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'Dhoni, Karthik need to get their basics right'

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani says Dhoni stands flat-footed which is the major reason for his current woes.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Ahmedabad
UPDATED ON AUG 06, 2007 04:49 PM IST

Former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani believes Mahendra Singh Dhoni's struggles behind the stumps in England are borne out of the fact that he is not getting his basics right.

Kirmani, who is considered one of country's best keepers, said Dhoni stands flat-footed which is the major reason for his current woes.

Kirmani said both Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik lacked the necessary technique.

"A natural wicketkeeper will always be on his toes. They should learn the right technique first," said Kirmani on the sidelines of a promotional event in Ahmedabad.

"These guys are flat-footed behind the stumps. They lack the necessary technique to succeed behind the stumps in the long run", he said.

"They (Dhoni and Karthik) are not natural wicketkeepers. Reflexes, vision and athleticism are inherent in natural keepers", said Kirmani who scalped 198 victims in 88 Tests between 1976-86.

The skills of Dhoni and Karthik behind the stumps will be tested when they enter a lean phase, he added.

"They are match-winners now and so nobody is bothered about the right technique," he said.

Kirmani also criticised Dhoni for seeking tips from county wicketkeepers in England.

"They should have talked to English wicketkeeping greats like Alan Knott and Bob Taylor if they wished to improve their skills."

"They are in fact trying to learn skills from English club wicketkeepers and (Indian fielding coach) Robin Singh", Kirmani said.

"What does Robin Singh know about wicketkeeping?," asked Kirmani who kept wickets to the famed spin quartet of Bishen Singh Bedi, Erapalli Prasanna, Srinivas Venkataraghanvan and BS Chandrasekhar.

He said that both Dhoni and Karthik never showed interest in learning anything from him.

"They had bumped into me on several occasions but never asked me anything on keeping."

Kirmani also hit out at the BCCI for not utilising his skills and experience.

"Neither the BCCI nor the NCA had ever invited me to scout for talent at the Under-15, 16 and 17 levels."

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