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‘Dhoni shouldn’t expect miracles’

New Delhi: India’s beleaguered cricketers have come under sharp criticism from former India captains after they conceded a 1-3 series defeat to England. While Borde said the Indian batsmen didn’t have the footwork to counter the swing, Gundappa Viswanath said India must get rid of coach Duncan Fletcher. However, most of the captains agreed on one point that captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni must stay.

Here’s what they had to say (alphabetically):

Chandu Borde: I’m surprised these youngsters did not change their technique which a player like (Alastair) Cook did after England’s defeat at Lord’s by standing a few feet outside the crease to counter Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s swing bowling.

They didn’t have the footwork to counter the swing. They largely tried to play from the crease. The body language was also down with repeated failures.

Dilip Vengsarkar: Of late, the BCCI is not giving much importance to Test cricket as it was evident from the fact that there was hardly any preparations for the tour of five Test matches.

We have taken a party of 18 players besides almost equal number of so-called support staff. The bowling looked incapable of taking 20 wickets and the batsmen were hopelessly out of place. They looked like hapless lambs to slaughter. I wonder what the batting, bowling and fielding coaches were doing on the tour?

Gundappa Viswanath: I’m not happy with Dhoni’s ’keeping and captaincy… He’s got his own mind. He always keeps repeating that. He always expects a miracle. Miracles cannot happen all the time. It happens once in a blue moon.

These people did not show any character to bounce back. They just vanished which is an understatement. They’re losing matches after matches inside three days. I’m really worried about the Indian team.

Ajit Wadekar: What was Fletcher doing after we won the Lord’s Test on a difficult pitch? We should have kept the lead. This is where he lacked imagination. I think Fletcher has to go.

Dhoni changed his technique and batted well. But why did he not change his tactics as captain foxes me. For example, he didn’t keep a third man where half of the runs were scored. Also in team selection, (Ravichandran) Ashwin should have played from the first Test.

However, I will retain Dhoni as captain for Tests as I don’t see anyone who can take over at the moment. (Virat) Kohli’s confidence has been dented severely. He should be allowed to regain his confidence in a few home rubbers and then made captain for Tests. (PTI)