Spin great Erapalli Prasanna feels time has come to make Virat Kohli the India captain in all three formats and M S Dhoni, whose leadership skills are on the wane, can continue playing as a wicketkeeper-batsman in the limited-overs format.
Though it has already been announced that Dhoni will lead India in the World T20 in March-April, Prasanna wants the decision to be reassessed. India have lost their last three ODI series under Dhoni.
“I think the time has come to make Kohli captain in all three formats. Dhoni is 33-34 now and there has to be a change in captaincy at some point so why not now? He can keep playing as a player. Ultimately, it is Dhoni who will take the call. If you ask me, let him keep the wickets and give Kohli the charge right away. It is in the team’s interest,” Prasanna told PTI.
Asked whether Dhoni can go on as a player in the team, Prasanna said: “If you look at the overall scenario, he may be a better batsman than Saha but wicket-keeping wise Saha is equally good. Perhaps Dhoni can carry on and you can still expect a 30-40 run innings from him in the slog overs.”
Prasanna said Dhoni has been found wanting in the ongoing series in Australia with the hosts fancying a 5-0 whitewash of India in the fifth ODI in Sydney tomorrow.
“Some of the selection choices have been baffling to be honest. Dropping your number one bowler (R Ashwin) in the last two games was beyond logic. If he was around in the third ODI (at Melbourne), India could have built more pressure with Jadeja bowling well from the other end. Instead, Dhoni took Jadeja off the attack soon after he removed Steve Smith. It was surely questionable,” said the 75-year-old, who took 189 wickets in 49 Tests for India.
He also did not understand the logic behind dropping Manish Pandey after the first two ODIs and picking Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Rishi Dhawan for the following two matches.
“Manish hardly got time to prove himself and then you picked Gurkeerat and Rishi, both pretty mediocre players. If you look at the the bench strength, it is nowhere near international standards. If you drop Ashwin and put players like Rishi, you are not expected to win.
“It seems the only way India can win right now is if they get a slow turner,” added Prasanna.
Gurkeerat scored 5 and 8 and failed to pick up a wicket while Rishi too returned wicketless in his outings.