Former cricketers slam Dhoni’s rotation policy, say resting Sachin Tendulkar makes no sense

Resting Sachin Tendulkar in the fourth ODI against Australia has opened a can of worms and people all over are questioning the idea behind Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s rotation policy. “You might win without Sachin but it won’t do much good to the India’s cause,” say former cricketers, including Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Tony Grieg, Wasim Akram and others.

"It just doesn't make any sense. If you have got Tendulkar for the tri-series what is the point in rotating him. If you have to rotate players then Gautam Gambhir or Suresh Raina could have been rested. India might win, but if the Indian team doesn't need Tendulkar, why have him here," Ravi Shastri told The Times Of India.

Meanwhile former India opener Aakash Chopra in his column in Hindustan Times has explained the futility of the rotation policy in Indian context. “The concept took form when Australia reached a crescendo in early 2000. They had reached a stage when the only way to improve was to compete with oneself. That's when they introduced the policy for `in-form' cricketers. The idea was to rest a player after a few games, regardless of a sterling performance, in order to give an opportunity to his peer. This kept them on their toes and, more importantly, maintained form,” he writes.

“But, is this policy relevant to the Indian context, especially when the team is under fire? We are told that the three seniors at the top of the order would keep replacing each other. The rationale is to give the youngsters an extended run, allowing them a cushion to fail in the middle order without worrying about getting the sack. But, in doing so, aren't the fundamentals being inverted? Ironically, we are rotating the players who're already struggling for form and in the bargain we have almost resigned to losing an early wicket each time. Losing an early wicket is a concern, but the bigger concern is that a player is rested after a solitary botched outing, thereby denying him the opportunity to rediscover form,” adds Chopra.

Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram too was critical of the move. "When you are playing Australia in an important game, you ought to play your best team. This rotation business is no good. If at all you want to rotate, why do it with a chosen set of players. It goes against the best interests of the team," he said.

However, Gautam Gambhir, who opened with Virender Sehwag in Sunday's game in Tendulkar's absence, fervently defended the rotation policy. "The amount of cricket we play, it's important to rotate. When we don't rotate, everyone has a problem. When we rotate, then it's an issue too. Be it Rohit or Raina, they get extra opportunity.  To be honest, this was the best eleven too. Most importantly, this eleven has the belief they could beat any opposition in the park. You don't want names. You want people who can deliver," Gauti said during the press conference.

Meanwhile, former England captain Tony Greig has even labelled the decision to rest Sachin Tendulkar and Mike Hussey during Sunday's cricket tri-series match between India and Australia as a "disgrace", writes TOI. Expressing displeasure at the rotation policy of India and Australia, cricketer-turned-commentator Greig said Channel Nine and fans should receive financial compensation for resting the star pair.