He might have won several laurels for the Indian cricket team in the past, but MS Dhoni’s current form is under the scanner and the recent series loss against the rejuvenated Bangladeshi team has only added to his woes. While the third ODI against Bangladesh is now inconsequential, here are five reasons why the skipper should step down from ODI captaincy.
Kohli – the right successor: Going forward, we all know that Virat Kohli is the man who is likely to lead the squad for several years. As we saw in the one-off Test against Bangladesh, Kohli along with Team India director Ravi Shastri made some positive changes and opted for players who deserved to be there in the squad. Being India’s most consistent batsman across all formats, the Delhi lad is ready to take over the reins from Dhoni.
Poor form: In several Indian Premier League seasons, MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings has been the team to beat. But as we saw in this year’s edition, Dhoni looked like a shadow of his former self and his poor form was a major reason why CSK didn’t play to their potential like previous editions. Even for the current Indian team, Dhoni’s form of late hasn’t been great and the series loss against Bangladesh is further proof why India needs a new skipper to lead the team.
Inexplicable decision-making: If there is one player in the current Indian team whose presence is questionable, it is Ravindra Jadeja. The left-arm spinner, who has been playing in the squad as an all-rounder, has hardly made an impact with either bat or ball in the last few series. For reasons unknown, Dhoni continues to back his CSK teammate, a move which has cost India dearly in several games. Even in the second ODI, Dhoni took everybody by surprise with his decision to drop Rahane, a player who has performed exceptionally well overseas, apart from scoring heaps of runs on Indian pitches. At the post match press conference, Dhoni defended his move by saying that Rahane hasn’t been consistent on slow pitches, a logic which is difficult to understand considering the fact that Rahane has been in the list of highest run-scorers in various editions of the IPL.
One captain for all formats: After a very long time, the Indian cricket team has multiple captains for ODIs and Tests. In case he is handed over the ODI captaincy as well, Kohli would feel more confident and would like to build a strong Indian team for the future. The move will also help Kohli establish a strong camaraderie with the players, who would be aware of the fact that he is the man who will be leading them in years to come.
Age factor: Dhoni is also the oldest member of the current Indian team. At 33, as we have seen in his last few performances, the reflexes have slowed down, and his willow hasn’t unleashed those signature helicopter shots, much to the dismay of the Indian cricket fans. Since he continues to be a valuable asset in limited-overs cricket, playing just as a wicketkeeper-batsman could possibly take the pressure off Dhoni, helping him find his mojo back. Going forward, Indian cricket needs a young and an aggressive captain, someone who can bring in fresh ideas.