New Delhi: India's cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar Tuesday backed beleaguered captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni for leading with example and also hailed the appointment of his former team mate Ravi Shastri as the team director for the ODI series against England starting Aug 25.
In Picture: India's cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar
Gavaskar said it would be wrong to blame Dhoni for the team's debacle in England and also felt that he should continue as the captain.
"He has led from the front. He has batted at difficult positions. He has set an example. If his example has not been followed by the rest of the team, I don't think you can blame the captain. I don't think there is any alternative to Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the foreseeable future and I would back him to carry on," Gavaskar told NDTV.
Gavaskar agrees with the BCCI's decision to remove bowling coach Joe Dawes and fielding consultant Trevor Penney for the one-day series and replacing them with former Indian all-rounder Sanjay Bangar and ex-India pacer Bharat Arun as assistant coaches. Both Dawes and Penney were hand-picked by chief coach Duncan Fletcher.
"I think the fact that they have appointed coaches, assistant coaches, who have a very real interest in Indian cricket as against a commercial interest of maybe somebody else, they will have an impact. Mind you they will not have an immediate bearing. This is not instant coffee. So you just have to be a little more patient," said Gavaskar.
The former India captain also believes that having Indian coaches as support staff will also improve the communication process.
"But having coaches as I have said, who have real interest, who have sweated on Indian cricket fields will make a huge difference. A huge difference in communication with the players because communication is very important. There are a lot of our players who might not be able to understand some of the language spoken by the non-Indians. So the fact that we have now Indian assistant coaches will make a huge difference," he added.
About Fletcher's future, Gavaskar said: "I would not put myself in Duncan Fletcher's shoes. I wouldn't even bother to try and go into his mind what is he thinking because I am just not interested in what he thinks. I was interested in what he does. I had made my views very clear on his coaching abilities a long time ago. And I won't go further into this."