Make Virat Kohli skipper: Raja Venkat

Former national selector Raja Venkat wants Test captain Virat to lead India in all three formats

Kolkata: Former national selector Raja Venkat has called for the appointment of Virat Kohli as captain for all three formats following the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team's ODI series loss to Australia on Sunday.

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Virat Kohli and (inset) Raja Venkat
Virat Kohli and (inset) Raja Venkat

Although India's batting flourished in the three games at Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne, the Australian batsmen were just too good for their opponents. The last two games will be held in Canberra (January 20) and Sydney (January 23).

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Venkat, who reportedly wanted Dhoni to be sacked as captain in 2011, told mid-day yesterday: "It's high time Kohli takes over as captain. Dhoni has passed his prime. He is an aggressive batsman, but a defensive captain and I want to see Kohli lead India in all three formats."

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Selectors to blame
Venkat has no qualms in saying that the selection for the limited overs tour was warped.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni

"I will blame the selectors for the loss. The team selection was a problem and there was no proper planning. There are two identical left-arm spinners, Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel. R Ashwin is not bowling well. He is well suited for Indian wickets. He may take five to seven wickets in the remainder of the series, but that doesn't mean he is a successful bowler on foreign soil," said Venkat.

The Sandeep Patil-led selection committee decided to leave out Suresh Raina for the ODI series, but picked the left-handed batsman for the three-match T20 series Down Under. "Raina should have been picked because Dhoni is in the twilight of his career. Raina could have rescued India as he is a good finisher.

"Top-order batsmen are scoring, but the ones in the middle-order are failing. Raina could have flourished in Australian conditions because of his huge experience," Venkat said of Raina who is in his 11th year of international cricket.

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