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Why MS Dhoni Should Step Down As Test Captain

Yet another Series defeat, this time at the hands of New Zealand. Another winless tour, no wins on road, batsmen faltering, bowlers fatigued and under-performing and a skipper who has less runs and more excuses to his name.

Yet another Series defeat, this time at the hands of New Zealand. Another winless tour, no wins on road, batsmen faltering, bowlers fatigued and under-performing and a skipper who has less runs and more excuses to his name. MS Dhoni now has lost 11 overseas Tests, more than Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and Mohammad Azharuddin (10 Tests). After Team India drew the second and final Test at the Basin Reserve, the only shining light was Virat Kohli who scored an unbeaten 105* as the visitors drew the Test match and that led to the Kiwis clinching the series 1-0.

Here is Team India’s Winless Streak Abroad In Tests (Since June 2011)
Played 14; Won 0; Lost 10; Drawn 4

June 2011 – Vs West Indies (Bridgetown) – Drawn
July 2011 – Vs West Indies (Roseau) – Drawn
July 2011 – Vs England (Lord’s) – Lost
July 2011 – Vs England (Nottingham) – Lost
August 2011 – Vs England (Birmingham) – Lost
August 2011 – Vs England (The Oval) – Lost
December 2011 – Vs Australia (Melbourne) – Lost
January 2011 – Vs Australia (Sydney) – Lost
January 2011 – Vs Australia (Perth) – Lost
January 2011 – Vs Australia (Adelaide, Virender Sehwag was captain) – Lost
December 2013 – Vs South Africa (Johannesburg) – Drawn
December 2013 – Vs South Africa (Durban) – Lost
February 2014 – Vs New Zealand (Auckland) – Lost
February 2014 – Vs New Zealand (Wellington) – Drawn

The much maligned MS Dhoni still praised his young side after the dismal performance and said, “Overall, quite a good performance. We have been improving right from South Africa. We have shown that we are a side that’s very talented.” So which world is he living in? Has MS Dhoni smoked up? Except for Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, the rest of the members have seemed flak and below par. Rewind January 2012, Dhoni telling the press, “”If I want to see the 2015 World Cup, I’ll have to retire from one of the formats,” Dhoni had said in 2012.”It’s too early right now. I am not that old. I am just 30. There is still time. We will see by 2013, and by 2013 I mean the end of 2013.” Can 2014 be that year? We want to be so. Here are few points that go against ‘Captain Cool’ and why he should pass on the Test baton?

1. Wayward tactics:
His negative tactics work against him. Even when New Zealand was reeling at 94-5 in the 2nd Test, Dhoni did not put a slip in place for Ishant Sharma and instead spread the field wide. Dhoni has always received flak for his backward thinking of saving runs rather than going for the kill.

2. No use of bench strength:
If the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja are unable to produce good form, why not try others (Amit Mishra). The wrist-spinner, Amit Mishra has been a spectator ever since he was included in the 15-man squad and has not played a game yet (South Africa and New Zealand). In the pace department, the likes of Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were not tested and why Ishwar Pandey was neglected?

3. Lacks attacking strategy in overseas Tests:
As compared to Tests on home soil, MS Dhoni always takes a ‘backseat’ when the opposition team is in a spot of bother or has lost crucial wickets. Somehow, this rubs on to his bowlers who tend to bowl bad lengths or give away unnecessary runs.

4. Biased skipper?:
Why Ravindra Jadeja was selected for the 2nd Test against New Zealand, even though the surface was a green top, remains a mystery.

5. He should just LEAVE
MS Dhoni is the only skipper in the current international scenario, who leads in all the 3 formats. As compared to the rest of the world (Test playing nations), e.g Australia – Michael Clarke is the Test and ODI skipper whereas Michael Bailey leads the T20 format. Barring the IPL, Dhoni leads every format for this Indian side and it’s about time, ‘Mahi’ just took the time out from Tests, at least!

Fan Talk:
“There have been eight 200+ scores (including 2 triple tons) now against India in their away tours in last 3 years. It is indicative of how clueless Dhoni has been left when faced with a well-settled batsman. Instead of persevering with a balanced attacking option, Dhoni has been guilty of going on the defensive too soon too often at crucial junctures of the game. Defensive tactics may work well in the T20s and ODIs since the opposition has no choice but to come at you but in Tests, the batsmen have the luxury of time and hence pace their innings at their own will. And that is why, while Dhoni is tailor-made for ODIs and T20s, he is far from being an ideal Test captain.” – Arjun Swami, Web Producer.

Even though the England Cricket Board retained the services of their skipper Alastair Cook after a poor Ashes outing but in turn, they sacked their prime batsman, Kevin Pietersen. At the behest, the Indian selectors could ‘ask’ MS Dhoni to step down or wait for another dismal overseas tour.

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