Dhoni still the right choice as captain: Akram
New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS): Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni should continue as the India captain but he should be more flexible in his tactics.
“I am positive that Dhoni is the right choice to remain as captain, but he has to be more flexible in his tactics. You cannot throw the ball to a novice like Ravichandran Ashwin, like Dhoni did in Kolkata, and expect him to produce miracles,” said Dhoni.
“If the team management feels that a policy of split-captaincy would release the pressure on Dhoni, then maybe there is a need for change. But personally I would still have Dhoni over next-in-line Virat Kohli, who is too young to lead Team India.”
Akram feels that India and Dhoni are lacking an alternative plan when they run into tough situations.
“India and Dhoni, in particular, are lacking a Plan B when situations get tough, where they have seemed content in containing rather than attacking,” Akram wrote in his column on ESPNStar.com.
“The on-going transition within the Indian squad has seen pace spearhead Zaheer Khan axed from the side after picking up just four wickets in three Tests versus England so far. Despite skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni publicly backing Zaheer, saying he was bowling in the right areas, it has been his alarming lack of pace that has left the English batsmen untroubled.
“It seems to me that Zaheer’s main problem stems from his fitness levels. His run-up is slow and lethargic while his follow-through is almost non-existent. Zaheer’s stock delivery is the reverse-swinging one, but for it to be effective he will have to run-in a lot faster. He is 34 years old and not getting any younger,” he said.
Akram also had words of praise for the English side, especially their captain Alastair Cook.
“Their skipper Alastair Cook has led from the front, showing tremendous temperament at the Test level, that someone like Kohli should learn from. Credit must also be given to their bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed whose tips have helped English bowlers make optimum use of the SG ball, especially when it comes to reverse-swing. The chips are seemingly down for the Indian side, with England favourites heading into Nagpur,” he said.