Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Are the days of MS Dhoni - The Test Captain over?

First and foremost before i start this post i would like to say that MS Dhoni has given us 2 World Cups, Asia Cup and a Champions Trophy. All these are limited over tournaments. No doubt that when it comes to the limited over format specially one day cricket he plans well, leads well and motivates well.

Now coming to Test Cricket and his captaincy in the toughest format of cricket. Lets go back in time, when MS Dhoni became the Indian Test Captain. During his initial days as a captain we did well in NZ in 2009 and also in SA in 2010. The main reason being Sachin Tendulkar , Rahul Dravid , VVS Laxman , Gautam Gambhir & Virender Sehwag being in their prime form and performance of them being outstanding. Then we went to Australia and England in 2011. Our openers failed to deliver and our senior batsmen didn't contribute sometimes. Everyone thought that due to the bad performance of our seniors we lost. Seniors retired after that debacle & sooner our openers were also dropped. Dhoni's captaincy was also very bad in these two tours of 2011 but it was not discussed in detail.

Now coming to 2013 and the present time. MS Dhoni wanted a young team and he got it. Team India were now ready to tour SA and NZ.  This was the time for him to showcase his leadership skills and guide this young team to victory reason being he had already toured these two nations but what happened was exactly opposite. He failed to motivate the youngsters , his on field calls left everyone stunned , he didn't select the team according to the conditions and when the team needed the captain to come forward  he didn't respond and always remained out of ideas. This didn't happen once or twice but several times.

Clearly It's quite evident that the captain doesn't want to prove himself in Test Cricket and looks disinterested to play the purest form of cricket. Lets just take the instance of 1st Test of India vs NewZealand , Jadeja and Dhoni were batting and India required around 130 more runs to win with a session and a day left. What happened is Jadeja and Dhoni started playing T20 style cricket thinking they will get close to victory but in test cricket there is need of application and patience which Dhoni being the captain should have told to Jadeja. Now may be Dhoni wanted to finish the match quickly and not wait for the 5th day or he was not confident enough in defending the ball. If Dhoni thinks he can get away by doing things like this then he is wrong. Even we saw in Test Matches played in India for example when England toured India in 2012 they applied constant pressure on India. What we saw is that the pressure always got the better of Dhoni

Now what lies in the future for Indian Cricket. Time has come to give a new young player captaincy of Team India in Tests. Indian Cricket fans are fed up with the series of losses overseas.BCCI and selectors should know the importance of Test Cricket as it reflects how much good a team is. Test Cricket tests everything and currently all the other teams like Australia, England and South Africa are doing well at the Test Level. Its now time for a change and its urgent before India tours England in June this year.