Dhoni plays safe, says respects ex-cricketers views

Nagpur, Dec. 12 (ANI): Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday opted not to react to former Indian cricketer and national selector Mohinder Amarnath's acerbic comments on his place in the squad both as a player and a captain.

Speaking with media ahead of the fourth Test against England to be played here from Thursday, Dhoni said that he respected former cricketers and their views about the team and its players. He, however, added that the current squad under his leadership had problems of its own to deal with, and would like to resolve those first.

Dhoni was speaking after Amarnath said that BCCI President N. Srinivasan had prevented the sacking of Dhoni after the eight consecutive losses to England and Australia.

Speaking in an interview to a television channel (Times Now), Amarnath said that the five national selectors were keen to appoint Virender Sehwag as captain in place of Dhoni, but were overruled by Srinivasan.

While the BCCI maintains that none of the national selectors were pressured as far as the selection of the squad was concerned, Amarnath, who was one of those in the running to be appointed the chairman of the selection committee in September this year, but was eventually evicted, said that the board did not back the selectors move to bring in new blood.

"It was a unanimous decision, all five selectors supported it. The Board President (Srinivasan) did not approve the unanimous decision to replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni," Amarnath told the television channel.

"Why do you need a selection committee there, if one person needs to be at the helm of affairs. We should not be there. Who knows the constitution of BCCI? Is the current selection committee aware of it? I was not aware of the constitution of BCCI," he added.

"We are working on trust there and we are doing our job honestly. It was a unanimous decision of the selection committee to replace Dhoni with somebody after the disastrous series in Australia," Amarnath said.

Amarnath, who played 69 Tests and 74 one-dayers for India, said the selection committee had picked 17 players for the tri-series but had not named a captain.

"We selected the team for the triangular series, selected 17 players but we didn't select the captain. The captain was selected by somebody else," Amarnath, one of India's heroes in the 1983 World Cup triumph," he said.

Amarnath said that if Indian cricket is to progress, the selectors need to be given a free hand.

"If we don't look ahead, we won't have a good team in near future," he warned.

He also said that the fact that Srinivasan and Dhoni are part of the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League (IPL) was not be a matter of consideration in expressing his forthright view about Dhoni's captaincy and place in the Indian squad. (ANI)

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