Dhoni ready to step aside

Dhoni ready to step aside

Skipper clarifies his retirement-plan remark

After his poor outings in the Test series against Australia questions have been asked about Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy, his place in the side as a batsman and his commitment to the traditional form of cricket.

The Jharkhand player on Tuesday stressed that he didn’t want to cling on to his job as captain and was willing to step aside if there was a better replacement.

“It’s an added role and responsibility for me. It’s not a position that belongs to anyone. That responsibility was given to me three-and-a-half years back and I have been trying to fit into the shoes – getting along with the team. It’s just a position I hold. It’s not about being the captain.

“I’ll always look to do well till I am in the job. It’s not something I want to stick on to. If there’s a better replacement, it’s a very open thing. He can come in and my place should be given to him. At the end of the day you want India to perform,” he said. 

Dhoni said it’s up to others to judge him as a captain. “It’s not an individual who decides whether he is good or not. It’s others who decide that. When it comes to the effort, I am still giving my 100 per cent.”

‘Retirement’ plans

Dhoni stood by his comments about retiring from one format in 2013. “It’s the start of 2012, and 2013 is two years away. I don’t know whether I will be alive in two years. The best thing about statements is that you can assume it the way you want to.

“What I said was, by the end of 2013 I will have to see whether I can play the World Cup. It wasn’t about one format, as it was about cricket.

“So, may be by 2013, I have to (take a call)… the kind of cricket we are playing – IPL for 45 days; Champions League and back-to-back series. We have to see where we last. So, 2013 is a long way off. I don’t know if you will be covering cricket or not. I don’t know if I will be playing cricket or not.”

Dhoni also emphasised his commitment to Test cricket. “Test cricket is the real cricket. I am not discarding the fact that ODI and T20 are not good enough. Every form of cricket has its own challenges. In ODI cricket you can see glimpses of Test and T20s, especially with two balls getting used. All of a sudden a team loses three or four wickets demanding a consolidation job before going on with the slog.

“Then there is the shortest format where you lose five wickets, and the longest consolidating period you get is one over before start hitting again. Till I am able to play I will play all the three formats.”

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