'Defensive' Dhoni is here to stay
India's most successful Test captain, MS Dhoni, comes hard at his critics. The skipper stresses on balance approach to captaincy.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni came down hard on critics who have questioned his style of captaincy in Test cricket saying the era of playing aggressive cricket is long gone by and the need of the hour is to have a balance approach to captaincy.
Dhoni, who led India to a 4-0 series whitewash over Australia, believes in modern day cricket it is paramount to have a calculated approach on the field and stopping boundaries must take priority over having attacking fields all the time.
Image: MS Dhoni
'The era of seeing aggressive cricket has gone'
"The era of seeing aggressive cricket where you had to have a mid-on up has gone. What you want is, you read the batsmen as to whether he is very much into the mindset of (taking singles). If there is a mid-on or a deep midwicket and four catching fielders, if he can rotate every ball, if he is not having any problems, then you try to bring in the mid-on fielder or deep midwicket fielder to build up the pressure," Dhoni said in Delhi, on Sunday.
"But if he's not able to consistently do that, especially on wickets like these, it's important that you don't give them runs in a bunch. You don't want to give them boundaries. If you rotate four times, you get four runs, and those four runs, you can get them out as many times," he added.
Many former players have criticised Dhoni's strategy
Many former players have criticised Dhoni's strategy of using defensive tactics when captaining in Test matches and the India skipper feels it is unfair since others also do it.
"The very fact that I feel that when four fast bowlers play it becomes strategy [and] when three spinners or four spinners play, it becomes a bad wicket," he said.
"For Virender Sehwag if you have a deep point and a deep third man and a deep square leg, it's a strategy. And if MS Dhoni has a deep point and a deep square leg for David Warner it is a defensive field set. You have to see what the mindset is and accordingly you go ahead," he quipped.
I had to change a bit: Dhoni
Dhoni further reiterated that his captaincy style with regards to handling the team has changed a bit in recent times to accommodate the youngsters.
"I had to change a bit, the reason being that the line-up has entirely changed. The bowling line-up is quite the same, but the batting line-up has changed a lot, almost completely which means that you have to tell the youngsters what needs to be done, what went wrong and all those things."
"You have to change a bit. When you have experienced cricketers in the side, more often than not they know what really went wrong. So you don't have to be vocal at times. But what's important with the new side is that you often have to talk to them, keep telling them what needs to be done, what are the faults, all those small things that really matter but when it comes to operating on the field nothing much has really changed," he claimed.