Kolkata: Former captain Ravi Shastri says it's time that Mahendra Singh Dhoni promotes himself to number six in batting order to put pressure on underfire England captain Alastair Cook.
"There were a lot of senior players in the side when he took over and he did magnificently managing egos. He performed and that made a world of difference. He's literally won every tournament. He has been there and done it. But now at this point of his career as the senior statesman in the side you have to take up more responsibility. It could mean batting up the order, at no 6, being the impact player," Shastri said.
"It's about thinking of taking 20 wickets and I think they are on the right track by giving indication to go with five bowlers. You have to give yourself a chance," the former India all-rounder said here on the sidelines of a promotional programme here.
File photo of Indian skipper MS Dhoni (Getty Images)
Drawing parallel with their successful tour to England in 1986 against David Gower's team, Shastri said India should not offer any freebies to Cook who lost 0-1 to Sri Lanka recently.
"It's important that a captain performs because otherwise it not only puts pressure on you but the entire team. A classic example is that of Alastair Cook. India will have to really make it hard for him in first three innings, don't let him get away and show no respite.
"He is a fighter, he is mentally tough. He knows how to come up from the rut. We have to make it extremely hard for him. We did that in 1986 and did that to Gower. The British media were all after him. England lost that series and Gower lost his captaincy. So there's no freebies here."
India maybe an inexperienced side but the fresh faces would give Dhoni's men an edge, Shastri said.
"It will be a tight series for both sides. India are touring with a young side. But having said that at least 90 per cent of our batsmen are going there without any baggage.
So there's no fear and they are not over awed. The first couple of tests would be very crucial," he said. Shastri was earlier announced Goodwill Ambassador by NSHM Knowledge Campus.