Gavaskar backs Kohli as India's next Test captain

'Little Master' also feels end is near for Sachin Tendulkar

Sunil Gavaskar has urged Indian cricket selectors to think of the future and appoint Virat Kohli as Test captain.

The 'Little Master' stopped short of calling for the sacking of MS Dhoni as captain but wanted him to be relieved as Test following the latst debacle.

England beat India at home after a 28-year-gap winning 2-1 in the Test series after the fourth and final match ended in Nagpure ended in a draw.

India has now lost their last three major series under Dhoni's captaincy including one at home.

"Till the fourth day of the Nagpur Test, I would have backed Dhoni. Now that Virat has come up with a hundred under trying circumstances where he curbed his natural game, he discovered a good part about himself. He is ready to take on the mantle of Test cricket. That needs to be looked at in a positive manner by everyone concerned as that is where the future lies," Gavaskar told NDTV.

Former India seamer Atul Wassam also favoured a split captaincy said there should be a smooth transition as happened in Australia.

"The succession plan has to be in a phased format and has to be earmarked. Just like in Australia, we knew that Michael Clarke will be the next captain four years ago. Virat should be eased by the selectors in shorter formats since India is in a transition phase as of now," he said.

When Gavaskar was asked about MS Dhoni's comments that 'he could not have done anything different on the Nagpur pitch', he came down hard on the skipper and said:"India could not get enough wickets on day 4. Also, they doddled around in the first hour on Day 4. If India had wanted to win the Test, they could have shown some intent by declaring on the overnight total or by asking the tail-enders to play slam-bang cricket. Yes, England batted well. But you do not put a forward short leg or silly point to get a catch there. You do that to force a batsman to give a catch some place else. Trott or Bell might have done something stupid then. India could have attacked more. But that's not the only reason India lost. Our bowlers were by and large ineffective."

Former chairman of selectors Krishnamachari Srikkanth also said Dhoni needs to go.

"Dhoni's become stale and doesn't know what to do when things go out of the way. He shouldn't be the Test captain anymore. Had I been the chairman of selectors, I would have picked Dhoni as a wicket-keeper batsman but it is time to look beyond him as a Test captain," said the former opening batsman.

Gautam Gambhir is also being considered for the captaincy.

"Most cricketers in the team and board members feel that Gautam Gambhir should be tried at the top. He is the third highest run-getter in this series for India and in the current circumstances he is the best bet to lead the team," Times of India reported quoting unnamed officials.

Gambhir's success as skipper of Kolkata Knight Riders is said to be working in his favour. He has led India to six one-day internationals and won all of them.

On the burning questin of Sachin Tendulkar's future, Gavaskar said:"The longest period on a cricket field is as a fielder and if Sachin is not enjoying that he will know that the time is right to go. Quite clearly, this series has not been a good one for him. I's sure he will reassess the situation as he had promised before the season. He does not play T20Is and I'm not too sure whether he will play ODIs against Pakistan. So he does have time before Australia series and you will have a decision sooner than later."

When asked whether the selectors should talk to him, Gavaskar said,"They should talk to Sachin if they feel that he is not a vital part of the team anymore. That is what they are paid for. In this Test in the second innings, Sachin did look a little bit lost and that is probably is a sign that the end is near."

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