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A shake-up is advisable when results go south
Aakash Chopra
December 13, 2012
First Published: 22:58 IST(13/12/2012)
Last Updated: 23:00 IST(13/12/2012)

With every crushing loss, the voices to send Dhoni packing are getting stronger. After all, a record as terrible as 1-11 must account for something earth shaking.

Even though Dhoni believes this is the time to counter the challenge and lead Indian cricket to a new dawn, for his detractors, he has reached the dusk of his tenure and should be replaced before it gets murkier. There is no doubt that Indian cricket has reached its lowest ebb. The only positive is that in times like these it's always easier to take risks, for there's nothing to lose and perhaps only to learn and gain.

It's no rocket science to understand that when results aren't changing, regardless of the opposition and conditions, it's advisable to change the personnel. There could be two approaches to bring in the change.

The way to go
Down up or top down. The former is the easier option, but the latter is the right one, for finding scapegoats and changing personnel who don't influence the decision making and hence the outcome won't change fortunes either.

Hence, calls for changing the head honchos of the team deserve a thought, for the need of the day is to start afresh on a clean slate. Since these newbies won't have a record to protect, they won't shy away from taking a few risks.

The options
Let's have a closer look at the options available and names who can possibly replace Dhoni for leading the Test side. From the ones who're still playing Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Virat and Raina have been Dhoni's deputies in the last few years. While Sehwag held that post for the longest time and could have been a worthy successor till a couple of years ago, others have held that office for a short while.

The previous selection committee ensured that every performing cricketer (provided he was a batsman) got his share of becoming Dhoni's sounding board, though not long enough to stake a claim to the top spot if the need arose.

The game of musical chairs for the post of vice-captain has also been one of the reasons that there isn't a single player who's been groomed as a leader for the future. Lack of consistent performances over the last two years by the senior men hasn't helped India's transition plans either.

In Indian cricket, we don't have a culture of identifying and grooming our future leaders. Captains are replaced only because someone failed, and the next in line is in good form. Whether they're cut out to lead a team is found out only after they've failed or succeeded at the top.

Would the new selection committee change the trend and tread uncharted waters post the Nagpur Test regardless of the result? Or would they hide behind the argument that there isn't a readymade option available to replace Dhoni?

The writer is a former India opener


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