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Rahul Dravid backs MS Dhoni to continue as Test skipper

Rahul-Dravid
Rahul Dravid feels the tour to Australia will help determine MS Dhoni’s real ability © Getty Images

Wellington: Feb 18, 2014

Former captain Rahul Dravid has backed underfire Mahendra Singh Dhoni to stay on as Test skipper for at least a year but added that he would need to take a “few risks” to win abroad.

“I think he’s got to realise this very quickly, that if he wants to win Test matches abroad, he’s got to risk it all.

He’s got to take that chance that he’s going to have to lose some Test matches. The only way you can win abroad is to take a few risks, take a few gambles,” Dravid said.

Dravid said that Dhoni’s captaincy has been defensive in critical situations and felt he doesn’t trust his bowling attack enough.

“I think he [Dhoni] doesn’t trust his bowling attack as much as I think he should. I saw that even in the Test match in Durban, where he didn’t take the new ball till 146 overs.

In fact he was forced to take the new ball.

“He sort of didn’t trust his fast bowlers to be able to take wickets. He kept playing with the older ball because he wanted to control the runs. So I think that is a slightly defensive mindset that he’s got into,” the batting great told ESPNcricinfo after the Wellington Test.

India ended the ignominious tour of New Zealand by drawing the second and final cricket Test after home team skipper Brendon McCullum became the first Kiwi batsman to hit a triple-century and stage an incredible turnaround to clinch the two-match series 1-0.

Away from home, Dhoni has captained India in 23 Tests, of which they have won five, lost 11 and drawn seven.

“In Tests, I always saw these four Test [tours] as Dhoni’s opportunity to redeem what has been a pretty poor overseas record for him. He’s achieved everything else. He’s won One-Day tournaments, he’s won a World Cup, Champions Trophy, he’s taken India to No. 1, he has a great record in India, [he] just hasn’t had the results outside of India.

“And I think he deserves the right, the chance to play out this year, and assess it at the end of Australian series.

End of that series, we’ll really know where Indian cricket stands and where Dhoni stands, both as a player and as a captain.”

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