Time for Duncan to check out: Bishan Bedi slams India's coach

Feb 20, 2014, 08:50 IST | Clayton Murzello

Bishan Singh Bedi criticizes India coach Duncan Fletcher for having no impact on the team amidst the recent overseas losses; says team requires someone assertive and accountable

Bishan Singh Bedi expressed his displeasure over Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy by reiterating that he has never been a good captain of bowlers, who hold the keys to winning Test matches. "I don't want to crush someone when he is down," Bedi told MiD DAY when asked whether MSD should be replaced as captain.

Duncan Fletcher. Pic/Getty Images and (inset) Bishan Singh Bedi
Duncan Fletcher. Pic/Getty Images and (inset) Bishan Singh Bedi 

"But, I will give you an example of his poor captaincy. I was watching an India vs South Africa Test a few years ago and through the stump microphone, one could hear Dhoni instructing his leg-spinner (Amit Mishra or Piyush Chawla) 'khareed mat, khareed mat' (don't buy your wicket). I said to myself, 'Bishan Singh Bedi, you should thank your stars you are not playing under this guy.'"

Why only think about a change?
The former captain came down heavily on coach Duncan Fletcher, who has witnessed only one series win abroad (West Indies in 2011) since he took over from Gary Kirsten after the 2011 World Cup. "If a change has to be made, it has to be made as soon as possible. What's the point of only thinking about a change," remarked Bedi.

"I have always believed that the Indian team's coach has to be Indian. This mercenary nonsense has to stop some time. He (Fletcher) has made no impact and he will never make any impact. He is just toeing the lines of Dhoni and the powers. You need somebody who is assertive and accountable.

"Can you imagine, the coach not appearing before the media and kids are thrown in front of the Press. What's the captain and coach there for? Can't you face the media?" The 0-1 defeat to NZ followed the 0-1 loss to SA. Earlier, India were whitewashed by England and Australia in 2011 and 2012. "This disaster was waiting to happen. You will go to England and Australia (later in the year) and you will be hammered to the point of unconsciousness," predicted Bedi.

Unhappy dressing room
The Sardar of spin who led India to Test wins in the West Indies and Australia in the 1970s, felt Dhoni's post-match comments are full of excuses: "He is making a fool of us with his excuses and the media is not able to put things in black and white convincingly. My biggest fear is that, despite the swagger displayed by the players, it looks to be a very unhappy dressing room. The body language gives it away."

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