Former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels Indian cricket is going nowhere and criticised MS Dhoni’s captaincy following team’s poor form at home.
"The team has no direction. Nobody knows what is happening. Something needs to be done,” he was quoted by Times of India as saying. He further added that injury to bowlers has added to India’s woes. “Bowling has really been an area of concern. The wickets at home are not helping them much, so it's crucial for them to really work hard. The strike bowlers have made the matters worse by picking up regular injuries."
According to Azharuddin, the Indian captain should focus more on getting the combination right instead of asking for turning tracks. He said, "Asking for turners won't solve the purpose. Despite having turning tracks against England, we went on to lose the Test series. Before opting for a particular wicket, the captain and coach must know whether they have suitable players.”
He further added, "Dhoni should pick the right team. He should not go by the players' reputations. To win a match, it's crucial to back the best eleven. With Virat Kohli too struggling at the top, he must think of an alternative.”
Azharuddin feels the Indian bowling dilemma can be solved by providing sporting wickets in domestic cricket.
He said, “Though the BCCI has come out with some unique ideas, things haven't really changed much. The wickets still heavily favour the batsmen. It's time we give bowlers some options."
"If we can't provide a sporting wicket at the domestic level, how can we even judge our bowlers? This first-innings lead system in Ranji Trophy is spoiling the whole challenge since everyone is playing safe these days."
The Moradabad MP, who was away from the game for a long time, expressed the urge to contribute to the Indian cricket.
"I'm happy to have come clean. Now I will be happy to do something for Indian cricket," he said.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) felicitated former captains at the Eden Gardens during an One-Day International (ODI) between India and captain. However, Azharuddin, who captained India in 47 Test matches, was not invited by the board. The former India batsman said he was not hurt by it.
"Well, it's the organizers' prerogative. Had they invited me, I would have surely gone to my favourite ground. But then I'm okay with it,” he said.
First Published: January 14, 2013, 9:33 am