Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Indian Cricket needs new leadership

Right after a glorious victory in the world cup of  2011 , it was the golden "oldies" , except Dravid, who failed to deliver in England & Australia with Zaheer Khan also sitting out after an injury in the first test. Captain Dhoni returned to homeland with his men and boys without a single victory in the eight test matches played. Then in the last 3 years, the oldies retired one after another & Zaheer Khan came back to the test squad , more matured after a season  or two in the England counties. Now in 2013-14 , only a year before the world cup in 2015, Dhoni and his men will be embarking on a 2 test series with New Zealand  a few days from now; having failed to win a single ODI in the eight matches played against South Africa and lowly-placed New Zealand over and above  the 0-1 loss in test series against South Africa.

"Bowlers failing in death overs," "Top order batsmen failing," "Middle order batsmen failing" and now even "Middle order bowlers failing." Such are the pearls of wisdom gifted by Dhoni to the pressmen after each defeat. Even Kohli who has hit his brightest  patch in form or  Jadeja who is fighting hard and the valiant efforts of Dhoni playing with the tail have failed to lift India's game above international standards and in away settings.

Suddenly  the stars of World Cup victory in 2011, Yuvaraj, Gambhir, Munaf Patel  etc., who had all disappeared into oblivion (thanx to emerging starlets like Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Raina, Rahane ) are being remembered as its too late to groom youngsters now.

Maybe Dhoni will hint at the delay in retirement of the original oldies that gave him less time to groom and bloom the youngsters when India exits from the first round of WC in 2015 in Australia & New Zealand ; but frankly he seems to as indifferent to the success in the ODIs & test matches as he is passionate about swinging his willow and brains for Chennai Super Kings, the IPL franchisee that he is a member of.

Captain of the Indian team for the last six years, Dhoni now appears to be mentally fatigued while encountering challenging situations at any part of any match. Top order, middle or the death overs cover his spectrum of problems. That's a whole match. Even Ganguly suffered the same symptoms of a failed leader  after 5 years of captaincy. For Ganguly, the problems multiplied with his out-of-form batting.

Is there any reason for the selectors to wait for Dhoni also to hit a bad patch in batting form? Or wouldn't it be prudent to hand over the captaincy to the energetic Kohli , who is ready to lead from the front and will have one solid year for shaping up his team for the world cup in 2015 and fighting fit for the one in 2019? But then one hears that politics in BCCI has now reached ICC too and the wise men of the Indian board are busy in plotting their own moves while Team India prepare to shame themselves once again in the upcoming  test series against New Zealand.

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