New Delhi, Jan 14: As Indian team's pathetic show continues in Australia, former players say time has come to remove Mahendra Singh Dhoni as Test skipper and senior players like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid should plan their timely retirements.
India's surprise capitulation has evoked sharp criticism from former players and Madan Lal went to the extent of saying that Dhoni should be sacked.
"I think time has come to remove Dhoni as the Test skipper as he is not enjoying his cricket. Time has come to bring in someone else who has fresh ideas," Lal, a former fast bowler, said in a TV show.
"He is obviously under a lot of pressure as a player and a captain. I wish he is joking and trying to divert the attention of media after getting tired of answering routine questions about the team's poor showing," said Ganguly.
Ganguly said Dhoni's comments were ill-timed.
"If he is really serious, then it is not sensible of him at all to make such a comment 24 hours before the start of an important Test match. I definitely feel that Dhoni does not enjoy Test cricket. His performance in Test and ODI cricket is poles apart and by making such a statement right now, he has also perhaps explained his complete disinterest in the longer format of the game," Ganguly told a TV channel from Perth.
"You cannot expect Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman to keep on repeating what they did at the Eden Gardens a decade ago. They were young then and are now nearing 40. I have always said the senior players should decide the timing of their retirement on their own."
"Dravid and Laxman will continue to score runs at home. However, India's next series abroad will now be in 2013 so they have to make a mature decision," Ganguly opined. Ganguly was of the view that India cannot save the Perth match and will lose the Adelaide Test too.
World Cup winning captain Kapil Dev came down hard on the BCCI for not doing enough to build a strong team.
"Board is doing extremely well when it comes to making money and controlling world cricket. But what is the use if your team fails to win matches abroad? Team is looking divided and Dhoni's days as skipper will be numbered if he does not perform or continues to show disinterest in the game," Kapil said.
"If Dhoni has made up his mind to quit Test cricket, then the same should have been conveyed to the selectors and the board after returning from Australia. His first priority right now should be to win the Perth Test. He made this team No.1 and his focus should be to achieve that goal once again. The timing of his statement is completely wrong. It is fine if the team knows about it otherwise the squad can fall apart midway through the tour with players thinking about their next skipper rather than focusing on the game," Kapil said.
"Team should be brought together in such trying circumstances. But Dhoni's comment has created a huge doubt, not only in the team dressing room but also amongst the fans back home. There was a time when between 28 to 32 years, a Test cricketer used to peak," he added.