It’s wrong to blame Dhoni for Pune Supergiants’ plight

  • Gautam Gambhir
  • Updated: May 08, 2016 09:11 IST
Rising Pune Supergiant's Captain M S Dhoni in action during their IPL Twenty20 2016 cricket match played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium. Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/ Hindustan Times Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/ Hindustan Times (Hindustan Times)

One of the things I get nervous about is jumping on to a weighing machine. The sad part is these days all five-star hotels have one tucked in their washrooms, and invariably the guilt post that round of hot-chocolate fudge would have me standing on them.

But there is no scope for guilt when I am in Kolkata. The humidity can beat even the most hydrated bodies and suck your strength. Therefore, when I am in Kolkata, I let the ice creams and carbohydrates flow. My latest venture on the scales happened on Saturday morning post breakfast. Despite indulging in a full diet, the results were pretty alarming. I have lost close to three kilograms in the last week!

My sweat glands have always been very proactive and now you can add the challenges of captaincy. Some days, I feel that leadership has made my sweat glands work like a casino slot machine, expelling fluids in gallons. Leading the team over the years, you do get immune to a few situations, but even then that sinking feeling of losing a contest never goes away.

Dhoni’s plight

Therefore, I can feel what MS Dhoni would be going through after his team’s loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday night. They had a decent total (191) but by no means an invincible one. For the Bangalore wicket and the small ground, maybe it was about 25 runs short.

While bowling, Pune managed to get KL Rahul and AB de Villiers out before they could hurt them. Post that, they ran into an intimidating Virat Kohli, well supported by Shane Watson. Virat and Watson batted exceedingly well but watching all of it unfold, you couldn’t but feel sorry for Dhoni.

Not only this game, but otherwise too he has tried all different combos due to injuries and form. Ishant Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Albie Morkel, M Ashwin and Mitchell Marsh have all been tried. In this game, it was Dinda, RP Singh, Perera and R Ashwin for one over, but the results still eluded Pune.

As good as team

My inference is pretty simple, and something I have always maintained. A captain is as good as his team. It would be wrong to blame captain Dhoni for the situation that Pune are in as he has tried his best. In the past, critics have panned me for clinging on to the thought that “a captain is as good as his team”.

Some have even called me a Dhoni detractor who was loathe to credit him for victories of the India team but that is far from true. Give Dhoni the core team of Chennai Super Kings and he will be a transformed captain. Get in Raina, Bravo, McCullum and Jadeja and Dhoni’s captaincy will run on autopilot. That further underlines my belief that a captain is as good as his team.

In KKR, it is no different. I am dependent on everyone in that dressing room for success. Gautam Gambhir didn’t make KKR, but it is KKR that has made Gautam Gambhir. Without the support of my team-mates’, my captaincy or strategies would count for little. My attitude has always been the same whether I was captaining a first-class team, India or now KKR. Perhaps, in India we tend to forget that cricket is a team sport and focus too much on individuals.

Dinesh Chopra Media

The writer is the KKR captain

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