New Delhi: India's nine- wicket win over England in the first Test in Ahmedabad might have brought joy to the fans, but captain MS Dhoni’s demand for pitches that ‘turn right from the start’ hasn’t gone down well with former Australia skipper Steve Waugh.
In the Capital to attend the Australia– India Innovation Forum, Waugh said Dhoni’s comments were negative, especially when India has a team that aspires to be the best in the world.
“If you want to be the best, you have to play well in all types of conditions and not ask for conditions that suit your style of play. MS Dhoni’s comments were really negative, when he asked the curators to doctor the pitches,” Waugh said.
“I am a bit surprised, especially as India is one of the better sides, going by [ its] quality.” Waugh added that he too had captained his national side, but never asked for pitches that would make the game onesided.
“I captained Australia for 57 games but never did I have a word with the curator about the kind of pitch that we are going to play” he said.
The 47- year- old Waugh added that he saw no reason why India would not win the current series comprehensively.
“India will win this series. I think the result will be 3- 0. They have a pretty good side and it’s always hard to beat them in their country. The pitches are also going to suit them,” he said.
The fact that the current Indian team owes much of its success to the younger players hasn’t gone unnoticed by Waugh.
“Some very talented youngsters are coming up. [ Cheteshwar] Pujara getting a double century, [ Pragyan] Ojha taking wickets and then there is Virat Kohli, it’s a great sign for Indian cricket,” he said.
Waugh added that it was good to see the youngsters fighting it out bravely, with seniors like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman having hung up their boots.
“Sometimes you get too carried away that experienced players are irreplaceable, but the natural thing will happen.Someone will step up to play and take that role,” he said.
Regarding, the Aussies’ tour of India early next year, Waugh said though it will be a close series, Australia will be the stronger side of the two.
“It will be an interesting situation for both the teams. By that time Australia will be more developed than India because they have started turning things around now, while Australia have started that process 12 to 18 months ago. It will be a close series” he predicted.
Waugh added that one needs at least two years to mature at the international level.
“I guess India’s performance will depend upon factors like whether Tendulkar is still around. Some of the legends of the game like Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly are not there. You need a couple of years to come around and perform consistently,” he said.
“But the good sign is that despite the absence of the legends, the side is still playing well. That tells you India has got a lot of depth in their cricket system.” Regarding, Australia’s ongoing Test series against South Africa, Waugh appreciated their effort in holding South Africa to a draw in the first Test in Brisbane, despite being the underdogs.
“It was good for Australia to do well in the first Test as they were the underdogs. Michael Clarke did well as the captain,” he said. “ Apart from that, Ed Cowan’s century was also important as people were beginning to question his position in the side.” Waugh added that if Australia, currently third in the ICC rankings, can draw the series against the top- ranked Proteas, it would be a good result. “ If we come out with a draw in this series it will be a good result for our team,” he said.
Dhoni slams Motera wicket
Second-innings blues for Ashwin
Ojha: Knew I could dismiss Pietersen