New Delhi: Impressed by the changed leadership style of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, former skipper Sunil Gavaskar Tuesday said that the Jharkhand dasher should continue as India's captain till the 2019 World Cup. Gavaskar feels that Dhoni has changed his captaincy approach after the debacle against Australia and England last year and he was now a much-more assertive leader on the field.
"The one month he had after the home series loss against England had given him time for introspection. He has changed positively as a captain. Now, if a player is not attentive and not up to the mark, Dhoni is letting him know. He is not making too many gestures but he is making the player know that he [Dhoni] is not happy," Gavaskar said.
"He is very fit and in great batting form. With the changed leadership approach I think he should not be disturbed till the 2019 World Cup. We should not even discuss it [of changing captaincy]," said Gavaskar when asked if Dhoni's form and inspiring captaincy in the ongoing Test series against Australia has given him a breathing space after the recent string of losses.
The former India captain said Dhoni has become assertive as a leader of late and that has stood India in good stead.
Gavaskar, who had recently said after the home series against England that Dhoni should take a break from captaincy, however, said that it's up to the India skipper to decide whether to play till 2019. "I don't know whether he would play till 2019 considering his age by that time. I am saying he can play till 2019 but it's up to him to decide on this," he said.
"During the England series I thought he needed a break from cricket. India were not doing anything against England, the players were just meandering and the bowling changes when England were batting were defensive. But now I think Dhoni has recharged and he is in great batting form though he needs to tighten up a bit in his wicket-keeping," Gavaskar told a new channel.
With Tuesday's innings win over Australia in the second Test in Hyderabad, Dhoni became India's most successful Test captain with 22 victories in 45 matches but Gavaskar said he would not want to describe him as the best Indian captain ever.
"It's hard to say who is the best Indian captain ever because we don't know about the captains in 1930s or 40s. But records speak of themselves. Records indicate that Dhoni is the winning-est captain and we should be happy with that," he said.
"There will always be the debate whether Pataudi is the best ever captain or is it Ajit Wadekar or Sourav Ganguly or Rahul Dravid who has an impressive winning record as skipper overseas. We should not talk about it, but can be happy that Dhoni is now the winning-est captain."
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