Dharamsala: Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin feels that the current skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lacks "a bit of intelligence" when it comes to leading the side in Test cricket and there should be different captains for three formats of the game.
"He [Dhoni] has always been a very good captain in [the] ODIs and Twenty20s but in Test cricket, he lacks a bit of intelligence, maybe when it comes to taking instant on-field decisions," Azhar, who is here to lead the Indian MPs in a friendly match against the British MPs, told PTI in an interview.
"So, I feel that he is very much suited for ODIs and T20s but for Test matches, I honestly believe that there should be three different captains for three formats," he said. "He is a very good player. Maybe when he doesn't have captaincy pressure on him, he might play differently. I think it's very hard for anyone to say whether he is able to justify his place in the Test team or not, but since he is a captain, you have to respect that."
The former India captain also feels that MS Dhoni isn't smart at taking instant on-field decisions in Tests.
Asked about the Test series whitewashes against England and Australia respectively, he said, "Lack of confidence and lack of preparation were the key reasons. We did badly because the ball swung a lot in those conditions."
Azhar also feels that Rohit Sharma could be an ideal replacement for Rahul Dravid in the Test team. "Rohit Sharma should play [in Tests]," was Azhar's answer to the query. "He [Rohit] is a talented cricketer and should be given a chance to play in all [the] formats. Another good player is Virat Kohli but he is already playing, which is a big bonus."
Azhar refused to blame the Indian Premier League for youngsters developing faulty techniques and not putting enough emphasis on the longer version. "Twenty20 and Test cricket are two different formats. It's not justified to blame T20 or for that matter the IPL for the decline in the quality of youngsters in Test cricket because players are different for T20s and Test matches."
"It should not serve as an excuse when you are not performing well. If you are a good player, you should quickly adapt to different formats. Good cricketers perform well in every format."
Meanwhile, the former India captain said it should be left to Sachin Tendulkar to decide on his own retirement as Tendulkar is the best person to take a call. "It should be left to him as he is best placed to take a decision. Whether to retire or not is his personal (decision)," Azharuddin told IANS.
Azharuddin also hoped that Yuvraj Singh, who returned from the US this week after undergoing treatment for cancer, will make a comeback to play in the 2015 World Cup. "He's a talented player. People across the world prayed for his recovery and he's recovering. He will make a comeback well before the World Cup (in 2015)."