‘Dhoni has done a good job so far’
‘We should allow Dhoni to decide when he wants to finish’
Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer backed under-fire limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying the time has not yet come to write him off, in Kolkata, on Monday.
"Dhoni has done a good job so far. I like him. He reminds me of my younger days. Everyone has his days. He has served the country very well. We shouldn't be too keen on packing him off," said Engineer.
"We should allow Dhoni to decide when he wants to finish," said the 77-year-old in a media interaction at the Calcutta Sports Journalists' Club.
Under Dhoni's leadership, India have lost both the T20 and ODI home series against South Africa.
India will now be taking on South Africa in a four-match Test series under Virat Kohli's captaincy.
Asked whether it is time to hand over the responsibility to Kohli in the limited overs format as well, Engineer said: "Kohli is a fantastic cricketer and deserves to be captain. But we need to give him time. We also need to persevere the talent we have."
Engineer said it would be interesting to see if Kohli-led Test side could bounce back after back-to-back defeats in limited-over series.
"I think the Tests against South Africa will be a test of character. If they come back from these defeats it will show the grit of the team," he said.
On whether a wicketkeeper should also be a good batsman, he said, "I think that's a wrong theory. He should be a wicket-keeper first.
"I was a very aggressive player. I would have played a spinner who actually spins the ball (rather than a spinner who is chosen on the basis of his batting)."
Engineer said that he never rated Duncan Fletcher highly as a coach.
"Coaches always get the flak. I never really rated Fletcher. Who is he? What has he done? Gary Kirsten did a good job but I have always said Indian manager is better."
He said there should not be any space for match fixing in cricket.
"Match fixers should have no room in the game. Ban them. They have let down their teammates and country down. I'm glad Mohammed Aamer got a reprieve but not for the other two (Mohammed Asif and Salman Butt) because they dragged him in this," said the former player.
Engineer also expressed unhappiness over number of spectators going down in the Test cricket.
"Two hundred people are watching the England-Pakistan Test. Test isn't like that. It's the pinnacle of cricket. It sets the standards. Any other form is welcome."