26th May: Chennai S. Kings v Mumbai I, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has offered support to under fire Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and suggested that other players in the team should be taking their share of the blame for recent poor results.
Khan, who led Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992 as well as captaining the side to their first ever series win in India in 1987, was keen to stress that Dhoni has an enviable record as captain and that he shouldn't shoulder all the blame for the Test series defeat to England before Christmas.
"Captains always get the blame when teams do badly," Khan said. "However, in my opinion, Dhoni is a very good captain: he has a big heart and he takes pressure very well."
According to Khan, India’s problem lies with their bowling attack, which allowed England to amass first innings scores of over 400 in both the second and third Tests of the series, which proved crucial in their series win that upset the bet365 cricket betting odds (if you don’t know how to bet on cricket, check out the bet365 site).
"Unfortunately India just doesn't have the bowlers to take 20 wickets. So you can't blame a captain that doesn't have the bowling attack. You need bowlers to win test matches, India doesn't have bowlers," Khan said.
As well as blaming India’s bowling attack for the series defeat, Khan also reserved some criticism for the batsmen who, after making hay in the first test, failed to score above 350 in the rest of the series.
"The batsmen also failed in testing conditions," Khan said, as well as suggesting that Dhoni should promote himself up the order. "He shouldn't bat at number six. It's too low down the order. He's a good enough player to lead from the front," he added.
Khan's assessment of India’s plight is fair, and Dhoni remains a world class performer with the ability to lead India through a tough time. If Dhoni can find some support from his team then they will return to form if, however, they continue to play in the way that they have been then they can expect a thumping from the Australians who visit for a four Test series starting next month.
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