Former cricketers slam MS Dhoni's controversial rotation policy; call it ‘utter nonsense’

With India skipper MS Dhoni taking a forced one-match break due to suspension, it will be interesting to see whether stand-in captain Virender Sehwag sticks with Team India’s controversial rotation policy, keeping one of the top three including himself, Tendulkar and Gautam Gambhir out of the squad every time they take on the field. Clearly, the seniors are not too happy with the decision, writes The Times Of India.

Tendulkar batted impressively for a 48 in the first match against Sri Lanka; but he was asked to take a break in the next match against Australia. Both his rhythm, and mood, were visibly disrupted by the enforced break, writes the national daily.

Former Indian cricketers slammed MS Dhoni's controversial rotation policy with one of them saying that it defies logic and another going to the extent of calling it "utter nonsense", says a report in The Indian Express. Spin legend Bishan Singh Bedi said rotation makes sense only if players are in form. "I don't know what is the logic behind this rotation policy and what exactly is Dhoni thinking. But for me, the rotation policy makes sense when your players are in good form. But here none of the players are in good form. So where does the question of rotating them comes when they are not scoring?" asked Bedi.

Former captain and chairman of selectors Dilip Vengsarkar said it was fine to rotate players as long as team's winning prospects were not jeopardised. "Rotation policy is good but should not be a hard and fast rule. One should always strive to field the best eleven players. It's upto the (tour) selectors to rest some player if they feel he is jaded and needs rest. As I have said if you feel someone needs rest or is looking jaded and tired playing against the same team, give him rest but at the same time it's important to win. It's a fine balancing act," he opined.

However, amidst criticism, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has found some empathizers it seems. Backing India’s much-talked about rotational policy, Australian greats Greg Chappell and Matthew Hayden have advocated on the need to be a good fielder to survive in modern-day cricket.  Chappell and Hayden expressed their views a day after India skipper MS Dhoni said seniors like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were good fielders but on big Australian grounds they were “slightly on the slower side”.

“The message to our players is quite clear. If you want to be an international cricketer, you have to be a good fielder, you have to be fit, you have to have good throwing arms, you have to bring more to the game than just runs or wickets,” Chappell said. Both the former players’ observations are significant in the context of Dhoni’s remarks. The former Aussie skipper felt that one has to be an exceptionally good batsman or a bowler to make up for his weakness as a fielder.

Meanwhile, CA has given struggling Ricky Ponting the axe. According to newspapers reports, the Australian selectors have finally called curtains on Ricky Ponting's One-day International career by deciding to axe him from the team named for the next two games of the triseries here on Monday. The former Australia captain is to address the media in Sydney on Tuesday morning and it is expected that he may announce his retirement from the shorter format of the game.

Ponting, who has had a very poor string of scores — 2, 1, 6, 2 and 7 — in his last five ODI innings, had himself said a day ago that he is still keen to make a turnaround, but had left it to the selectors to decide if he was still worth a place in the side.  “I’m not going to put up my hand and say that I want a break. Because when you go through a lean trot, you want to go and turn it around. We’ll see what the selectors come up with. Next couple of days are important for me,” is what Ponting had said, writes TOI.