New Delhi: Former skipper Sourav Ganguly today endorsed the idea of "split captaincy" and said Mahendra Singh Dhoni should not be leading the Indian cricket team in all formats.
"I am not saying just ship him off all the formats of the game because India are going into a transition phase and build a new team. Sit with Dhoni and ask him what form of cricket he wants to captain. He has done a lot of good things for Indian cricket, but at the present moment, I am just fearing that we will lose him as a player if he continues like this," Ganguly said with a note of caution.
Despite having lost six out of the last seven Tests against England, Ganguly chose not to be too harsh on Dhoni. "Keeping is never easy and when you have a bowling attack like ours, which has not performed over a period of time. You keep for hours and then you captain the side and you come out and bat at no 7.
"So it's never easy for for Dhoni and I'm a firm believer that his job has to be split and he needs a reprieve in some format," Ganguly told Headlines Today. Talking on Sachin Tendulkar's form, the former India skipper said, "Sachin desperately needs to get runs. He has achieved a lot. He is getting a long rope because of what he has achieved. He should know himself that how he needs to turn it around.
"As somebody watching it from outside Tendulkar not performing, I think if I was Tendulkar I would go. But it's upto him at the present moment. We want to see the great man going with a bat held high and not in terrible form.
Coming back to Dhoni, he said, "You do not expect selectors to come out and say we have put Dhoni on notice. You can't say this in public, it's not fair. I don't think that will ever happen with the BCCI.
"I don't know what the real story is. Whether Dhoni has been put on notice or whether the selectors have spoken to him or not, is immaterial. Half the players don't get to know it. If you are trying to build a new team, the message has to be consistent. I agree that Dhoni needs to be looked after and needs to be spoken to.
As discussion turned to Zaheer Khan's omission, he said, "The Indian team is going through a rebuilding phase, you have to have plan. My point is that the plan has to be uniform for everyone."
Another former captain, Kapil Dev felt there was no suitable replacement for Dhoni.
"Do we have another player to captain at this stage? I don't see anybody. If Virat Kohli starts getting runs I can understand, but he is also not getting runs. "I don't think anybody is ready. I don't think sacking anybody in the middle of the series is right. He is under pressure, the selectors have to sit and talk to him. He has to speak to himself that 'look I have to perform well'."
Kapil said the board should disclose its plan for the team's future.
"They shouldn't do what they used to do in 80s. You lost a series, a new captain comes out. Again a series is lost and a new captain comes in. I think that is sad. "What we would want is that selectors and the board tells us what is their plan... don't hide. People are very concerned, lets not have rumours. They should come out straight. Rumours are not good for the country and for the team."