Kapil urges BCCI to step in and sort out issues in team
Amid reports of a rift within the Indian cricket team in Australia, former captain Kapil Dev on Wednesday urged the BCCI to step in and sort out "difference of opinion" among players.
There is intense speculation of dissension within the team, particularly after the controversial rotation policy was introduced for only three openers -- Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Dhoni later snubbed the fielding ability of the three seniors and said they were not played together because they are 'slow fielders'.
But Sehwag added a new twist to the issue by saying the seniors were never told that fielding was an issue.
Gambhir had also taken a dig at his captain for not finishing matches early and taking it to the last over.
Image: Kapil Dev
'No rift but difference of opinion in the team'
"The captain (Dhoni) may have a different opinion and normally his opinion is respected. I think the BCCI will have to step in and sort out the matter with the players for the good of the team and country," said Kapil, at a cricket clinic for youngsters at the Australian High Commission.
"I would not want it to call a rift within the team but would prefer to term it as difference of opinion. It's difficult to comment on the issue because we don't know what exactly happened there in Australia," Kapil said.
"The players will have to understand that they are carrying the reputation of the country. If there is a misunderstanding it should be sorted out. They are playing for the country," he added.
'Sachin should have quit ODIs on a high after the World Cup'
Kapil said that in his opinion Sachin Tendulkar should have retired from One-day cricket on a high after India won the World Cup last year, but it is up to the player to call it quits or not.
"I am nobody to say when Sachin Tendulkar would retire. But, in my opinion, he should have quit ODIs on a high after India won the World Cup. But that is my opinion. I think I can have my opinion. But it's him only to decide," he said.
"He (Tendulkar) enjoys playing cricket and has achieved so much for the team and for the country. What more we can expect from the little man."
"But if I was in his (Tendulkar's) place I would have said, after India won the World Cup, that I have achieved so much in cricket for the team and for the country and it's now time for some other player to come in," said the 1983 World Cup-winning captain.
'BCCI and selectors should decide on a future road map'
BCCI president N Srinivasan has ruled out an inquiry on the Indian team's Test debacle in Australia, but Kapil said the Board and selectors will have to find out what went wrong with the team.
"We should now encourage the players to play like World champions, play tight and win matches. They are the World champions. But after they return from Australia, the BCCI and the selectors should sit and find out what went wrong with the team," he said.
Asked if some of the senior players should be dropped from the Test side after the Australian tour, Kapil said it is for the selectors to take a call on this.
"It is for the selectors to decide. I think the BCCI and the selectors should sit down after the Australian tour is over and decide on a future road map for Indian cricket. If the senior players are in the scheme of things, its okay. Otherwise, the players will have to understand," said Kapil.
'India can't have the same norm as in Australia'
Asked if the selectors would have axed a non-performing Indian cricketer just like a player of the stature of Ricky Ponting was dropped from Australia's ODI team, Kapil said different systems work in different countries.
"The Australians have a different norm. They stick to performance or non-performance. But it does not work in India like that. There are different systems in different countries. India can't have the same norm as in Australia," he said.
Former Australia batsman Dean Jones felt Tendulkar will have to retire from one format soon.
"It's difficult for Sachin to consistently do well in all the formats. Sooner or later, he will have to retire from one format," Jones said.
Asked about the talk of 'rift' within the Indian team in Australia, Jones said, "Things heat up when the team is not doing well. That's what is happening in the Indian team now there.
"He also defended the Australian selectors for axing Ponting, which ended the ODI career of the former captain.
"In his last six ODI innings, Ponting has not crossed 10 runs. Do you think the selectors will keep on selecting him?" Jones asked.