With MS Dhoni's power-hitting capabilities on wane, is it time for previous warhorse to hold up his boots?

Time and tide look forward to none. And like all good issues, is it time to pop the inevitable question: Now that Mahendra Singh Dhoni has performed good time in Indian cricket, is it time for him to go?

The variety of occasions that the previous skipper completed video games with a golden flourish of his willow or his swift dives to carry on to a catch… are they quickly to be relegated to nothing however a fleeting reminiscence of the greatness that the Jharkhand lad of humble origins had attained across the 22-yard strip in the course of the greens.

File photograph of MS Dhoni. Reuters

However the query had been requested earlier than. Like in August 2012, when one other batting grasp flick-artist VVS Laxman known as it a day.

Laxman’s retirement from worldwide cricket was as sudden because it was abrupt. This was quickly adopted by him internet hosting a pre-Take a look at dinner at residence for senior gamers Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Zaheer Khan. It might need handed off as a routine dinner until the reporters realised that the Dhoni was not among the many dinner invitees.

Requested to throw gentle on the matter, Dhoni revealed that he had not been invited to be at Laxman’s desk! Although it stirred a hornet’s nest there was a realisation that there isn’t any smoke with no hearth!

The grapevine had it that skipper Dhoni didn’t need sluggish movers to be a part of his workforce. Consequently, the selectors instructed Laxman, who was perceived to be a sluggish and ponderous mover on the sector, that he must announce his retirement after two Checks of the New Zealand sequence. A peeved Laxman tried with out success to get in contact with the skipper. Slighted and indignant he determined to tug out instantly, fairly than after two Checks.

Many believed that Dhoni had a hand in some gamers like Laxman, Rahul Dravid, Sehwag, Gambhir (ODI & T20I) — taking part in their final worldwide match inside months of one another. Even Yuvraj Singh’s Take a look at profession floor got here to a grinding halt across the identical time, however that had extra to do along with his incapability to persistently give you the products. However the underlying premise was that Dhoni had hastened the top of some careers.

And if that was the case, the query being requested is: Why is Dhoni not making use of the identical yardstick to himself? Absolutely he’s getting on with the years and is hardly the spring rooster that aggressive sport calls for.

Whereas the query is comprehensible, particularly as Dhoni is all of 37 years, it’s not fairly justifiable.

To start with, Dhoni continues to be India’s greatest wicket-keeper. Neither the 21-year-old Rishab Pant nor the 33-year-old Dinesh Karthik is a patch on veteran Dhoni. His arm motion is faster as certainly is his gathering and stumping abilities. He’s additionally a quicker runner than most different youthful gamers.

Whereas Dhoni is at an age when most cricketers could be eased out of the nationwide workforce, the very fact is that there’s no person who can maintain wickets half as effectively. Actually not Pant, Karthik or Parthiv Patel.

However, identical to Dhoni earlier than him, current skipper Virat Kohli too has his personal particular imaginative and prescient for Indian cricket and his sights are firmly set on constructing a workforce that may compete to win the 2019 World Cup in England. Each Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are effectively conscious that to have any practical probability of successful that coveted trophy, they should put collectively a crack workforce, a workforce that they’ll financial institution on within the hardest of battles.

Kohli and Shastri have subsequently gone about systematically figuring out gamers for batting and bowling spots and pouring into specifics like figuring out the opening batsmen, quantity 4 batsman, quick bowlers, spinners, and so on.

On this regard, the dual points that Kohli has repeatedly spoken of up to now yr are the quantity 4 batting place — which he now believes firmly belongs to Ambati Rayudu, and the all-rounder’s spot. However on the identical time, Kohli has by no means spoken of a substitute wicket-keeper for the World Cup. That place — he firmly believes — belongs to Dhoni. The coach and selectors are believed to be on the identical web page with Kohli on this.

The truth is, Shastri was furious with former cricketers baying for Dhoni’s blood and even stated that they “ought to look again at their profession earlier than commenting on Dhoni. He has numerous cricket left in him and it’s the obligation of the workforce to again the legend.”

Nonetheless, there isn’t any denying that Dhoni’s efficacy in batting has eroded significantly. His final ODI fifty (65 off 87 balls) got here practically a yr in the past in December 2017 in opposition to Sri Lanka within the cool climes of Dharmashala.

However it’s not simply the shortage of runs that could be a trigger for concern. The way in which he’s getting them can also be a fear. Dhoni of the previous was an important finisher, the most effective India have ever produced. Nonetheless, of late, that artwork appears to have abandoned him. It’s attainable that age has so much to do with this sluggish method to batting. And it definitely shouldn’t be serving to the workforce’s trigger.

However Dhoni’s wicket-keeping abilities and the consolation he provides the bowlers are far too important for India’s success. The spinners, specifically, and tempo bowlers would give their greatest, safe within the information that Dhoni is there standing behind the stumps.

Thus, whereas it’s nearly sure that Dhoni can be part of the Indian workforce on the 2019 World Cup, he could effectively should bow out after that. For even Dhoni, the tremendous wicket-keeper that he’s, could be too previous for the 2020 version of the ICC World T20. Actually, time and tide look forward to none, not even Dhoni.


Printed Date: November 07, 2018

| Up to date Date: November 07, 2018


Up to date Date: Nov 07, 2018