Wednesday 31 August 2016
facebook.com/Outlookindia twitter.com/outlookindia digimag.outlookindia.com instagram.com/outlookindia youtube.com/user/OutlookMagazine

It’s Called Byes

Frost-bite at the summit for Captain Cool?
AFP (From Outlook 15 October 2012)

As captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s eye-popping ascent began with the triumph in the 2007 T20 World Cup. Its 2012 edition may well have flagged off a jaw-dropping descent. With India bowing out of the tournament, the third successive time the team has failed to reach the Super Eight stage under Dhoni’s stewardship, the knives are well and truly drawn. Suddenly, questions are being asked of his choice of playing eleven, field placements, his super-cool attitude, even his superstitions.

As if on cue, K. Srikkanth, who relinquished his duties as chairman of the selection committee just a fortnight ago, popped up on television to say that the BCCI might now want to re-examine if it wants a common captain for all three formsof the game; that’s short-hand for stripping Dhoni of some of his responsibilities by farming out the captaincy. With the anchor egging him on, Cheeka blurted out: “Of the players on display, Virat Kohli looks to have the best potential as a future India captain.”

The first questions over Dhoni’s leadership had been posed earlier this year when, shortly after the 2011 World Cup triumph, India lost four Tests in England and then four more in Australia, making it 0-8 away from home. “In Birmingham, after India lost the series, Dhoni’s post-match conference was like the head of the production team of a factory explaining why the company had failed to achieve its targets,” wrote cricket historian Mihir Bose. “After one of the most one-sided Tests in recent history, there was not a note of regret at the Indian performance, no apology to fans who had invested money and emotional capital in the series.”

A 2-0 series victory against New Zealand made Dhoni the most successful skipper at home, but it did little to erase the impression that his best was past. Controversies over player inclusion (think Piyush Chawla), player exclusion (think Sehwag, Harbhajan) dogged the man who could do no wrong just a year ago. When V.V.S. Laxman retired, he said he could not “reach” Dhoni; when he held a dinner for his former mates, the captain was left out. Last week, after India’s T20 chances were blown, Dhoni lamely blamed the rain.

Given the political dynamics of Indian cricket, Dhoni’s end as captain may not yet be nigh, but intimations of mortality have been received.

READ MORE IN:
AUTHORS: Pritam Sengupta
TAGS: Cricket
SECTION: Sports
SUBSECTION: Cover Stories
OUTLOOK: 15 October, 2012
Download the Outlook ​Magazines App. Six magazines, wherever you go! Play Store and App Store

Post a Comment

You are not logged in, please Log in or Register
  • Daily Mail
THE LATEST ISSUE
CLICK IMAGE FOR CONTENTS
OUTLOOK ON TWITTER
POLLS

In 1999, India and France entered into a $3.5 billion deal for the supply of these submarines. The first of the 6 subs is out on sea trials for the last three months and is to be commissioned later this year. At this stage, a newspaper in Australia has revealed secret data on the submarines, plausibly stolen from India. Indian Defence authorities have ruled out any pilferage of data from India.

POLL STARTED ON: Aug 26, 2016
Quiz
Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is hosting the 31st Olympic Games from August 5 to 21. This is the first Olympics being held in South America and is going on even as a majority Brazilians are unhappy with their rulers. Here’s a quiz on some random Olympic facts and related trivia.
QUIZ STARTED ON: Aug 11, 2016
Advertisement