Don’t write off Dhoni yet: Engineer

Former India wicketkeeper Farokh Engineer today backed under-fire limited overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, saying the time has not yet come to write him off.

“Dhoni has done a good job so far. I like him. He reminds me of my younger days. Everyone has his days. He has served the country very well. We shouldn’t be too keen on packing him off,” said Engineer.

“We should allow Dhoni to decide when he wants to finish,” said the 77-year-old in a media interaction at the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club here.

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India have lost both the T20 and ODI home series against South Africa.

India will now be taking on South Africa in a four-match Test series under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.

Asked whether it is time to hand over the responsibility to Kohli in the limited overs format as well, Engineer said: “Kohli is a fantastic cricketer and deserves to be captain. But we need to give him time. We also need to persevere the talent we have.”

Engineer said it would be interesting to see if Kohli-led Test side could bounce back after back-to-back defeats in limited-over series.

“I think the Tests against South Africa will be a test of character. If they come back from these defeats it will show the grit of the team,” he said.

On whether a wicketkeeper should also be a good batsman, he said, “I think that’s a wrong theory. He should be a wicket-keeper first.

“I was a very aggressive player. I would have played a spinner who actually spins the ball (rather than a spinner who is chosen on the basis of his batting).”

Engineer said that he never rated Duncan Fletcher highly as a coach.

“Coaches always get the flak. I never really rated Fletcher. Who is he? What has he done? Gary Kirsten did a good job but I have always said Indian manager is better.