's got to try and have an influence on the kind of team he gets, the kind of per­son­nel he wants and that's a process that he's got to start now," Dravid said.

"It's a process of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ne­go­ti­a­tion with se­lec­tors, coaches, work­ing on some of the skill-sets of some of the bowlers and young bats­men com­ing through on what is re­quired in a year's time.

"So while he has a mi­cro view of what needs to be done in these [home] se­ries [against Eng­land and Aus­tralia], he needs to dis­cuss with the se­lec­tors about the kind of play­ers he wants in South Africa and en­trust them with the job of ac­tu­ally find­ing those play­ers in do­mes­tic cricket."

The up­com­ing home Tests are an op­por­tu­nity, Dravid said, for Dhoni to show he has learned the lessons from the over­seas dis­ap­point­ments of last year.

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