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Time to replace Dhoni: Bishan Singh

Posted on Dec 18, 10:03PM | IBNS

Spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi wants the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni as India's captain without delay.

Speaking to Headlines Today Managing Editor, Rahul Kanwal, Bedi said: "Dhoni should feel lucky that he's still there. If Tiger Pataudi or Sunil Gavaskar had lost as many Tests, they wouldn't have lasted this long. He hasn't done enough to continue being the skipper. He should have been eased out after the world cup win."

Dhoni has been under heavy fire for his leadership qualities, and even his failing form.

Bedi picked on his abilities as a Test player saying: "He's is not a Test skipper. You need a skipper who's worthy of his place in the eleven....Tell me is his 99 of any use to the team."

Giving his vote of confidence to Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir to replace the struggling skipper, he added: "You can't say we can't bring anyone else. I would make Virat Kohli the captain. He's got a sharp cricketing brain. You got to trust the young blood. This is a young man's game. We've been carrying a lot of dead wood for a long time."

The spin ace, however, stoutly defended batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who has been under relentless attack for his low scores in the last two series, against New Zealand and England.

"None of us, neither the experts nor the media, are qualified to judge Sachin. Only one person can judge him that is Sachin Tendulkar himself. But its very sad to see him like this," said Bedi, who was the coach-cum-manager of the Indian team when the maestro scored his maiden Test century on the tour of England in 1990.

Though refusing to pick on him for overstaying his welcome in the team, he insisted that commerce does have a role to play in his and even Dhoni's continuance in the squad.

"These people (advertisers) have put a lot of money in these players. There is pressure to keep the valuations high."

The censure was stronger in Dhoni's case. Speaking about BCCI boss N Srinivasan shielding Dhoni, Bedi said: "They want him to continue and want to brush the conflict of interest under the carpet."

Clearly for the former India captain, the biggest villain of the piece is the BCCI.

Bedi minced no words in his attack against the mandarins of the game saying: "BCCI bosses must own up. They have got their priorities all wrong. I don't think Indian cricket is in good hands right now.'

His attack was also directed at the five wise men of Indian cricket: "The heavy salary being paid to selectors is working like hush money. I don't think anyone in this group has the guts to stand up to the board. They just hide behind each other. BCCI must answer why are the selectors being gagged."

The coach Duncan Fletcher wasn't spared either. But the criticism was less personal. Bedi went on to attack the entire premise of hiring a foreign coach.

"Why should we have a foreign coach when we have people like Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble? These guys know the modern game, and are committed to the Indian cause. The BCCI does not have a foreign president. What is the need of a foreign coach? Duncan will go after the India series," Bedi remarked dismissively.