New Delhi: Former Australian captain Steve Waugh on Tuesday criticised Mahendra Singh Dhoni for asking the curators to "doctor the pitches" and pointed out that if a side wants to be the best it should be able to negotiate all conditions.
"Dhoni's comments this morning were really negative to the game, when he said Indian curators to doctor the pitches, which I can't understand," Waugh said during the India-Australia Innovative Forum here.
The Indian skipper, after winning the first Test against England at Ahmedabad on Monday, expressed his displeasure at the Motera wicket and said that "we wanted the curators to prepare the pitches that will turn from day one".
"You want to be aggressive and be the best in the world, you got to take all the conditions and not always ask for the conditions that suits your style of play. I was a bit surprised with that. I think if you are looking to be the best in the world you got to learn to play in all conditions."
The former great said that during his tenure as the head of the Australian team he was never bothered about what sort of wicket they were playing on.
"I captained the side for 57 games and never once had a word with the curator about what sort of pitch we are going to play," Waugh said.
However, the veteran of 168 Tests said that India were the favourites to win the four-match rubber against England.
"India are a strong side, always hard to beat in India and some of the young players are coming through, which is great sign for Indian cricket. (Cheteshwar) Pujara getting a double century, (Pragyan) Ojha taking wickets, it is great for Indian cricket.
"You got to have to turn out of this, no players are bigger than the game, someone will always step up. Sometimes you get too carried away that experienced players are irreplaceable but the natural thing will happen, someone will step up to play and take that role. India will will win this series, I think they will win it 3-0 because the pitches will suit their team," the 47-year-old said.
Asked about Australia's visit to India early next year, Waugh said it is going to be an "interesting series".
"In Delhi, can't say Australia can win, can I? No, it is silly. It is just like saying Tendulkar should get retired, of course he should play on, when are you in India. It is interesting for both teams. I think by that time Australia may be more developed than India. Because India are starting to turn the things now and Australia have started their process 12 to 18 months ago. It will be a close series," Waugh said.
Waugh, who is considered as one of the most successful skippers, however maintained that the result of the forthcoming series will depend on lot of factors.
"It depends, I guess a lot on people like Tendulkar whether he is still around. India is coming to a stage pretty shortly where things are going to be a little tough for them for the next couple of years, when they have this new side coming around and legends of the game are no longer there.
"The good sign is that Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly are not there and the side is still playing well. That tells you India has got a lot of depth in their cricket system," Waugh said.
On Australia's ongoing battle with South Africa, Waugh said a draw in the series will be a good result for the Aussies.
"It was good time for Australia to do well in the first Test, they were the underdogs. Micheal Clarke has done well as the captain. Ed Cowan, his century was important for Australian cricket. Australia will have their work cut-out in Perth, the conditions there will suit South African bowlers. If we come out with a draw in this series it will be a good result for the Australia," the Australian said.
Talking about the various innovations used in today's game, Waugh said: "I think if you don't innovate, you can't stay ahead of the opposition. As a cricket team you need to be innovative in your approach."
"Innovation is the key, if you don't innovate and stay still, the opposition goes past you," he added.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 20 November 2012 18:01 IST