Dhoni right man to take India forward: Dravid

New Delhi, Dec 18 (IANS) Former captain Rahul Dravid doesn't see removing Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the skipper as a viable solution in the midst of Team India's poor run of form.

Dravid believes Dhoni is still the best man to take the Indian team forward.

"At the moment I don't really see a viable alternative. I really think Dhoni can be the man to take India forward if he has the energy, passion and the enjoyment to do it. That's again the key," Dravid was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.com.

"It's really going to come down to a lot of these players actually sitting back themselves, once the emotion has gone back, and calmly reassessing where they're at, and their roads to the future and the joy and enthusiasm they have to take Indian cricket forward. If Dhoni has it, I believe he is the right man to do it but that's really up to him to decide," he said.

Dhoni's captaincy has faced severe criticisms from former skippers Sunil Gavaskar and Kris Srikkanth, also a former chief selector, following India's 1-2 loss in the Test series against England at home. They feel the time has come to replace Dhoni.

Dravid also came in support of his former team mate Sachin Tendulkar, who is facinng calls for retirement. Dravid feels it is time for Tendulkar to take a call after a fair introspection.

"He's been a huge servant of the game and been fantastic for Indian cricket. He is a great player and this period has been difficult for him. He is a proud man and this would have hurt him. The thing is, people need to have a conversation with him and see what's his state of mind, what he's thinking and what his plans are.

"After that conversation, he himself will have to think about a few things because I'm not sure there are many people who can take the decisions regarding Tendulkar," he said.

"...if he truly believes that, 'Yes, I can be around when India makes these foreign trips, if I can be around in South Africa, New Zealand, England, playing at my best', then I think it makes sense for him to back himself and fight it out."

"If he, at any stage, doubts himself and believes that he can't then he's got to start thinking about his career, and what's the future of Indian cricket as well. So it's really going to be up to him," Dravid added.

Dravid advised Tendulkar to think about his future without any emotion.

"Look, it's a pretty emotional time, he should take the emotion out of it, sit back, there's time before the next Australia series, sit back calmly and reflect. And irrespective of whatever decision he takes, in the end we have to respect it," he said.

Dravid said India's poor form should be attributed to the transition the team is going through after the retirement of senior players but feels the young players should have shown more intensity.

"Any time you lose a Test series at home, because India haven't lost a lot at home, you could consider it a low point. You've got to accept a little bit that this team is in transition as well, you have to give a bit of leeway for that. I think India will be disappointed, they would have expected to beat England at home," he said.

"At the start of the series, and especially after Ahmedabad, you got the feeling that India felt they could have won the series. It hasn't panned out that way. From that point of view, I guess you can only go up from here.

"India have lost a couple of series away from home, against England and Australia badly. There was always a feeling that, you know, India might not necessarily have been playing well abroad but India will always do well in India, and all of us I guess believed that as well. That has shown to be slightly not so true, and it's time to introspect," he added.

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