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'Dhoni now my hero'

Former captain Kapil Dev says India has so far come out with flying colours in the two Tests against Pakistan.

india Updated: Jan 24, 2006 10:18 IST

Former captain Kapil Dev on Tuesday said India has so far come out with flying colours in the two Tests in their Pakistan tour.

Speaking after launching the Ghai Corporate Golf event to be held this weekend, Kapil said Pakistan's ploy of preparing such flat wickets showed their insecurities.

The former all rounder said if he was to name the man of the series it would be the groundsmen for preparing such beautiful tracks to bat on.

Win or lose, you need to have sporting wickets for a good contest and such wickets is only killing the game, Kapil said, adding, "I do not want to take anything away from the batsmen who have scored double hundreds and hundreds in this series, but the fact is that the wickets were extremely good to bat on."

Kapil also praised the youngstersin the team, especially Mahendra Singh Dhoni whom he called his hero.

"The way this lad has been playing has become my hero," Kapil said, adding that "with Dhoni it is not just tonking the ball long distances but also having a good technique to deal with all kinds of bowling."

Comparing Dhoni with Pakistani blaster Shahid Afridi, Kapil said while Afridi played away from his body a lot of times, it was not the case with Dhoni.

Kapil also had a word of praise for young Uttar Pradesh left-arm seamer RP Singh. "He still has a long way to go, but he has made a good start and seems to be a lad who relishes hard work, which is important in his improvement as a cricketer."

Kapil also had a word of advice to the countless fans of the game, that was to leave Sourav Ganguly alone.

"For the last three months we have been only talking about something or the other on Sourav. This is putting added pressure on the Kolkata southpaw, which is the last thing he requires."

"Let him work hard and come back, then we will see. If he still has it in him it will show and if he does not then we can say goodbye to him, remembering what a great cricketer he was and how much positive he has done to Indian cricket."

Kapil also did not want to speak too much on what is going wrong with Irfan Pathan. A lot of knowledgeable people had already given their suggestions, but what was required was for him to come back and work on his game and get the proper guidance from the cricket board so that he could perform to his optimum level always, he said.

Kapil, however, sidestepped a question regarding whether India needs a bowling coach and whether he was interested.

First Published: Jan 24, 2006 10:18 IST