Warne criticises Dhoni, says youngsters lack fighting spirit

Last Updated: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 16:31

London: Australian spin legend Shane Warne has launched a severe attack on India`s young batsmen and felt Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s captaincy was being affected by his below par wicket-keeping as the visitors slumped to a massive 319-run defeat against England in the second cricket Test.

Warne said to derail India an opposition just need to dismiss their three most experienced batsmen as the rest of the willow-yielders in the side lack fighting spirit.

"As far as the batting is concerned, it is three down, all down. If you get Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman out, the rest all follow suit because they can`t handle the intensity of the situation," Warne wrote in a UK daily after India`s humiliating defeat at Nottingham on Monday.

Warne was particularly critical of Suresh Raina and finds the left-hander a misfit for the challenging five-day format.

"The way some of the Indians play the short ball is embarrassing. Suresh Raina just does not look like a Test player when the ball is dug in. He is OK in Twenty20 and one-day matches because teams can`t bowl that many short balls at him, but in Test cricket they can batter him."

Warne said the responsibility to lift India rest on skipper Dhoni, whose below par show behind the stumps is hurting his captaincy and positivity.

"India have to bounce back to make this a competitive series and the lead has to come from Dhoni. He needs to lift everyone. He looks too nonchalant at the moment. He has lost his positive body language.”

"The captain has to set the tone with the fielding. He cannot hang on to a ball behind the stumps and that is hurting his captaincy, batting and having an impact on the whole team. He needs to work really hard on his keeping over the next week
because you can`t carry on like that," he said.

"There is an argument that says he should not be playing the next game because he can`t keep hold of the ball. Dhoni is a quality person and leader so I am sure he will turn it around but deep down he will feel a bit embarrassed about how it has been going," Warne added.

He praised England for their new found Australia-like aggression but said their quality could not be assessed in the prevailing circumstances as India have hardly been a challenging side in this series so far.

"Don`t know if England are dominating or are a clear-cut No. 1 but they are probably the best side in the world right now, just ahead of South Africa. But it is hard to judge how good England are because India have been so poor," Warne said.

"It has been too easy for England. India have just rolled over. The best side in the world misfields every ball on the boundary and let them through for four. MS Dhoni can`t hold on to his takes behind the stumps and the bowling looks pedestrian."

Down 0-2 in the four-match series, Warne called India to make strong comeback in the remaining games and prove their numero uno Test status in the world.

"It is time for India to show some fight and why they are the best team in the world. I would like them to give us more spirit, intensity in the field and pride in their performance. Don`t worry about money or glamour. This is Test match cricket," he said.

"India need a lift and have to find something special in next two Tests starting at Edgbaston," the Australian added.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 00:00

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