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‘Dhoni right man to take India forward’

- Lord’s will provide different challenges: Dravid
Rahul Dravid, who became a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, with Steve Waugh, in London, on Wednesday

New Delhi: Rahul Dravid said that there is no need to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Virat Kohli as India’s Test captain, as suggested by former Australia captain Ian Chappell because the team has “progressed” well under the able leadership of the 33-year-old.

“Dhoni is the right man to take India forward as we have been making progress and going forward under him. A lot of people keep complaining about the past losses in England and Australia. But now, he has a young team and is doing a good job. As far as Virat (Kohli) is concerned, his time will come,” Dravid said via conference call from London.

Dravid also praised his former Karnataka teammate Stuart Binny for proving critics wrong by playing a match-saving innings of 78 at Trent Bridge. “Stuart, I feel, proved everyone that he belongs to the international arena.

“People complained that he did not bowl enough. But that was simply because the conditions were not very suited to his style of bowling. I think he will get more chances at Lord’s,” said Dravid, who spoke on the occasion of being appointed member of the Laureus Sports Academy.

Dravid termed Indian team management’s decision to include five specialist bowlers as a positive move.

“It is a very courageous move, a very positive move in my opinion. In the past, India have been a bit scared to play with five bowlers, especially overseas. But I thought Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher were brave enough to play five bowlers.”

Dravid compared Binny’s role with that of Sanjay Bangar during the Leeds Test back in 2002 while stating that Irfan Pathan also did perform that role for a brief period during his captaincy.

Dravid played the role of mentor for the Indian team ahead of the first Test and gave valuable tips to the players. He didn’t commit on a permanent coaching role, though.

“In my work with Rajathan Royals, I have often interacted with many of these young players. But it was fine spending time with them as mentor and even training with them. I just enjoyed my week with the Indian team.

“They are a great bunch of boys, very keen to learn, and at very early stages in their careers. They will get better the more they play,” he said.

Talking about the challenges awaiting India in the second Test starting on Thursday, Dravid commented: “Lord’s will provide a different set of challenges to what one saw at Trent Bridge during the first Test. “The conditions will be a little different and the pitch could be of greater help to the pace bowlers. I am looking forward to an exciting game.”

Dravid also feels that Ravichandran Ashwin should be patient and wait for his chance as he will certainly get a look-in, depending on the conditions. “Given Jadeja’s recent performances, it was difficult to leave him out of the side for the Trent Bridge Test. I am sure Ashwin will get his chance depending on the conditions.”

India’s second highest run-getter in Tests is not overtly worried about Shikhar Dhawan not getting runs in the first Test. “The openers got off to a good start in the first Test, but somehow Dhawan could not make it count.

“I feel we should not be too worried about it. I am happy for Vijay, though. He has worked very hard and he certainly deserved the century. ”

Dravid urged the ICC to thoroughly investigate the Ravindra Jadeja-Jimmy Anderson controversy but refused to draw a parallel with the jellybean incident involving Zaheer Khan and the England players during the 2007 series, which India won under his captaincy. (PTI)