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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014
No spring in his step
Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 19, 2012
First Published: 22:22 IST(19/12/2012)
Last Updated: 23:19 IST(19/12/2012)

It can only be described as a humiliating defeat by England on our home turf. Naturally, this is bound to raise questions on the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who led the team to this spectacular debacle. Indian cricketing legends Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi are convinced that the time has come to replace Dhoni as skipper. The man who led the team to the World Cup triumph last year has come under intense scrutiny after India were routed in England and Australia and have now lost the third major series in a row, this time at home. Gavaskar and Bedi have pointed to Dhoni’s defensive tactics. This raises serious concerns — is he disinterested or just jaded?

This brings up the subject of whether India should go the England way and at least split the captaincy. Virat Kohli has been suggested as the one best suited to replace Dhoni, but there are also worries that he is too young to handle the pressures that come with the job. It could also affect the batting of the man who is becoming key to a middle-order set-up that is still finding its feet after the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

Australia handed the one-day reins to Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting before they took charge of the longer format. England’s Twenty20 team that plays two matches in India over the next few days is almost entirely different from the Test line-up. But India’s problem is different. While Twenty20 cricket has only increased the workload of the captain, many feel Dhoni is no longer the right choice for the Tests but is still the best bet for the shorter formats. That means the selectors will have to decide whether he should remain in the Test line-up even if he is replaced as skipper, and whether he should continue leading the limited-overs sides and leave the Test leadership to someone else. There is no doubt that the Test team is in dire need of  better leadership and management. The question everyone is asking is whether India will bounce back from the latest setback. Well, this depends on how well the cricket board and selectors are able to handle this delicate situation and energise a Test team in transition.I t can only be described as a humiliating defeat by England on our home turf. Naturally, this is bound to raise questions on the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni who led the team to this spectacular debacle. Indian cricketing legends Sunil Gavaskar and Bishan Singh Bedi are convinced that the time has come to replace Dhoni as skipper. The man who led the team to the World Cup triumph last year has come under intense scrutiny after India were routed in England and Australia and have now lost the third major series in a row, this time at home. Gavaskar and Bedi have pointed to Dhoni’s defensive tactics. This raises serious concerns — is he disinterested or just jaded?

This brings up the subject of whether India should go the England way and at least split the captaincy. Virat Kohli has been suggested as the one best suited to replace Dhoni, but there are also worries that he is too young to handle the pressures that come with the job. It could also affect the batting of the man who is becoming key to a middle-order set-up that is still finding its feet after the retirement of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

 Australia handed the one-day reins to Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting before they took charge of the longer format. England’s Twenty20 team that plays two matches in India over the next few days is almost entirely different from the Test line-up. But India’s problem is different. While Twenty20 cricket has only increased the workload of the captain, many feel Dhoni is no longer the right choice for the Tests but is still the best bet for the shorter formats. That means the selectors will have to decide whether he should remain in the Test line-up even if he is replaced as skipper, and whether he should continue leading the limited-overs sides and leave the Test leadership to someone else. There is no doubt that the Test team is in dire need of  better leadership and management. The question everyone is asking is whether India will bounce back from the latest setback. Well, this depends on how well the cricket board and selectors are able to handle this delicate situation and energise a Test team in transition.


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