Melbourne: Legendary Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram has questioned India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's negative leadership in the just-concluded first Test against Australia but hoped he would learn from his mistakes in the remainder of the four-match series. (Agencies)
Dhoni's captaincy is under the scanner after India slumped to a humiliating 122-run loss in the series-opener against Australia in Melbourne on Thursday, which was also their fifth consecutive loss in Tests on foreign soil.
Akram slammed Dhoni for his field placements in Melbourne and his inability to motivate his players when the chips were down at the MCG.
"Even after the dismal England tour, I said Dhoni is a good captain and is learning. At MCG, he was mum on the field with very few words of encouragement to the bowlers. I think standing quiet behind the wickets and inspiring the bowlers with words of wisdom is still not part of our sub-continental culture," Akram said.
"I did not understand Dhoni's plans. When you are getting bounce and movement from an uneven deck, why do you have a deep point and not a third man? You will be hit anyway if you are bowling poorly.
"Somebody has to put some sense into the senior players and the bowlers that you cannot contain without a third man in place on a bouncy track. Hopefully, Dhoni will learn from this mistake now," he added.
Akram also questioned India's defensive attitude on the morning session of the fourth day when Australia resumed at 179 for eight with Michael Hussey being the lone accomplished batsman at the crease.
"I found India's approach negative when they came out to bowl on Day 4. Nobody appealed when in the first few overs Hussey was caught plumb in front off Umesh Yadav. It showed Indians had already accepted they will be chasing a bigger score than just 230-240," the former Pakistan skipper said.
Akram was also not surprised that India conceded an early lead to Australia in the four-Test series.
"It is natural struggle for sub-continent teams to find their bearings in the first few games. It does not matter if they have arrived 10 days earlier to prepare or 15 days earlier.
"On an average, it does take 3-4 weeks at least to get fully acclimatised to the Australian conditions. I only hope that India will come hard at the marauding Aussies come the New Year Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground," the 45-year-old concluded.
Melbourne: Legendary Pakistani bowler Wasim Akram has questioned India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's negative leadership in the just-concluded first Test against Australia but hoped he would learn from his mistakes in the remainder of the four-match series.