London, August 24: Former Pakistan skipper Wasim Akram found Mahendra Singh Dhoni's demeanour hardly inspiring during the recently-concluded Test series and said the visitors 0-4 drubbing against England should act as an “eye-opener” for the Indian skipper.
Akram felt that Dhoni's poor batting show against an inspired England bowling attack also played a major role in India suffering their worst Test series defeat in the country since a 5-0 loss in 1959.
A pathetic India slumped to an innings and eight runs defeat in the fourth and final Test at The Oval to give England a resounding 4-0 series win.
”His batting form is of great concern. In this series Dhoni repeatedly got out in the slips region. He may have got a couple of 70-plus scores in the third Test at Edgbaston, but what good are these runs when your opponent has amassed a 700-plus score?” said Akram.
Dhoni was out for three in the second innings on the fifth day when he slashed at a wide delivery from Stuart Broad and was caught at second slip.
Akram said Dhoni's body language was not motivating enough and the captain and coach need to communicate with the team more often to lift their morale.
”I feel Dhoni needs to be even more involved in the game. New coach Duncan Fletcher is not a magician and will take time to settle down,” he said.
”According to me, it seemed that no one had any idea in the Indian camp about what was going on. Dhoni did not look too involved with on-field proceedings. I know this has been his style, but when your team is getting thrashed, ‘Captain Cool' can't afford to freeze!”
”At times, you have to change your style to get the best out of your players. This result should be eye-opener for Dhoni,” added Akram.
In spite of the criticism, Akram backed Dhoni and said removing him is not a quick-fix solution.
”Our cricketing culture in the sub-continent doesn't support a losing captain, but here is where we need to back Dhoni. He can surely prove the critics wrong in the ODI series. While that will work to India's advantage, Dhoni can pick up his pieces as well,” said Akram. AFP