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Dhoni's captaincy, wicketkeeping not up to Test standard: Brearley

Last updated on: August 20, 2014 20:58 IST

Dhoni's captaincy, wicketkeeping not up to Test standard: Brearley

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Former England captain Mike Brearley, one of the sharpest cricketing minds to have played the game, reckons that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy and wicketkeeping is not up to Test standard.

Brearley, in his column for The Times, said India were a disappointment in the Test series even though their bowling was throughout energetic and often skillful.

"In three of the past four Tests, including the one at Lord's won by India, the pitches have been designed to suit England, and to test India's batsmen, but much of the rest of their play, including slip fielding, has been, for the last three matches, poor," the former England skipper said.

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Image: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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'Dhoni has batted with skill and courage, standing out above the rest'

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"Mahendra Singh Dhoni has batted with skill and courage, standing out above the rest. He seems able in his batting and in his captaincy to put much of the past behind him, and to avoid touchy or petulant reactions," Brearley, who played 39 Tests and 25 One-Day Internationals for England between 1976 to 1981, said.

"But his wicketkeeping is not up to Test standard. Nor, I think is his captaincy," he said.

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Image: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images

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'Binny was clearly not rated by his captain as a bowler'

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Brearley, 72, also slammed India's selection vagaries, saying the team did not make sane and consistent judgments about the value of Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin and Stuart Binny.

"Binny played in three Tests, was clearly not rated by his captain as a bowler and cut a sad and solitary figure on the field," he said.

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Image: Stuart Binny of India
Photographs: Clint Hughes/Getty Images

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Brearley terms Jadeja as a 'poor man's Monty Panesar'

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Terming Jadeja as a 'poor man's Monty Panesar', Brearley said Ashwin is a better bowler and not only brought some skill as an attacking spinner, but is also one of India's more effective batsmen.

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Image: Ravindra Jadeja of India
Photographs: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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'Pujara and Kohli have been the big disappointments, Kohli in particular'

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The Indian batting was also a big let down, the top-order faltering consistently on the grassy English pitches.

Brearley, though, was more sympathetic than critical of the batsmen.

"And what of India's high-calibre batting? I have a lot of sympathy for them. They have come up against really top-quality seam and swing bowling on the grassiest set of pitches I can remember," he said.

"Gautam Gambhir came in for a tough assignment and not looked up to it. India would have regretted leaving out Shikhar Diwan, who at least looked capable of scoring some boundaries. Murali Vijay has performed to the best of his ability throughout. Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli have been the big disappointments, Kohli in particular," he added.

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Image: Cheteshwar Pujara is bowled by Ben Stokes of England during the second Test
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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