Dhoni hints at phasing out seniors after Adelaide

January 15th, 2012 - 6:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin Tendulkar Perth, Jan 15 (IANS) India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni Sunday hinted at phasing out senior players after the end of the cricket series in Australia.

Calls for phasing out seniors have gathered momentum in the wake of India’s dismal run in the series and is likely to intensify after their loss in the third Test here by an innings and 37 runs to go 0-3 down in the four-match series.

The fourth Test begins at Adelaide Jan 24, followed by a 15-match ODI tri-series also featuring Sri Lanka.

Dhoni said the decision on the seniors’s retirement should be made keeping their thoughts in mind.

“Not really right now,” Dhoni said when asked whether he and team management has thought about replacing the experienced members in the side.

“May be at the end of the series will be a right time (to talk on the issue). We also have to see what the seniors’ thoughts are. I think there is a bit more emphasis right now about getting rid of the seniors but it must be a very carefully thought decision. We all know what they have done for the country and the amount of experience they can share with the youngsters.”

Though Sachin Tendulkar has been India’s leading scorer in the series with 249 runs in three Tests at 41.50, his performance can be rated well short of his high standards.

Rahul Dravid has scored 168 runs at an average of 28 while V.V.S. Laxman has struggled the most of the big three, with an average of only 17 in six innings.

There are reports that Laxman will be the first to make way for a youngster in a side that has lost seven overseas Tests in a row.

When asked about this, Dhoni said: “I won’t like to answer something which has a big if and but attached to it. As of now there is nothing I know officially. I don’t know where this came from. Unless Laxman comes and tells me about his future, I don’t know whether it (retirement) is happening or not happening.”

Dhoni rather stressed on the importance of having the right blend of youth and experience in the team.

“It is very important to have the right mixture. You can’t have all the seniors missing out all of a sudden, and all the juniors coming in. We will have to thoughtfully decide the best option. Give a bit of exposure to youngsters coming in and at the same time let a fair bit of experience stay in the team.”

India dont’t play an away Test for around two years after the Adelaide game. Dhoni admitted that the youngsters joining the team in the near future will be picked on their domestic performance but said they must find a way to win outside the sub-continent.

“We know that most of our batsmen who will come in or will be part of the team will perform whenever we play in India.

“But we need to find ways as to how we perform outside India. It will be a good option to see the youngsters coming in. Of course we are playing quite a few games in India, but we are playing tough opposition at the same time. I think they will get good exposure out of that.”

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