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What next for India and MS Dhoni?

by Bored Guest

There is some anger at MS Dhoni and India for a few tactics that backfired, leading to India's exit from the tournament. Some of it is manufactured by the media and a few of the outbursts like burning effigies is uncalled for. Once the anger subsides, though, let us look at the present and future.

India has a young and talented team. They had been winning quite a lot recently and this win may help them learn and improve themselves. Some of the youngsters will lose their complacency and be better next time round.

At this moment, Dhoni is irreplaceable. Can you think of anybody in the current team who can act as captain? Hopefully, he will now learn to lead a team of favorites instead of thinking that he is still leading no-hopers.

2003 and 2007 were the only time in the past 25 years that we reached the finals of a World Cup. So this is not a disaster. Australia left in the first round. So while disappointing, it is not a humiliation.

Finally, we have a Twenty20 World Cup again next year. The frequency of the tournaments necessarily devalue the tournament. We need to focus on more important stuff (Test series and the ODI World Cup)

by Krish


Gaurav Sethi said...

Welcome on Bored Krish.

MSD knows what we know, TINA. Curious how none of the present bunch make the grade as leaders of men? I still feel we're not looking at the right guys - there has to be more than this - need a vice captain before we start thinking of MSD's replacement, be that even 2-3 years from now.

Q said...

Welcome on bored Krish!

I agree, there is no replacement for Dhoni.. and I reckon if India use him right, he may as well captain for another decade ala Imran Khan.. though it may be tough considering there will be many more downs in a decade..

I also think that this loss is good for India.. they have been riding the wave for a couple of years.. its good to experience a sudden shock.. they will surely bounce back..

NC, the only potential captain they had, they let go some time ago - Mohammad Kaif..

I guess the long term successor is one who led u to the U19 crown - he has the attitude.. but not before another 5-6 years.. also depends on his performance for the seniors.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

Welcome Kirsh

I agree - Tests is still the thing ,anyday... tho' i do wonder if you'd still have said that if we'd gone on to win this WC ?

Anonymous said...

I think it is premature talking of Dhoni's successor. The bigger point, IMHO, is how to handle his workload.

He is not a natural selection for the Test team so he has to don the gloves there. In the ODI and T20 format, he can play purely as a batsman so that is something the selection committee needs to decide on. Karthik can play gloveman/batsman without really denting the balance of the side. Also, given the number of part time bowlers at our disposal, it may not be a bad punt.


Krish said...

Thanks @Naked Cricket. We have to start planning for a vice captain now so that Dhoni can take a break from time to time and get the new guy up and running.

Krish said...

Thanks, Q.

I think Dhoni will face greater challenges than exiting the T20 World Cup soon. There will be a crisis in the Test team with Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid exiting. And the rest of the team may lose a Test series which we were likely to win. And he and India will have to deal with that.

I suspect at some point in the future (2-3 years down the road), for no real fault of his, there will be calls for Dhoni to resign. India will need somebody to step in at that time.

Krish said...

Thanks, Bhaskar. I would probably have not mentioned it, to be frank. But at the same time, any tournament that is happening every year is less valuable than a Test series that occurs every 4 years. No offense to Sri Lanka or South Africa who deserve to win the tournament.

Bhaskar Khaund said...

I agree with Homer , it's premature to think of this already-besides you cant think of any replacement either ...Neither Yuv nor Jat are captain material - keeping captaincy on one side , what we really miss is the MSD of 2005 , esp in shorter formats...looking at him now u wonder if that was not only time (2005) but also place (subcontinent only) and u suspect you're right..that ballistic 2005-early 06 period was all in the subcon,right ? or not ? anybody confirm this ?

Homer said...


Will Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman's retirement really have such a huge bearing on the team?

As long as they are performing and in form, probably. But if not, will it?

Also this - we have a phenomenally well rounded bowling attack. And since Tests are won by teams that can take 20 wickets, we should be good.

The only real difference the retirements of these stalwarts will be in the slip catching. We dont have a cordon to talk of when Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman are not around.

Sehwag is a good third slipper but we havent really groomed a first and second slip, neither in ODIs or T20s.


Krish said...

Homer, you are right. If it is a "forced retirement", it may help rather than hurt the team. But it could well be the opposite. Plus all three have similar DOB and may retire at the same time, needing 3 good replacements.

My larger point is that India as a team may face a crisis and it will need to think about how it will handle the criticisms against the captaincy and management. Couple of scenarios:

1. India losing a Test series at home against somebody like Sri Lanka or England.

2. India failing miserably at the next ODI World Cup. Right now, Australia, SA and SL are favorites for at least reaching the semis. So India would have to fight out with NZ, England & WI and there is always a chance they may miss out.

Then the knives *really* come out. What do we do then?

Homer said...


For us to get there, a lot ( and I mean a LOT) of things will have to go wrong all at once.

Sachin has made his intentions of playing the 2011 WC clear. Dravid is prbably the first one out with Badri a ready replacement.

Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Murali Vijay are the other guys who can step up.

If we lose the WC, then all bets are off. But until then , I think Dhoni is still in the black :).

Also, grooming Dhoni's successor cannot happen in isolation. We were lucky that we had Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble and Dhoni as our captains in succession. Each built on what the other left behind and enhanced the team by what they brought to the plate.

If we look for Dhoni's successor in what is Dhoni's team, we may end up with a lot of grief.

For now, Sehwag and Yuvraj are the second and third in line. I would keep the status quo for atleast until the World Cup.
In the meantime, the IPL and the Ranji will be a good place to look for who has the tools to take this team to the next level.


Homer said...

I think the bigger question is - what is the character of the team that we want when we play?

Australia brought power cricket into the equation in 2007, we embraced it and that has defined our ODI and T20 cricket since.

Our problem in England was we got too cute. So instead of power hitting, we tried playing a game unsuited to our skills or temperament.

A good start would be to go back to what made us successful in the first place.

In Test cricket, we are a wonderfully attritional team, with the ability to go toe to toe with the best. But inevitably, we wait for the opposition to lay down the markers - the pace of play, the attitude, the temperament. And we are very slow to get off the blocks.

That was evident against the West Indies too - instead of riding the tide, we tried to match them for aggression. And paid for it. Then we got cute. And paid even more.

If we can hit the ground running, in any format of the game, given the talent at our disposal, we can build a sizeable lead such that everyone is playing catch up.


Q said...


Are u telling me that the retirement of Sachin, Dravid, Laxman will have no effect on India's batting in tests?

I beg to differ my friend...

It will leave a HUGE hole in the middle order...

Yuvi has been found wanting at the test level.. wat chances that the replacements of the above will make their mark as soon as they come in?

Homer said...


They wont. Just as Dravid didnt. Or Laxman.

Let us not forget that it took Dravid 9 Tests before he scored his first 100 for India. And it is in the last 4 years or thereabouts that Laxman has become a permanent fixture in the batting order.

Will their retirements make a difference - in the short term, yes. Just like Gavaskar's did. Or Kapil Dev's.

But India moved on, playing better and brighter cricket.

And that will happen once again.


Q said...

I have no doubt that India is a force to reckon with in ODIs. Mostly because of the Yuvrajs, Sehwags, Gambhirs, etc.. i.e. the younger brigade.

As far as tests are concerned, India have only recently started winning test matches out of India on a consistent basis.. I would say in the last 3-4 years..

That is mostly due to their pace bowling, which is undoubtedly at its best ever...

But the batting has also come to the party and mostly through the experience trio + Sehwag. & Ganguly.

Now when u look at their replacements - Yuvraj, Raina, Rohit, etc.. u don't exactly see world class batsmen like Dravid, Sachin, Ganguly, Laxman..

Sure hugely talented but their techniques have been found wanting..

For them to make a mark in test cricket will take some time..

I haven't seen the Pujaras and Badrinaths long enough to comment on them but the men u r talking abt - Sachin, Dravid - are among the best in the world. Actually THE best in the world.

Replacing them will be a huge task.