Kapil urges BCCI to step in and sort out issues
There has been intense speculation of dissensions within the team particularly after the controversial rotation policy was introduced for only three openers – Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
Dhoni later snubbed the fielding ability of the three seniors and said they were not played together because they were `slow fielders`. But Sehwag added a new twist to the issue by saying the seniors were never told that fielding was an issue. Gambhir had also taken a dig at his captain for not finishing matches early and taking it to the last over.
"The captain (Dhoni) may have a different opinion and normally his opinion is respected. I think the BCCI will have to step in and sort out the matter with the players for the good of the team and country," said Kapil at a cricket clinic for youngsters at the Australian High Commission here.
"I would not want it to call a rift within the team but would prefer to term it as difference of opinion. It`s difficult to comment on the issue because we don`t know what exactly happened there in Australia," Kapil said.
Asked further how a senior player like Sehwag could not have been told about the reason for the rotation policy among the openers, Kapil said, "Even the parents have different opinions and we should not play it up. "The players will have to understand that they are carrying the reputation of the country. If there is a misunderstanding it should be sorted out. They are playing for the country," he added.
Kapil said that in his opinion Sachin Tendulkar should have retired from one-day cricket on a high after India won the World Cup last year, but it was upto the player to call it quit or not. "I am nobody to say when Sachin Tendulkar would retire. But in my opinion he should have quit ODI on a high after Indian won the World Cup. But that is my opinion. I think I can have my opinion? But it`s him only to decide," he said.
"He (Tendulkar) enjoys playing cricket and has achieved so much for the team and for the country. What more we can expect from the little man. But if I was in his (Tendulkar`s) place I would have said after India won the World Cup that I have achieved so much in cricket for the team and for the country and it`s now time for some other player to come in," said the 1983 World Cup-winning captain.
Cricket Board President N Srinivasan had ruled out an inquiry on the Indian team`s Test debacle in Australia but Kapil said that the BCCI and the selectors will have to find out what went wrong with the team. "We should now encourage the players to play like world champions, play tight and win matches. They are the world champions. But after they return from Australia, the BCCI and the selectors should sit and find out what went wrong with the team," he said.
Asked if some of the senior players should be dropped from Test side after the Australian tour, Kapil said that it was for the selectors to take a call on this. "It is for the selectors to decide. I think the right thing is the BCCI and the selectors should sit down after the Australian tour is over and decide on a future road map for Indian cricket. If the senior players are in the scheme of things, its okay. Otherwise the players will have to understand," said Kapil.
Asked if the selectors would have axed a non-performing Indian cricketer just like a player of the stature of Ricky Ponting was dropped from the Australian ODI team, Kapil said different systems work in different countries.
"The Australians have a different norm. They stick to performance or non-performance. But it does not work in India like that. There are different systems in different countries. India can`t have the same norm as in Australia," said Kapil.
Former Australian batsman Dean Jones felt that Sachin Tendulkar will have to retire from one format soon. "It`s difficult for Sachin to consistently do well in all the formats. Sooner or later, he will have to retire from one format," Jones said.
Asked about the talk of `rift` within the Indian team in Australia, Jones said, "Things heated up when the team is not doing well. That`s what is happening in the Indian team now there." He also defended the Australian selectors for axing Ponting, which ended the ODI career of the former captain.
"In his last six ODI innings, Ponting has not crossed 10 runs. Do you think the selectors will keep on selecting him?" Jones asked.
Meanwhile, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said that his government will work to secure the 2015 Cricket World Cup final for the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Baillieu said Melbourne was the sporting and cultural capital of Australia and had been voted both the world`s most liveable city and the Ultimate Sports City on numerous occasions.
"The MCG is one of the finest cricket grounds in the world and the only ground in Australia with the capacity to host a final of such monumental proportions, so Melbourne is the natural choice to host the 2015 ICC World Cup final," Baillieu said.
"Imagine one lakh people roaring inside the MCG with India and Australia playing in the World Cup final. Umpires there and Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar in the opposite sides," he said, tongue-in-cheek.