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'Replace me if you find a better captain'

india Updated: Feb 01, 2012 11:15 IST
Rohit Bhaskar
Rohit Bhaskar

The rumour mill has been working overtime ever since India succumbed to a second straight away series whitewash.

MS Dhoni's future as India's Test captain has been the topic of much debate and discussion. And the man himself is non-committal, saying that if there is a "better man" for the job he wouldn't mind making way, putting the ball in the BCCI's court.

"It's just a position I hold. It's something I'll always look to do well till I am in the job. It's not something I want to hold on to or stick on to. If there's a better replacement, it's a very open thing. He can come in. At the end of the day, you want India to perform. If there is someone who can do a better job, then it's a place that should be given to him. It's not something you have to cling on to," Dhoni said on the eve of the first T20 international against Australia.

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A responsibility
He added: "It's an added role and responsibility for me. It's not a position that belongs to anyone, that responsibility was given to me three-and-a-half years back. I have been trying to do well, get along with the team and perform well wherever we play."

Ultimately the decision has to be made by the BCCI, and it's not his call, Dhoni said.

"It's not an individual who decides whether he is good enough or not. It's others who decide if you are good enough or not. When it comes to effort, I am still giving my 100%."

Earlier in the tour, Dhoni had said he would weigh up his Test future at the end of 2013, and possibly even give up the format to prolong his ODI and T20 career, with an aim to help retain the 2015 ODI World Cup in Australia.

Timing trouble
On Tuesday, he chose to clear the air on those comments which brought as much criticism for its timing as the actual words which many felt showed his disinterest in the longer format.

"I just said my statement. The best thing about statements is you can assume it the way you want to. I said end of 2013. Now it's the start of 2012, 2013 is two years away. I don't know whether I will be alive in two years. That's a long time. What I said was, by the end of 2013, I will have to see whether I can play the World Cup. It wasn't about one format, it was about cricket. I can't play till 2014 and say I am not fit enough to survive till the next World Cup. And you'll have a player coming in who has played just 25 games."

Not yet ended
He added that his journey as India's Test captain, or even a player for that matter, had not reached its conclusion, it's still an on-going one.

"I am still on my way. I have not reached any place. If I remember, the thing I said was 2013, which is two years from now on. I don't know if you will be covering cricket or not. I don't know if I will be playing cricket or not. That's a long time," said Dhoni.

He said Test cricket was the "real cricket" but felt each format posed its own challenges, and excelling in all three was his ambition. "All of them (formats) are very interesting, and as long as I am able to, I will play all the three formats."