Skipper MS Dhoni takes responsibility for India's demolition at the hands of brilliant Australia
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni took responsibility for India's seventh successive overseas defeat as Australia completed an innings and 37-run victory here at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) ground yesterday. With the defeat, India surrendered the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia for the first time since 2008. "I need to blame myself. I am the leader of the side. I am the main culprit. So, of course I blame myself," Dhoni said when asked who was to be blamed for India's continuing woes in overseas Tests.
This was India's 41st innings defeat and second in succession. In the space of 12 months, India have descended from the highs of the World Cup victory to perhaps their lowest-ever point. Dhoni conceded that he was a worried man. "Of course, it does worry me. It's a job (captaincy) that everyone is assigned to in a sense. You are part of the side because of what you are," he said.
Dhoni said that his team needed to figure out ways of doing well overseas. "In the last 7 Tests, we have not played outside India. Maybe, we will go back to India and do well. What we have to realise is how to do well when we come out of India. We need to take steps on what can be done so that we come abroad, not feeling wanted. These are the things we need to be careful about," he said.
Dhoni said he was not aware of rumours surrounding VVS Laxman's retirement. "As of now there is nothing that I know of officially. I don't know where this (rumour) came from, but unless Laxman comes and tells me I don't know whether it's happening or not happening. I really don't have to think about it," he said.
The skipper spoke about the importance of phasing out the seniors thoughtfully. "Maybe at the end of the series, will be a right time (to talk to seniors about their future plans). We also have to see what the seniors' thoughts are. I think there is a bit more emphasis right now about getting rid of the seniors, but it will be a very careful decision because of what they have done for the country, and the amount of experience they can share with the youngsters," he said.
When asked if the Indian set-up lacked the courage to drop legends of the game when they were out of form, Dhoni said: "It's not about courage. It's about taking the right decision. Just for example, if you see in this series, people went after Virat (Kohli) to be dropped, and he batted really well in this series. You have to give that span of time to people. Especially when you know somebody is a really talented guy, you have to give that extra time to that particular batsman to keep going on."