Prasad, Rajput back Dhoni on 'declaration'
Questions were raised as to why India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni declared India's first innings conceding a slender four-run lead. But former cricketers Lalchand Rajput and Venkatesh Prasad (both former support staff members of Team India), it was a gem of a decision by the India captain.
Former India batsman and cricket manager, Rajput and ex-India seamer Prasad put their weight behind Dhoni, who called curtains after reaching 326-9 in reply to England’s 330 in the first essay yesterday.
“Why are people after him (Dhoni). What’s wrong in declaring at that juncture? That was the last wicket, which could have continued batting some more time to get past England’s first innings score. But by declaring early, Indians gave themselves more time to get the Englishmen dismissed quickly in second innings. It’s definitely a good try,” Prasad told MiD DAY.
The fact that India batted for 12.5 overs in the first session to only add 29 runs also raised eyebrows. “How much do you expect from tailenders? They could have played for another half-an-hour or so to add another 10-15 runs, which wouldn’t have made much of a difference. So this was a wise decision and a last-ditch attempt to save the series,” Rajput said.
With India trailing 1-2 in the series, a draw at Nagpur will not do any good to Dhoni’s Team India. “It was aggressive captaincy by Dhoni. With almost two more days left (when India declared), he would obviously try to squeeze out a victory,” Prasad felt. “The wicket is also not helping the bowlers that much and so it would be difficult to dismiss a team inside three sessions,” Rajput stressed.