Former captains Ian Chapppell (Australia) and Ravi Shastri (India) pulled no punches when it came to commenting on Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy after Day Two of the second Test here yesterday.
Speaking in a post-day show beamed on ESPN-Star Sports, Shastri wondered by the India skipper used a deep point fielder when off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was bowling. "Ashwin has a role too," emphasised Shastri.
"He should tell the captain that I don't want a fielder there because I am not bowling short." Chappell was surprised Dhoni used Virender Sehwag, a part-time bowler towards the end of the day with Michael Clarke and Mike Hussey in full flight. "I don't know why Sachin (Tendulkar) is not bowling, but it would have been better to use a wrist spinner because of the bounce," said Chappell.
Both erstwhile skippers felt Dhoni was not as aggressive as he should have been. Chappell emphasised that very often international captains just stick to what is discussed at the team meeting and are not willing to change strategy when things go awry on the field.
Said Chappell: "Someone said this about good captaincy... it is like pornography -- hard to define but you know it when you see it." Chappell credited Dhoni for being a very good one-day skipper but the downside was that he allows some defensive tactics creep into his Test captaincy.He also said it was up to senior players to pull their side out of a mess: "Someone should come and say, 'give me that ball and I will do something.' "