Media reactions: Sehwag to replace Dhoni?

A round-up of the reportage on the recently-concluded Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

As has happened many times in the past, stories of India captain MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag not seeing eye-to-eye surface at a time the team has performed badly.

Indranil Basu writes in Times of India that Sehwag take over as the Test captain:

However, what is really disturbing is the talk of "an ego clash" between Dhoni and Sehwag. It's said that this affected Dhoni's captaincy and he couldn't quite assert his authority with Sehwag and a few others.

Dhoni also feels that Sehwag could have done better in Australia if had shown greater discipline while batting. The authorities are examining to what extent this dissension within the team contributed to its debacle in Australia.

Senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid or Laxman don't have had a problem playing under Dhoni (or under Sehwag, for that matter), but Sehwag has apparently made his opinions clear: he doesn't like Dhoni's way of handling things, be it in selecting the playing XI, field placements during Test matches or the issue of bringing in younger players. He feels that his views have not been heard.

What is wrong with the Indian batting? Mumbai Mirror's Sriram Veera tries to make sense of Sehwag's comments at the post-match presser.

Sometimes, of course, you can’t take the cricketers at the face value. The cricketers say something just to deflect the media criticism. It will be crassly stupid to say the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman don’t care. Here is what is really scary: This Indian team really doesn’t know the reason why they have lost 0-8 in England and Australia. They know it’s their batting but they don’t know why it failed.

Sehwag presented a bit of that cluelessness. “Everybody practised hard at home, and then we came here and practised really hard. We make our own plans and it didn’t click. The time is not good for Indian team, for individuals. Maybe that’s why we are not scoring runs. The moment the time changes, the next year we will see, or in the coming series we will see our top order giving starts and middle order coming in and score big hundreds.”
India's slump coincides with a happy time for Pakistan. For some Pakistanis, this is a matter of joy.

"Whether we accept it openly or not but such is our cricket rivalry with India that when they lose and we win it gives us more to pleasure," psychologist Dr Ambreen explained.

"The fact that the Indian media has been urging their players to learn a lesson from the Pakistan team is also very satisfying for our people," she said.

Former captain Moin Khan believes that Pakistanis are also happy with the situation because of the way the Indian cricket establishment has shunned Pakistani players from the Indian Premier League.

"Obviously there is a anger at the way our players are being treated and ignored by the Indians where the IPL is concerned. The better our team is performing the more the value of our players is increasing," he said.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell wades into India's 'star culture'.

"The star system is well and truly ingrained in the Indian team and things won't improve, certainly not on the overseas Test match front, until this is changed," Chappell said on Sunday.
"The problem is that the star system is part of India's general culture and it's going to be difficult to change the approach in the cricket team.

"The average Indian fan is satisfied if Tendulkar scores a hundred but the team loses.

"India... needs to become a group of cricketers who perform as a team. It doesn't help when a number of those individually bright stars are playing for their own survival.

"Recent successes in all forms of the game has led to sloppy habits instead of a work and thought ethic that will bring prolonged success.

"Australia has played hard, competitive and smart cricket while India has just capitulated".

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