London, Jan 24: The Indian cricket team is "very average" at the moment and is "lucky" to have a captain like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is coping the blame for "lack of quality in the side", feels former England skipper Geoffrey Boycott.
"...Do you judge captains on their win and loss ratio, or do you take into account or consideration the quality, or lack of quality, in his team? If you're thinking about India, there's a lack of quality at the moment, lack of quality seam bowling, lack of quality spin bowling, and in some cases your best players are beginning to retire after getting past their sell-by date. Aren't they?" Boycott told a sports website.
"(Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman are gone, (Sachin) Tendulkar hasn't got any runs recently, so is it his (Dhoni's) fault?" he asked.
"I don't think so. I don't judge people on the loss and win ratio of the team. You have to look at the team. You are damn lucky you've got MS Dhoni," he asserted.
Dhoni has been under severe scrutiny after the recent home Test debacle against England even though he has been in decent form personally.
Boycott said Dhoni has his limitations as a Test skipper but the Indians don't have a quality replacement at the moment.
"I think he is a brilliant one-day captain. Like a lot of people, I think he has good leadership skills of the players but, tactically, in Test matches, there's quite a bit to be desired. But you haven't got anybody else you can call upon," he explained.
"A nice set of lads, but in terms of other quality sides around the world, you are very average and you are not going to win with average teams. And the captains always get blamed. Captains tend to get plaudits when the team wins, which I think is unfair," Boycott said.
The former batsman said Dhoni cannot be held responsible for the slide because India is a team in transition right now.
"...the captain always gets the blame when you lose. It's like in the war, losing generals always got the sack. It's like that with Dhoni; because India have hit a sticky situation, with some of the best players retiring or getting to the end of their careers...Zaheer Khan's gone, Harbhajan's gone, Dravid and Laxman have gone, Sachin is towards the end of his career," he pointed out.
"It's very difficult to replace players like that with young kids and do well, and Dhoni's getting the flak for it, he's getting the blame. I don't think it's Dhoni's fault. So you've to be careful about blaming people for the lack of quality in the side," he said.