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Ian: Time for Dhoni to go

- ‘Virat Kohli should be given the Test captaincy’

Bangalore: Ian Chappell does not find Mahendra Singh Dhoni good enough to be India’s Test captain any more and said it was time to hand over the reins to Virat Kohli.

“I think it’s time for Dhoni to go and maybe it is the right time for Kohli to come in as captain,” the former Australia captain said, here, on Monday. “Certainly, he (Dhoni) is not a Test captain. I think he is a good captain in the shorter version of the game. I don’t think there would be a problem to give it to Kohli now… He should be given the (Test) captaincy,” he said.

According to Chappell, India need a fresh brain to lead the side, but the selectors are not ruthless enough to take tough decisions. “Indian selectors do not have the ruthlessness of their Australian counterparts have. They wait for the guy to retire. Had Dhoni been an Australian captain, he would have gone after losing 0-4 to England. He did nothing to inspire the team,” he said.

“You can always lose… That is fine… But you go down fighting. I did not find him doing that. To me, the captain has lost his usefulness and it is time for him to go.”

Chappell believes 27 would be the right age for Kohli to lead the side. “I don’t think captaincy would affect Kohli adversely because he is a very strong character and is a confident cricketer. Therefore, he can work things out as a captain. “At 27, you have got four to five years for a player to peak, and it is crucial to give the guy the captaincy.

“It’s no good giving him captaincy at the age 32 or 33 when he has started to go over the top. You got to give him his best chance,” Chappell opined.

He feels the biggest problem of the Indian team is selection as he put a question mark over Stuart Binny’s place in the playing XI in the first Test against England. “The selection was wrong. If you don’t get selections right, it is pretty hard to win. How can you leave out (Ravichandran) Ashwin? Why did they pick Binny? Binny is not a bowler and he bats at No. 8. Ashwin also can bat and is a far better bowler… He’s better than (Ravindra) Jadeja as well. So, they have to sort it out.”

In the next Test at Lord’s, Chappell said he would love to see Rohit Sharma and Ashwin in the playing XI. “Lord’s is not that good for spinners. So, I will drop Jadeja and Binny, and play Rohit and Ashwin. That will be a far better and balanced side.”

Chappell also spoke about England and South Africa captains Alastair Cook and Graeme Smith, saying they are not great leaders. “Apart from Dhoni, Cook and Smith are both average captains.

“In my opinion, they are miles behind Michael Clarke. A captain should have respect from players and they should believe in his ability as a captain. Australia will be delighted if Cook is the captain when the next Ashes takes place,” he said.

For Chappell, Clarke is the best captain in the world at the moment. “Clarke is a really good captain and I cannot think of another one who is as good or better than him. I haven’t seen much about Angelo Mathews. I really don’t know about him,” he said.

However, Chappell doesn’t see Clarke going too long as captain because of his back problem. “He seems to know how to manage his back problems, but I don’t see him going for a long time. I enjoy watching him as a captain because he makes things happen,” he opined.

Chappell believes Steven Smith and David Warner could be potential future captains for Australia. “Steve is a very good cricketer. He has captained in the shorter-form of the game. Warner also wouldn’t be a bad captain. I would like to see him to shut up and stop his stupid talk on the field,” he said.

(PTI)