While Duncan Fletcher has been sent feelers to quit as Team India coach, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has backed Mahendra Singh Dhoni to stay on. Fearsome Aussie fast bowler of the yesteryears Glenn McGrath says that there is no replacement for Dhoni at present and he would like to see Indian cricketers share the blame for the 3-1 Test humiliation in England with their skipper.
Excerpts from an interview with NDTV.
NDTV: You are famous for making series predictions. After India's win at Lord's, would you have predicted a 3-1 winning scoreline for England?
McGrath: Probably not. India were playing some decent cricket at that time. England had been beaten by Sri Lanka so they were down on confidence, but things turned around very quickly and unfortunately for India, it just got worse and worse. ('BCCI Not Giving Enough Importance to Tests')
Q: MS Dhoni has drawn a lot of criticism. Do you think it is time for him to resign as Test captain?
A: I have a lot of respect for Dhoni as a person and as a cricketer. Fair enough that he has to accept some of the responsibility for what happened. There is not just one issue with the Indian team at the moment. The way they fielded, was under-12 stuff. If you drop so many catches, you will never win a game. That puts a team on the backfoot. ('Ravi Shastri Can't Produce Instant Results')
Q: Who do you think can replace Dhoni now?
A: The only reason you replace a captain is if there is anyone better than him. At the moment, I am not sure if there is anyone better than Dhoni to lead the Indian Team.
Q: Should Dhoni give up one format of the game and continue to lead India in ODIs and T20s?
A: At the end of the day, only Dhoni can answer that. I still enjoyed playing Tests and one-dayers when I quit cricket but had to take a decision at some point. Dhoni will know if he still has the desire and the drive to play Test cricket.
Q: Would you say that this Indian team lacks fight?
A: You are putting me in a spot by asking this question. It is a tough thing to say. They are definitely down on confidence. There is no doubt about that. We shall have to wait and see what happens when they go to Australia. It will be tough for them. Australia has been playing some incredible cricket, they beat this England team 5-0.
Q: Is there one batsman in the current Indian team you would put your money on?
A: When I was with the Delhi Daredevils, I played alongside Shikhar Dhawan. I love the way he goes about his cricket. The way he started his Test career was very impressive. I was a little bit disappointed to see that he was dropped from the team. It is going to be tough. I am not putting any money anywhere at the moment.
Q: We haven't had many bowlers coming from MRF Pace Foundation of late. What is the reason?
A: It is all about gaining that experience in domestic cricket and using it in international cricket. I would not say that there is a lack of talent. There are quite a few young guys coming through the system. They do not have a great deal of experience of playing Ranji Trophy. Sometime it is tough to break into the Indian team. I mentioned Ishwar Pandey is a good prospect. He would have been good in England in those conditions. So it is all about getting the opportunity. We shall have to wait and see what the future holds.
Q: Talking about the India-Australia Test series... when the Aussies came here they were beaten 4-0. Is Michael Clarke ready for revenge?
A: I do not know about revenge. The way the Australian team is playing, they are a different team at the moment. Mitchell Johnson has lifted the team. He is aggressive, he has got control and bowling some lethal deliveries. The batsmen are stepping up to the plate as well. Warner is doing a good job, Brad Haddin is another quality player. Of course, Michael Clarke's record speaks for itself. So the Australian team are in a different zone from where they were when they came here. They are playing with a lot more confidence. Unless there is a huge shift, Australia will win 4-0.
Q: Really you think Australia will win 4-0?
A: Unless India can turn things around, they definitely have their work cut out.
Q: You are currently in India to promote the 2015 World Cup . Does India have it in them to retain the title?
A: India in India or in sub-continental conditions are a tough team. In Australia, it will be a little bit different. They have got their first game against Pakistan in Adelaide. I am looking forward to that game. Hopefully, a lot of Indians will come to Australia and support their team. It is their support that the team needs now.