Contractor slams Dhoni for demanding doctored pitches
Former India captain Nari Contractor has lashed out at skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for demanding designer wickets, terming it as "very wrong" and something that captains in his era never asked for.
"During our times, nobody ever made such open statements -- asking for rank turners. This is very wrong on Dhoni's part," 78-year-old Contractor, who led India to their first Test win over England said on Monday.
"At best, we asked the groundsmen how the pitch would behave and what could be expected of it. We never ordered like 'aise ya waise wicket banana (we did not give any instruction)," Contractor, who has an all-win captaincy record against England was very critical of Dhoni's demand.
Although Contractor agrees that getting home advantage is a part and parcel in today's game, making "open demands" certainly "doesn't make sense."
"What sense does it make to ask openly for a turner? Nobody makes such open statements," the septuagenarian seemed furious.
Image: MS Dhoni
'Please don't ask me about Tendulkar's future'
The man, who played the last of his 31 Tests back in 1962 before suffering a life threatening head injury by a Charlie Griffith bouncer in a colony game, feels that despite the losses, the fans should have faith in Dhoni and his boys.
"You will win some and lose a few in the process. It happens. Australia's performance too has dipped... Can one team keep on winning always?" he countered.
"Can Cheteshwar Pujara do anything better? Give Pujaras and Kohlis some time to settle down."
But Contractor didn't wish to comment when asked by Sachin Tendulkar's future.
"He has 100 international centuries. Please don't ask me about his future."The Indian spinners like Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh have received a lot of flak but Contractor feels that "they are the best that we have got."
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Contractor to be felicitated by CAB
On a different note, Contractor who came back from the fatal head injury and played first-class cricket for Railways says that his only regret was not being able to play one Test match after that injury.
"My only regret was that I wanted to play just one Test after my head injury but people didn't want me to..."
Contractor will be felicitated on Tuesday by CAB along with former English skipper Ted Dexter, the oldest surviving Test captains of both the side.
Contractor said India's rise in cricket began at the Eden Gardens.
"It all started with the Calcutta Test. Indian cricket then slowly made itself a major force to reckon with. We have had some great players in Tiger Pataudi, M L Jaisimha, (Dilip) Sardesai, (Farokh) Engineer, among others. It was the beginning of a glorious era."
As he prepares to watch the proceedings of the India versus England match from VIP box of Eden Gardens, he will certainly be flooded with memories.
"It will be one nostalgic moment. I've some great memories at the Eden. I'm keenly looking forward to it," an emotional Contractor signed off.
Image: Nari Contractor