Sourav Ganguly urges MS Dhoni to replace Harbhajan Singh with Ashok Dinda for Kolkata Test

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly feels preparing a turner at the Eden Gardens would only do harm to India Getty Images

Kolkata: Nov 26, 2012

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly on Monday said that MS Dhoni should not insist for a “spin-friendly” wicket at the Eden Gardens and instead draft in pacer Ashok Dinda for Harbhajan Singh in the third Test, beginning from December 5.

Ganguly said the English spinners outplayed the hosts in handing the visitors a series-leveling 10-wicket win in Mumbai

“I think Dhoni and the team management should not insist again for a spin-friendly wicket as it would only create problem for the Indian batsmen,” Ganguly said.

“I want to see Dinda in the line-up in place of Harbhajan Singh. Playing three spinners don’t work at all, which is showed clearly in Harbhajan’s bowling of 20-odd overs. I hope MS will balance the attack (at Eden).”

Preparing a turner at the Eden would only do harm to India, Ganguly believed.

“England spinners bowled better and beat them with the pace whereas the Indian spinners, barring Pragyan Ojha, resorted to bowling slow. Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook played them well resorting to back foot play.”

Asked whether complacency had crept in after India‘s win in the first Test at Motera, Ganguly said, “It was one of those losses. As I said, England outplayed the Indians with their spin bowling.”

Ganguly, however, firmly believed that India would bounce back in the remaining two Tests.

“It will be an accident if we don’t win the series.”

Asked if it was high time to think about removing Dhoni from the captaincy, he said, “First, we lose two more Tests, than we will talk about this. Let’s cross the bridge when we get there.”

Sunil Gavaskar might have suggested that selectors should speak to Sachin Tendulkar for the master batsman’s future plans, but Ganguly thought otherwise.

Giving Tendulkar the “benefit of doubt”, Ganguly said: “He is desperately out of form. Barring Tendulkar, all our batsmen are in form.

“Selectors won’t sit with Tendulkar nor will the Board.

Only Tendulkar has the right to take a call on his career.

“He is such a great batsman, with so many runs under his belt. It’s natural that one would not be having reflexes of a 25-year-old but you make it up with other skills. Tendulkar is just terribly out of form. We just hope and pray that he returns to form in the remaining two Tests.”