Captain in dock: Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the best bet

Not very long ago he was our best man for the job. He was the captain cool with a midas touch; the skipper who could never go wrong both on and off the field. Mahendra Singh Dhoni rose like a phoenix in Indian cricket and in the very first year of his captaincy steered India to T20 World Cup glory in 2007. Leading Chennai Super Kings in the shortest format of the game, his team also went on to become the champions in IPL twice and Champions league once.

More were yet to come as under him India became the No. 1 Test team and later the man from Jharkhand took India to a new high when India won the World Cup in One Day cricket after a gap of 28 years. And all this happened in a span of less than four years, catapulting Dhoni to a near invincible status.

But all good things come to an end and so did Dhoni’s invincibility on the field. India was battered by England 4-0 in Test and by a similar margin in one-dayers, displacing them from the top spot. Dhoni’s brigade also came in for a trashing Down Under and a 4-0 whitewash at the Aussies’ hands has brought a lot of ire and skepticism for the team and the captain in particular. Fans and critics have started baying for Dhoni’s blood and there have been debates and discussions galore on his removal from the top job.

From being the best Indian captain ever, he has become the captain unable to produce result in tough conditions.  It has not been even a year when he gave what every Indian cricket fan wanted – the World Cup. The talks have started to sack him and look for other available options. But will that be fair on a guy who transformed India into a world of champions? Will his abrupt removable solve India’s woes on foreign conditions?

The simple answer is no.

Reason 1: He deserves more chances

Dhoni has proved his credentials on a number of occasions and though he has offered to step down if BCCI could find a suitable candidate for the job, the governing body ought to give the man a couple of seasons before taking any concrete decision. He is still the best bet for the job and patience will only help in getting better idea of the candidates who are likely or who really have potential to take over from him in future.

Reason 2: If not Dhoni than who?

Sacking Dhoni is very easy, but finding his replacement will be very difficult. The names that are coming in focus for the captaincy include Virendra Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and even Virat Kohli. With Sehwag one will have to take a risk as he can be at his devastating on his day but might come as a cropper otherwise. It will be like playing a lottery. If Dhoni struggled in England and Australia, Gambhir struggled even more. Based on current form Gambhir cannot justify his stand as a captain. As for Kohli, he is new and still has a lot to prove and frankly is not ready for the most difficult job in Indian sport.

Reason 3: Sacking Dhoni will give wrong signals

MS Dhoni is an iconic figure in Indian cricket. If Sachin, Dravid have proved their worth with their bat then Dhoni has proved his worth with his captaincy (not to mention his bat). If Indians do not want to insult the senior pros by forcing retirement on them, than they should not insult Dhoni by forcing him to step down from the job. Sacking Dhoni will send wrong signals among the youngsters and the other countries and will show the signs of panic.

Reason 4: Dhoni is a perfect link between seniors and youngsters

MS Dhoni has played under the captaincy of Rahul Dravid. All the senior pros accept that he is one of the best captains they have played under. Dhoni bridged the gap between the seniors and the upcoming talents. He knows how to handle the team. Leading India, the team which plays with four of the most profound cricketers in the history and the team which has some of the most promising young cricketers, is not easy and Dhoni has shown over the years that that he has mastered this art. 

Reason 5: India won’t be playing Test cricket overseas for long

As India won’t be playing Test cricket overseas for long, the people at the helm of affairs can take their time and work for methods to put the house on order. Under home conditions, India can easily play under Dhoni and the time can be utilized to groom someone talented and responsible for the job.

By Gaurav Jha
Indian Sports News