I get the impression that Dhoni's tired: Gilchrist

Dhoni looks fatigued and needs to get away, freshen up and be back as the leader and inspiration he's been, feels Adam Gilchrist.

Adam Gilchrist

Adam Gilchrist, who needs no introduction, spoke to The Telegraph at the Adelaide Oval. Gilchrist, incidentally, is chairman of the National Australia Day Council. He'd been appointed by the previous Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, and asked to continue by Julia Gillard.

The following are excerpts

You must be surprised at India's performance...

It has surprised everyone and frustrated a lot of people, none the least the players themselves. There were high expectations and fans were within their rights to expect a hard-fought series. That didn't happen.

So, where should the focus of the average cricket lover be?

Our bowling attack... They've done a terrific job and deserve all the credit... The bowling unit worked well together and allowed (captain) Michael Clarke to ‘manipulate' games.

Besides the bowling unit, what made it 4-0 for Australia?

Clarke's leadership...The season began with a 1-1 draw in South Africa and 1-1 against New Zealand at home... It was a delicate time, but he took the leadership bit between his teeth and made the right decisions. He relished the captaincy in this series. Bowling line-ups can make captains look very silly by not executing plans, but Clarke didn't have to face that.

What's special about Clarke's captaincy?

Tactically, he's very clever...I'd sensed that during the time we were teammates for Australia...I could tell, then itself, that he's a thinker and a watcher and a learner. Clarke's got the respect of his team and the spirit around the group looks to be good. He has himself acknowledged that, maybe, there had been failings in his make-up and that he hadn't been the perfect team man in the past...But he addressed that quickly. Today, nothing matters more than total commitment to the team... That's one of the values he's passing on.

Plus, Clarke's been leading from the front...


Mickey Arthur, the new coach, has been doing his job quietly. What have you heard about him?

That he's helped create the right environment. There's unity and the players are enjoying each other's success.

What's your take on India's batting group?

It didn't click in this series...Bowlers win you matches, the batsmen only set them up. India's batsmen didn't allow their bowlers the opportunity to go for the kill. Too few runs don't help.

But almost the same batting group had been very successful on the 2003-04 tour and fairly successful in 2007-08...

The wickets had then been flat and lifeless... In this series, even Australia had problems, but some huge individual performances, from (Ricky) Ponting and Clarke, even (Michael) Hussey at times, came to the rescue.

Is it time for Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, who've served India so well, to retire?

Oh, I won't get into that...They'll know...The selectors will know what to do...However, I'm one for allowing due consideration to those who've given their life to the national team.

Sachin Tendulkar's stuck on 99 International hundreds...

Sure, he'd like to get it, but I'm not sure if he's obsessed with it...I guess it's a matter of time before he gets the next hundred.

Have you been impressed with Virat Kohli?

He's a good talent, definitely...There's also Rohit Sharma, who has the potential. But for the potential to translate into something, he needs to get opportunities.

Did you expect Ponting to answer his critics in such a stunning manner (544 runs)?

Look, Ponting's a high quality batsman...He'd been working hard, it's not that he was just hoping to hit a purple patch.

Should Brad Haddin look at life outside the Australian team?

I've read some of his recent comments...Only he'll know when his time is up...I don't know what space he's in mentally. It has been a challenging summer, but he's a much better cricketer than what people perceive him to be.

What are your impressions of Mahendra Singh Dhoni?

I get the impression that Dhoni's tired...I could be wrong, but it does seem as if he needs a break to recharge batteries...He looks fatigued and needs to get away, freshen up and be back as the leader and inspiration he's been.

Have you been planning for next month's IPL auction?

I've been in touch with the franchise I captain (Kings XI Punjab) and we're looking at options.

The final one...How do you keep yourself so remarkably fit?

(Laughs) Chasing four children! I do my stuff and it will be nice to get to the IPL as fit as anyone else.

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