Sydney: Mahendra Singh Dhoni's Test retirement might have been sudden but former Australian pacer Geoff Lawson feels it was time for a new direction in Indian cricket and newly-appointed captain Virat Kohli seems ready for the leadership role.
"Seeing Virat Kohli's leadership in the first Test at Adelaide, I think he is ready and I quite liked what I saw. First of all he doesn't talk too much when he is captain which is always good. You have to do that and respect players as well as umpires, and lead by example. He did a good job there and perhaps he is the guy to take India to the next level," Lawson said.
Having already conceded the Border-Gavaskar Trophy to Australia with a 0-2 trail after the drawn third Test in Melbourne, many believed that Dhoni should have stayed on for the series finale and Lawson agrees on that note.
"The Sydney Test might have been a good opportunity to get one good last Test in Australia, to win there and prove that his Test captaincy does work. It would have been a nice farewell for him," he said.
Lawson, who has also coached Pakistan for a couple of years, had encouraging words for Duncan Fletcher.
"Duncan Fletcher is a very experienced coach and has had a lot of success over the years, but not with the Indian team. It is time perhaps for the BCCI and Indian cricket to look elsewhere, somewhere who has fresh ideas and a fresh perspective, and can take them forward," he said.
Fletcher has seen India lose their last six consecutive overseas Test series, plus one at home to England in 2012-13 and will certainly have to pull something out of his hat before the Zimbabwean's term expires after the World Cup.
"Indian cricket needs to set itself a goal of doing better in Test cricket overseas. They need to set that goal for themselves, go away and perform in different conditions, and take pride in that success when they achieve it. They need to develop that feeling because you just cannot rely on playing well at home," opined Lawson.
"Not many teams are winning in Australia. You have to get used to the hard wickets and bounce here, and they have done that. India have competed on this tour. They have batted very well and bowled well in spells. They have been more competitive than the established team was on the 2011-12 tour, despite the score-line. India could have won either of the first two Tests," he added.