Replace Dhoni

Replace Dhoni

After India’s historic win at Lord’s in the ongoing series against England, there were calls to remove Alastair Cook as the English captain. An extended lean patch with the bat and a long-stretch of winless streak in Tests had made Cook’s position untenable.

One more defeat would have ended his stint at the helm but in a supreme twist of fate, it’s his Indian counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is feeling the heat now. Over the course of 18 days and two more Tests after the famous win, India have inexplicably squandered the gains made at the Lord’s.

While it can be argued that Dhoni doesn’t have the resources – be it in bowling and now in batting as well – to sustain a winning run, he can’t escape the scrutiny. 

Beginning from the loss at Lord’s in 2011 to the latest humiliation at Old Trafford, Dhoni has lost 11 out of 15 Tests he has led India overseas. Commencing from the 4-0 series defeat against England in 2011 to the previous tour of New Zealand, the man from Jharkhand has lost all four away series and is staring at a fifth straight loss.

He already has more number of (13) away Test losses by an Indian captain and is fast approaching a dubious world record of former New Zealand and West Indies’ skippers Stephen Fleming and Brian Lara, respectively, with 16 defeats each. If this doesn’t warrant his removal, what else will?

The selectors can no longer hide behind the excuse that there is no alternative. They have to take a gamble just like what South Africa did with a certain Graeme Smith, who went on to become one of all-time great captains the game of cricket has seen.

Dhoni, who comes across as a genius while leading the team in shorter versions, fails to inspire his wards to perform with the same zeal in the gruelling longer format. His poor work behind the stumps and an even more shoddy job at the slip-cordon, has made difficult the task of bowlers who seem incapable of taking 20 wickets on a consistent basis. The biggest disappointment have been the batsmen.

And while their struggles against swinging and seaming deliveries are understandable, what cannot be comprehended is their handling of Moeen Ali, part-time off-spinner who has crushed the big egos of the supposed best bowlers of spin with a bagful of wickets.