Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the name which a hefty amount of population would be familiar with. Why? For the very simple fact he plays cricket and happens to be the captain of the Indian Cricket Team! No. For the fact that he is the Captain Cool and probably the most successful Cricket Captain the game has ever seen. The very captain under whose oddly charismatic leadership Indian Cricket team reached to its zenith. The cool Captain that he is, is in a league of his own. The man, who has made critics cringe at his technique and provoked many experts to write off, now sits on the pedestal where no International Cricket Captain has ever been. He is among very few International athletes rated the best from the lot.
It cannot be luck alone which he also happens to carry on his jersey (Number 7) that has made the man that he is and where he stands today, also nor is a born genius. Dhoni- the phenomenon isn’t easy to explain but isn’t any rocket science either. Most of the times, from his interviews you get the notion this man goes by his guts, his instincts, he just goes with the flow. But, lately, is the very same factor proving to be costly for him as the captain and the team which has won many laurels under his reign ship is seen losing its sheen? Has the Captain lost the Midas touch or is it the team that makes the captain no more the team that it was?
After all the likes of Sachins Sehwags, Yuvraajs, Bhajjis, Zaheers are hardly seen as the part of the team with Sachin already having bid cricket adieu .But aren’t players like Rohit, Kohli, Rahane, Bhuvi, Shami, Pujara the future of Indian Cricket with most possibly Dhoni leading them and at the helm of affairs, at least till the 2015 World Cup.
Until very recently Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain under whom the team won the World T20, reached to the top the World Test points table and ODIs, pocketed the World Cup, bought the champions Trophy and also many a wins on the foreign soil and at the home was being praised for his flamboyancy, his down to earth attitude and the good that he has done to the Indian and also to the Indian Cricket.
But times have changed and so has the team. With many a senior members not regulars lately, Dhoni is leading a team of youngsters. Most of them are on their maiden tour to England where India lost to the host team 3-1 in the test series after an emphatic win in the first test at Lords. Ishant Sharma who bowled magical spells to rout the English batsmen in the first test returned with the figures of career best 7/24. He praised Dhoni for telling him to try and bowl short which eventually worked. The captain has the support of players. They respect him and praise and stand by him for his decisions, however odd they may be. But, the same every decisions aren’t paying off anymore.
It took the Indian team in England just three days of rest after first test to be called a flop. The team fell apart like a sack of sand. The likes of Kohli, Dhawan, Rohit, Pujara failed miserably in the batting and the injury to Ishant Sharma didn’t help either with no experience being left in the bowling department
So is the game over for Dhoni-the magician or there is more to him? Questions have been raised in the last month over his fashion of keeping wickets and more so over his captaincy. He was also called stubborn by our Coach Duncan Fletcher. Some say he is no more a smart captain, some say his captaincy is poor.
In his 6 years career as Captain, Dhoni to his credit has 28 wins in 58 tests which make him the most successful captain. At the same time, his record outside the subcontinent is abysmal with only four test wins so far. Is there a solution to the problem? Are his days of Captaincy over? No would be anyone’s answer for now. There as if now is no one in the current lot who can replace him. His are a big boot to fill. Time is what he and his team needs and time is what they must be given with only reasonable questions asked from them.