'Keepers should not be captains'

Bangalore, Dec. 26 -- If you needed any further endorsement that MS Dhoni is overburdened and needs to be relieved of some of his responsibilities, here it is. And it comes from none other than Wasim Bari, the greatest wicket-keeper to come from Pakistan.

"Wicket-keeping in itself is a very tough job. Besides, he needs to keep the team motivated, advice his bowlers and captain about the field placements as he stands at the best position to observe things happening," he said. "And to have him as one of your main batsmen and captain as well is putting a lot of burden on him," he said on Tuesday.

The 64-year-old former Pakistan great, however, was a bit generous towards the India skipper. "You will have to agree that Dhoni is not an ordinary 'keeper batsman but a special one. He has been a great captain for India, though his fortunes have taken a dip in the recent series in England and Australia. Having said that, as a rule of thumb, additional responsibilities on a 'keeper are always a burden. Maybe, that's why we haven't seen many 'keeper captains."

Dip In Standards

Bari, however, feels current wicket-keepers aren't anywhere close to those during his career, which he calls the era of wicket-keepers. "It was an era of wicket-keepers. Allan Knot, Rodney Marsh, Syed Kirmani, Bari. that was a special time, let's not even talk about it. But then demands have changed, you need your wicket-keepers as batsmen too. So, it's not fair to compare."

The otherwise forthcoming Pakistan legend, however, wouldn't comment on Pakistan players being kept out of the Indian Premier League. "All I could tell you is that both the boards are deliberating on all issues and this is one of them."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.


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