New Delhi: With Mahendra Singh Dhoni on the firing line after yet another series loss in one of his favourite formats, his deputy Virat Kohli's profile has seen a quantum jump.
Spin great and respected voice in cricket, Erapalli Prasanna said on Friday that it's high time to make Kohli the India captain in all three formats. The Test captain, in contrast to Dhoni's waning influence, at least in the field of play, has had outstanding outings against Sri Lanka and South Africa.
“I think the time has come to make Kohli captain in all three formats. Dhoni is 33-34 now and there has to be a change in captaincy at some point so why not now? He can keep playing as a player. Ultimately, it is Dhoni who will take the call.
"If you ask me, let him keep the wickets and give Kohli the charge right away. It is in the team’s interest,” Prasanna told PTI.
Dhoni, who is still India's best ever captain, got flak for his overall captaincy, and also individual performance. Once considered the best finisher in the game, the skipper found himself wanting in many aspects, from batting to team selection. And he has already been assured of his post in the 2016 ICC World T20 in March-April.
“Some of the selection choices have been baffling to be honest. Dropping your number one bowler (R Ashwin) in the last two games was beyond logic. If he was around in the third ODI (at Melbourne), India could have built more pressure with Jadeja bowling well from the other end. Instead, Dhoni took Jadeja off the attack soon after he removed Steve Smith. It was surely questionable,” said the 75-year-old.
And after losing all four matches so far, discreet calls for his head can be heard in many quarters. Before the Australia series, India have lost both the ODI and Twenty20 series against South Africa at home.
World Cup-winner Mohinder Amarnath fresh on his column for a leading daily today also call for a change in leadership in limited overs and backed Test captain Virat Kohli to take over simmediately.
"I am very disappointed with Dhoni, honestly, and the way he has been playing. When you don't play regularly, your form will also be scratchy," wrote Amarnath. Former captains Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar had echoed similar sentiments, saying lack of competitive cricket was hurting Dhoni's form and level of motivation," Amarnath wrote.
Known as a strong critic of Dhoni, Amarnath added: "He (Kohli) should have been captain on this (Australian) tour. We have a young side and we need a young captain with a young mindset and different approach.
"I know Dhoni has already been named captain till World Twenty20, but it's not too late and may be, this should be reassessed considering the cricket he is playing," he added.
Under Dhoni's watch, India also suffered a humiliating series defeat in Bangladesh.
(With PTI inputs)