Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had a mediocre Test series against England, not only as a batsman but also as a wicket-keeper and former England wicketkeeper Paul Nixon believes the cause could be “sore hands”.
According to Nixon, Dhoni could be suffering from "sore hands" causing his wicketkeeping to deteriorate on the present England tour.
Nixon, who last night retired after powering his Leicestershire team to domestic Twenty20 title triumph, has also been an England 'keeper in the past and is the one who helped Dhoni out with his keeping when he first came on tour to these shores in 2007.
"It looks like he has sore hands. He's too proud a guy to show it but he has sore hands. Otherwise, he is very aggressive and sure in his catching but (on this tour) he's been giving a lot," Nixon said this morning.
"It's like being in the boxing ring. If your hands are tied, you can't throw a punch."
Since Dhoni is not in the best of physical shape, Nixon believes he hasn't been doing those things consistently well enough which he passed it on him on the last tour.
"As a wicketkeeper, while you are behind the stumps, your chin should be lower to your knees. Your shoulders should be square and level. He hasn't been doing it."
"If you are not very square (in shoulders), you could end up doing a lot of twisting and there would be more catching errors. Your arms should be at your chin height. He's not doing it as consistently in this series."
Nixon said the only way to get rid of soreness in your hands is to give it a good rest - an opportunity Dhoni hasn't had for a very long time now.
"It (the soreness) isn't going to go away without rest.
Sometimes, we are keen an artificial rubber-band kind of strip on fingers but then you lose feel of the ball. It's cumbersome on hands."
Nixon picks out two youngsters to watch out for in the Twenty20 match between his team Leicestershire and Indians on Monday.
"Joshua Cobb was in my arms 10 hours after he was born. A couple of years ago he made his debut for us. He is tremendous against new ball and in Powerplays. James Taylor is another.
"He is short in stature. In my 24 years of first class cricket, he's the best young kid I have come seen through."
Nixon waxed more eloquent about Taylor.
"He knows his options, he runs it around, can hit the ball out of the park and has the same hunger as Dravid. He might have won yesterday but he's in the nets this morning."
"He averages 50 in most formats and has the maturity of a 35-year-old. He can finish a game, hit the ball out of park.
His father has been a jockey and he's similarly tough," he concluded. Nixon played 19 ODIs for England, all in one year in 2007.