Virat needs 'half captain Dhoni' by his side: Bedi

Last Updated: Tue, Mar 12, 2019 14:32 hrs
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Former captain Bishan Singh Bedi is someone who never minces words. In an interview to PTI, the legendary left-arm spinner was as usual very direct in his comments about the absence of MS Dhoni for the last two ODIs against Australia.

According to Bedi, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is "half a captain" of India's limited overs team and his absence made skipper Virat Kohli "visibly rough" on the field during the fourth ODI against Australia, a match that the Indians lost by 4 wickets after scoring a mammoth 358.

"I am nobody to comment but we all are wondering that why Dhoni is being rested and his absence was felt yesterday, behind the stumps, with the bat and on field also. He is almost half a captain," said Bedi, during a reception organised by the Australian High Commission for its cricket team.

"Dhoni is not getting any younger, he is no spring chicken either but the team needs him. He has a calming influence on the side. The captain needs him by his side, he is visibly rough without him. It is not a good sign," said the 72-year-old spin great who took 266 wickets in 67 Tests.

Bedi also questioned the need for resting Dhoni and giving Pant an opportunity with the series very much alive.

"Pant is a wild horse. Somebody has to tame him. Who is going to do that? The support staff should be able to do that. He is making the same mistakes again and again and behind stumps, too, he has a lot of work to do, honestly. Your chairman of selection committee (MSK Prasad) is a wicketkeeper, you talk to him at least," said Bedi.

The series against Australia is on the line and another thing that irks the Indian great at this moment is the constant chopping and changing of the Indian ODI team in the name of the World Cup.

"I would personally like them to live in the present. World Cup is still two and a half months away. Just play the game. For World Cup, we have been experimenting in the last one year and I am not happy with that at all," he opined.

Bedi signed off with the fear that the upcoming Indian Premier League could pose serious problems for the team ahead of the World Cup.

"Anyone of them can get injured during the IPL. You can't expect them to not give 100 percent while playing for their respective teams."