Indian captain Dhoni hits back at bowling criticism
INDIAN captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has vowed to prove Ian Chappell wrong after the former Australian cricketer questioned his team’s lack of ‘champion bowlers’.
Chappell, a former Australian captain, claimed India would not hold onto their Number one Test ranking for long because of their bowling problems.
He made his comments whilst speaking with former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar in a new audio show hosted by leading cricket website Cricinfo.
In replying to Manjrekar’s claim that India had been aided by the impressive opening partnership between batsmen Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, Chappell said: “I don’t think great teams are built on opening batting partnerships. But to me, there is a far more important thing, and this is one reason why I don’t rate India as a long-term No.1.”
“I think you have got to have two champion bowlers in your line-up to be a long-term successful cricket team. That is where India is falling down at the moment,” Chappell said
“When I look at the averages and the strike-rates for India in the last 12 months, I don’t see two champion bowlers. In fact, I am struggling to find one champion bowler in that line-up. They’ve got some good bowlers. Sure, they have got a very good batting line-up, but the bowling is really not good enough to see them win consistently all around the world.”
But Dhoni refused to accept the criticism.
Speaking after India’s loss to Sri Lanka in the final of the recent tri-series inBangladesh, Dhoni said: “It is not a fair statement. I agree that our bowlers are struggling now. But we have become the Test number one also because of the bowlers and not only due to our batting.
“Sometimes batsmen struggle and sometimes bowlers. It is not fair to say that we don’t have good bowlers. We will prove it [that we can sustain the No. 1 Test ranking].”
India rose to the top of the rankings after beating Sri Lanka 2-0 in the three-Test series at home last month.
Chappell’s comments come as The Board of Control of Cricket in India confirmed the appointment of former South African fast bowler Eric Simons as the teams new bowling coach.