Brisbane: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's public dig at senior players like Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag has evoked sharp reactions and is seen as an indication of smouldering dissension within the team.

After yet another bad day on the field which resulted in a crushing 110-run defeat for his team at the hands of Australia on Sunday, Dhoni defended the policy of rotating senior players like Tendulkar, Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

Dhoni's argument was that senior players were not bad fielders but on big Australian grounds they were "slightly on the slower side". This would mean an extra 20 runs to the opposition.

Tendulkar may be 39 but is a good fielder in the slips and has an excellent throw from anywhere in the field while Gambhir, who at 30 is of the same age as his captain, fields close-in in Test matches and has a safe pair of hands anywhere. Only Sehwag's fielding is not sharp.

Inclusion of Gambhir in the rotational policy despite being a good fielder and scoring two 90-plus scores in the current ODI series and persistent inclusion of consistent failures Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma has given rise to speculation about dressing room dissensions.

Gambhir had gone public with his criticism of Dhoni stretching the game against Sri Lanka at Adelaide saying that the match should not have gone till the 50th over and should have been finished two or three overs earlier.

In response, Dhoni dismissed this as a difference in perspective, adding "there is nothing wrong between us".

After disastrous tours of England and Australia, Dhoni's hold on captaincy, certainly in Tests, appears to be tenuous and this has sown seeds of ambition among some other players to be Test captain. New coach Duncan Fletcher, under attack for the team's failures, is hardly in a position to sort things out.