Dhoni’s Test captaincy under scanner | Pakistan Today

Dhoni’s Test captaincy under scanner

Following India’s dismal show in Tests in the last 15 months, the Indian selectors have put captain MS Dhoni on notice in Tests and have asked him to draw a blueprint to win the 2015 World Cup. NDTV has learnt that the selectors expressed their disappointment to Dhoni after the Test loss to England. They have now asked him to draw up a blue print for the 2015 World Cup to be held in Australia and New Zealand.
Former India captain and NDTV expert Sunil Gavaskar, however, was surprised by the decision. “I am surprised if they have asked him for a blueprint. First and foremost the selection’s committee tenure is only for a year so there is no guarantee that they will be there to select the team for 2015. But it’s always good for a selection committee for a frank exchange and you have to be on the same page.” The selectors have asked Dhoni to identify the players that he would need in order to perform well in 2015. It’s a clear indication that while the five wise men have assured Dhoni of ODI captaincy till 2015, they have also asked him to pull up his socks.
Mr Gavaskar, however, believes a break might benefit Dhoni. “While it’s early days as far as 2015 is concerned, may be a break will do wonders for Dhoni. I admire the fact that he keeps so cool under pressure so Dhoni has his pluses, but the results India is getting, maybe it’s time. It might not happen during the season, it helps for a captain to have a break, whether it’s a voulntary break or an enforced break. Then he can come with a difference perspective and he can comeback as a better captain.” When asked if it was a realistic suggestion, Mr Gavaskar said: “There is nothing that stops him. His successor might find it difficult to cope with the pressure and demands of being the Indian captain. It’s actually a very funny kind of a situation. People want to be captain but the demands and the pressure that come with it are incredible, and sometimes you just want to say to yourself that ‘hang on, I just want to play my own cricket’.”
Meanwhile, Dhoni’s Test captaincy is also on tenderhooks. Even though ODI results and Tests results cannot be equated, sources have told NDTV that the decision on whether Dhoni will lead the Test team against Australia in February will depend heavily on how Team India performs in the one-dayers against Pakistan and England.
When not the captain, what does one do with Dhoni? Keep him in the playing XI? Mr Gavaskar answers in affirmative. “I would definitely like to have Dhoni as a part of playing XI because he is a match-winner in the 50 overs and the T20 format. Dhoni certainly is an integral part of the Indian team for at least the next couple years for sure, unless his form dips,” he said.
Mr Gavaskar also suggested Virat Kohli’s name as a worthy successor to Dhoni. “My feeling is that Virat Kohli is going to bring India the kind of captaincy, the kind of flair, that kind of charisma that Tiger Pataudi had. Once Kohli becomes the captain on a permanent basis, he is going to bring Indian cricket the dynamism and the aggressiveness and the class that Tiger Pataudi had.” “I don’t want Kohli to change apart from the fact that he abuses once he reaches a landmark, I do not want him change his aggressive nature but I genuinely believe that if he becomes the captain he will bring Indian cricket a dimension that will take Indian cricket forward,” he added. While the decision on Dhoni may have been put on hold – the fate of Indian coach Duncan Fletcher has already been sealed. The BCCI will not renew Fletcher’s contract. In fact the Indian board has already started looking for options to replace Flecther in March next year.
And Mr Gavaskar says it might be a good idea to try an Indian coach. “Why not try an Indian coach? The Indian coach will understand the Indian pysche a lot better. And also other things that we need to be remember is Indian cricketers will respect an Indian who has achieved things. Look one of the reasons why Gary Kirsten was successful was because he had done it all in both the Test and the ODI format of the game. He was somebody one looked upto as he had done it all.

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