Mike Brearley: MS Dhoni’s Wicketkeeping and Captaincy not up to the mark
Mike Brearley, the former England captain and one of the most acuminating cricketing think tanks to have played the game, quantifies that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy and wicket-keeping is not up to the standard of Test Cricket. Brearley mentioned about India having a severe dismay in the Test series even though their bowling has throughout been energetic and often skilful at times.
Out of the four Test matches, the first three which even includes the one at Lord’s and is won by India, the pitches have been designed to befit England, and to put the India’s batsmen under scrutiny, but much of the rest of their play, including some part of the fielding particularly in the slip areas, has been, for the last three matches, poor, the former England skipper added. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, to him, has batted with utmost skill and courage, standing out above the rest. He seems quite capable in showcasing his batting as well as his captaincy to put much of the past behind him, a cohesive Brearley uttered.
But neither his wicketkeeping, nor his captaincy is not up to the Test standard, he mentioned. Brearley also slammed India’s selection idiosyncrasies, saying the team has not seemed able to make judicial and justifiable judgments about the value of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Stuart Binny. Stating Jadeja as a “poor man’s Monty Panesar”, Brearley said Ashwin was a better choice as bowler and not only appended some skills as an attacking spinner but is also graded as one of India’s more effective batsmen.
The Indian batting was a also a big let down with the top-order failing consistently and that too severely on fast and grassy English pitches. Brearley was rather more sympathetic than critical for the Indian batsmen. He expressed his overdose of sympathy for them.
Gautam Gambhir came in for a tougher task and did not look eligible and adequate for the job. India would have repented etching out Shikhar Dhawan, who at least looked capable of scoring some boundaries. Murali Vijay has performed to the best of his ability though. But, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, the men of high and esteemed expectations, have however been the biggest disappointments no doubt, according to Brearley.
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