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Dhoni still best bet in Tests: Dravid

Calcutta: Former India captain Rahul Dravid has thrown his weight behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying that he is the “only man” capable of leading the Test team but should quit Twenty20 captaincy to avoid becoming “stale”.

“Not only is Dhoni the only man to lead India in Test cricket, he is still capable of doing the job well.

“What it will require from him is a change in the way he captains, a recognition that he can’t do everything all the time, and the willingness to ask for and accept help,” Dravid said.

“Dhoni has got to recognise that he can’t continue to captain and play all the time, because it is making him stale... To start with, Dhoni could easily give up the India T20 and Chennai Super Kings captaincies...

“He needs to take breaks between captaining and ’keeping and playing,” Dravid wrote in his ESPNCricinfo column.

“He should certainly play ODIs and T20s for India, because he is invaluable to the side. Giving up a couple of captaincy roles might give him more time in the main India job and the freshness to keep doing it. It would also give India an opportunity to perhaps give someone like (Virat) Kohli a chance to be T20 captain, break him into the job and see how he goes,” he wrote.

Dravid also said that Dhoni should change his approach slightly.

“He has had a good run, and will be recognised as India’s most successful captain, and he now has a chance to extend it. Other than his leadership qualities, there is the fact that there are no alternatives to Dhoni at this stage,” he pointed out.

Dravid said opener Gautam Gambhir could have been a possible captaincy candidate but his lack of form in Tests has put a question mark on that.

“At one point we felt Gautam Gambhir could take over the job. In 2008-09, Gautam showed he could definitely play at the international level and in all formats. His captaincy for Kolkata Knight Riders in the last IPL was excellent.

“Yet what goes against him today is the fact that he has not scored too many Test runs in the last three years, and he averages under 32...”