Criticism of MS Dhoni unfair, says McGrath

KOLKATA: Former Australia fast bowler Glenn McGrath says people should not be harsh on MS Dhoni for not being able to finish the first Twenty20 against West Indies in the US on Saturday.

India needed two runs to win off the last ball, but Dhoni was caught trying to hit a wide ball from Dwayne Bravo. “He’s been one of the best finishers of the game. He’ s been a quality player for along time. So it was a little bit harsh judgement,” McGrath said on the sidelines of a promotional event here on Tuesday. “He has already retired from Tests. His strength is in the shorter format of the game. I feel he still has a lot to offer with the young guys coming in.”

McGrath, an integral part of many tours of Australia to the subcontinent, said the series in India early next year could be tough, especially after the way the team capitulated against Sri Lanka. “The Sri Lankan tour is a big disappointment, there’s no doubt about that, especially with the way things went on turning wickets. They have a lot of work to do between now and then. The Aussies will find it tough in India unless they turn things around pretty quickly.”

McGrath said the application against spinners wasn’t up to par. “They really get too defensive and look to survive. They need to find a way as a team or individual to cope with the turning wickets. They should have the intent to score runs. They just can’t look to survive,” he said.

“You look back to 2001 or 2004 where Matthew Hayden decided to play the sweep shot. He played it really well and that’s how he took on the bowling on turning wickets. Our batsmen need to find ways to score and not just look to survive on turning tracks,” he said. India made a sensational comeback to beat the world No 1 Test side in 2001 while Australia won their first series in India for 35 years on their next tour. Having faced Tendulkar in his prime, McGrath didn’t want to compare him with Virat Kohli but said the latter brought an attitude to his batting.

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