Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani believes that former captain MS Dhoni should not have retired from the Test cricket as skipper Virat Kohli still needs his guidance in the longest format of cricket. Kirmani made it clear that Dinesh Karthik is his man to replace Dhoni as and when he decides to call time on his limited-overs career.
"I still feel Dhoni didn't do the right thing by retiring from Tests. Virat still needs his guidance and also the next batch could have learnt more about the rigours of Test cricket from him. But as far as ODIs and T20s are concerned, my choice is Dinesh Karthik. He is a fantastic batsman, a safe wicketkeeper and a very good outfielder. He is an all-rounder for me," Kirmani said.
"In Tests, it will be a choice between Wriddhiman Saha, Parthiv and maybe Karthik. It will depend on who is in form and remains fit," he opined.
Kirmani is also not happy that there is so much of discussion about Dhoni's consistency as a batsman of late.
"Show me, one Indian batsman, apart from skipper Virat Kohli, who has shown amazing consistency for a period of five years now. I don't think there is anyone. Virat is in a different league. So why only pinpoint Dhoni? Don't forget, he has given results for nearly 15 years now. He is still an asset for the team," he said.
Legendary India wicketkeeper believes that young Rishabh Pant should be monitored a bit longer in the domestic arena unlike Parthiv Patel, who suffered after being thrown into the deep end of the pool, when he was barely 17.
"Everyone is not Sachin Tendulkar, who will be a success at 16 years. He was a prodigy but that's not the case with everyone else. Parthiv was inducted very early which shouldn't have happened. Rishabh is talented but he should be groomed enough so that he doesn't go the Parthiv way," Kirmani said.
Parthiv made his international debut in 2002 but thanks to the presence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, he had a start-stop career having played only 65 international matches (25 Tests, 38 ODIs and 2 T20 Internationals) in 16 years.
Pant, considered as Dhoni's heir apparent across all formats in near future, has failed to impress in the four T20 Internationals that he has played so far.
"The influx of ODI cricket and John Wright's entry as Indian cricket coach meant that result was paramount and technique took a backseat. There was no proper guidance for the keepers as suddenly they wanted batsmen, who could barely manage keeping.
"Parthiv was inducted very early -- right from U-19 to senior team (he had played India A when he was summoned for England series). That should have never happened," the veteran of 88 Test matches and a member of the 1983 World Cup winning squad, said.
"Parthiv suffered as he was not ready. He suffered because of lack of experience and started lagging behind. That's why I stress about grooming someone at the domestic level. Don't induct a Pant or a Sanju Samson straightaway.
"I would want them to show more consistency at the first-class level for a considerable period along with peak fitness and immaculate keeping technique," said Kirmani, considered to be India's most technically accomplished glovesman.
(With PTI inputs)