Mahendra Singh Dhoni still has more to offer as India's Test captain: Sunil Gavaskar tells NDTV
Former India skipper and NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar came to Mahendra Singh Dhoni's defence after India lost yet another overseas tour under his captaincy in New Zealand on Tuesday.
On the day when Brendon McCullum entered record books with a maiden triple ton and ensured a draw at Wellington to win the two-match series 1-0 over India, former India skipper and NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar refused to put the entire blame on Indian captain MS Dhoni and felt that he had a lot more to offer as India's Test captain. Answering questions on whether it was time to ease the workload on Dhoni and find a new captain in Tests, Gavaskar said," I don't think so. Not at the moment. I think Dhoni has still got plenty to offer. A captain can do very little if you don't have a bowling attack. Generally a captain is only as good as his team," Gavaskar told NDTV in an exclusive chat from Wellington.
Gavaskar refuted the notion that Dhoni was getting a long rope as the Test skipper and said, "I think that perception is there only because there has been no other person who can come around and stake a claim and say look he is there and he is ready. So that's the reason why the perception is there that he has survived despite not winning overseas. But the thing is, he is winning handsomely in India and therefore it's very difficult to say to him, okay thank you, you won 3-0, all three test matches in india but sorry your overseas record is not good so we are going to change the captain. So that kind of thing doesn't work." (Highlights | Pics)
Dhoni has endured a woeful overseas record as Test captain, going winless in the last 12 matches (10 losses and two draws) across four tours -- England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand. Yet, at the presentation ceremony, Dhoni opted to take away positives from a series where his side were second-best throughout. (Dhoni demands better batting performance from Team India)
"I suppose it's a matter of perception. As captain you would think there is some improvement because you haven't lost all the Test matches so that according to the skipper, maybe they are improving... they didn't lose both the Test matches in South Africa, they haven't lost both the Test matches here. While on their previous overseas tours, to Australia and to England they lost all the Tests and all the ODIs. So maybe that's the perception that the team has improved," Gavaskar said, in an exclusive chat with NDTV.Â (India look for rare positives after horrid tour to New Zealand)
Gavaskar also went on to quash claims of too much workload for Dhoni and whether there was too much pressure for him to handle. He said, "Not as far as Dhoni's concerned. I have yet to meet anybody so completely cool and being able to absorb pressure as Dhoni has done throughout his career. He is not the guy who will absorb any pressure or the tensions of captaining in three different formats plus the Indian Premier League. I don't think he is the kind of person who will be affected by the pressure." (Drawn Wellington Test helps India maintain 2nd Test team rank)
Asked how he would have reacted if this had happened under his captaincy, Gavaskar said, " I would have been disappointed, that I wasn't able to, that from a winning position not go on to win. I think I would have been disappointed definitely."
India's next's overseas tour is towards the end of June to England, a tour which began Dhoni's poor overseas record in 2011.