Mohsin wants Dhoni to be attacking
Former batsman Mohsin Khan, who guided Pakistan to a 3-0 Test series win over England as coach earlier in the year, is convinced India can bounce back in the Kolkata Test provided the team gets rid of its grey areas
Speaking exclusively to MiD DAY from Karachi yesterday, Mohsin (57) said: “I watched the entire Test on television and I was disappointed to note that India made some mistakes which led to their defeat.”
England won the second Test by 10 wickets thanks to heroic batting efforts from captain Alastair Cook and comeback man Kevin Pietersen, both of whom plundered gripping centuries.
“Firstly, let’s give England credit. They played superbly. Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar bowled extremely well apart from the batting of Cook and Pietersen. But India didn’t attack England a lot and that was disappointing to see,” said Mohsin.
The former batting star, who became the first Asian Test double centurion at Lord’s 30 years ago, felt Dhoni should have attacked more with his field placings.
“I remember Dhoni having a deep point and a deep midwicket when Pietersen and Cook were batting. You must play attacking cricket — not all time — but at least 75 to 80 per cent of the time. The majority of fielders should have been in the ring as it were which we have in one-day cricket. I was disappointed to see this happening in the second innings too,” remarked Mohsin.
He stressed that by attacking tactics, he meant “sensible” and not “stupid” aggressiveness. “Look, I rate Dhoni as a very clever skipper. He has enjoyed a lot of success. He is a great leader, but he should have a long, hard talk to his bowlers and say to them, ‘c’mon, you guys are good. You can conquer this by bowling good lengths. I think India have a good fielding side too and they can find the right people for specific positions.”
‘Play the same XI’
Should India field the same XI, which figured in the Mumbai Test? “There is no need to change the playing XI. Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag didn’t come up to expectations, but they are great players, they can always come good,” said Mohsin.
“Had I been in Dhoni’s place, I would have had a serious talk with my spinners especially someone like Harbhajan Singh who is a world-class off-spinner.
You have to bowl according to wicket; same with Pragyan Ojha and R Ashwin. I think the bowlers were a bit confused as to what to do in Mumbai — bowl up to the batsmen — or short of a length.”
Mohsin agreed with Dhoni when the India captain said he would prefer a track like the one dished out in Mumbai. “I agree with Dhoni on that. You must have a wicket with bounce which will help the spinners,” he said.