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MS Dhoni retained as captain against selectors' wish: Mohinder Amarnath

Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 5:13pm IST Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - 6:35pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Former cricketer hinted at 'internal influences' over retaining of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Test captain despite majority of selectors against him.

Former national selector Mohinder Amarnath today created a flutter by openly admitting that "certain internal reason" stopped the selection committee from replacing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Indian captain after eight successive Test defeats in England and Australia.

"Definitely, there were discussions to replace Dhoni and people were agreeing to do so but for some internal reason, it didn't happen. I will not like to divulge what were the reasons. But when the time is right, I will let the people of this country know about the reasons," Amarnath, the hero of India's 1983 World Cup victory, said.

In a roundabout manner, Amarnath also admitted that there were external pressures on the selection committee when the topic of Dhoni's removal was broached.

"In Indian politics and cricket, it's always the same. There are people who are controlling the game and other people are scared to take a stand," he told Times Now.

"I believe that Dhoni should be removed as captain from the Tests. He hasn't set the Test stage on fire. A captain's place in the team should be secure and I don't see his place secured in the side. He doesn't have the technique for Test cricket," Amarnath said.

It was widely believed that the veteran of 69 Tests and 74 ODIs, who was in line to become the chairman of selectors, was removed at the behest of BCCI president N Srinivasan as he had a fall-out on Dhoni issue.

To a question whether someone showed him the constitution to overrule the decision of selection committee, he smiled and replied,"I would neither agree nor deny this."

"But I don't think that any selector is aware about the constitution. I am a person who doesn't believe in being controlled. I love to do my work freely. I don't think there should be interference in selector's job," stated the man who was known for scoring plenty of runs against the likes of Malcolm Marshall, Michael Holding, Imran Khan in his heydays.

Amarnath also believed that selectors need to speak to Sachin Tendulkar.

"Look age has everything to do in life. Even players like Javed Miandad, Brian Lara found it difficult once they crossed mid-30's. So selectors should sit and speak with Sachin."

Amarnath was critical of Dhoni at a promotional event in Pune, accusing the Indian captain him of blocking entry for other deserving wicket-keepers.

"Who is Dhoni to say that I want to stay there (in the team) and take this challenge (of captaining the side). What has he done?" he asked.

Dhoni had refused to step down from captaincy despite the team's humiliating loss to England in Kolkata, insisting that he doesn't want to run away from the challenge.

"He doesn't deserve a place in the team. There are better keeper-batsmen in the country. They are not getting an opportunity because he is the captain," he said.

Former Indian players such as Dilip Vengsarkar and Kris Srikkanth have had similar views on Dhoni's position in the team.

Amarnath believed that the only reason why Dhoni has been given an extended run as captain is the World Cup victory last year.

"He has been captaining the team for the last one year because India won the World Cup. We are talking about one-day cricket here and not Test cricket," Amarnath said while talking about his dismal Test performances.


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