MS Dhoni’s captaincy came under the scanner after India lost the home series against England © Getty Images

By Kushan Sarkar

New Delhi: Dec 28, 2012

There has been a lot of speculations about his future as India captain after 10 Test losses in recent times, but former Pakistan wicketkeeper Wasim Bari feels that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the best man to lead his country.

“Just a few failures won’t make Mahendra Singh Dhoni a bad skipper overnight. One needs to understand that he has given you two World Cups which is a splendid achievement. He is special player and a fantastic wicketkeeper,” Bari, who is in India as the Goodwill Ambassador of Pakistan Cricket Board, told PTI during an interaction.

There were discussions regarding how good wicketkeepers are as captains, and Bari cited his own example that he never enjoyed being in the hot seat.

“When I was handed over the captaincy, I never enjoyed it but that’s not the case with everyone. When I was made the captain, I used to get very tired by the end of it all.

“Wicketkeeping is a big responsibility where you need to guide the bowlers, keep an eye on the field placings and above that the responsibility of being a captain wasn’t enjoyable,” Bari said.

Asked about the correct technique while keeping, Bari said, “As a school kid, I had an interaction with legendary Australian wicketkeeper Wally Grout, who told me that irrespective crouched or in an upright position, you need to be able to gather it cleanly and that’s it.”

So who’s the best among the glovesmen he has seen, he replied, “For me, there hasn’t been a better wicketkeeper than Alan Knott. He was unbelievably good.”

The 64-year-old, who played 81 Test matches for Pakistan, felt that “leaders are born and not made.”

“Obviously, Imran Khan stands out as the leader of men, but I have also admired Ian Chappell a lot for his leadership abilities.”

Bari is moved by the kind of warm reception that he has got from the Indian board and general public.

“I last came here in 1983 and it’s been a brilliant experience so far. We have got warm welcome in Bangalore as well as Ahmedabad. The love and affection of people has been very touching. I hope there are more such matches organised by the two boards,” Bari said.

His observation about the series is as cliched as it may sound: “The team that plays well on the day will win.”

“In Bangalore, 135 was a very low score. Had India scored 15-20 runs more, the contest would have been closer.”