Time to buck up

Time to buck up

Even as there was a universal salutation for India amid a global celebration of the International Day of Yoga, the cricketing world was left speechless

One loss, howsoever humiliating, cannot be talking point for Dhoni’s ouster

Even as there was a universal salutation for India amid a global celebration of the International Day of Yoga, the cricketing world was left speechless and the fans aghast at the spineless surrender by the Men in Blue against the lowly Bangladesh. It was super Sunday for the host, which clinched its first ODI series win against the twice World Cup champion with a display that was far more superlative.

One should appreciate the manner the Bangla tigers roared their way to the top of the world ladder against a team that has apparently not learnt its lessons from past debacles. The bizarre run that began in Australia should have helped shed remorse and go into the future with a positive frame of mind. In a way, if one goes by the whispers about a divide in the dressing room, then that is where Mahendra Singh Dhoni seems caught in a whirlpool.

None was more forthright than Dhoni’s former coach, Chanchal Bhattacharya, who has hit the right chord. Since the time Dhoni opted out of the five-day format, there has been this sense of divide, a fact everyone agrees but is not brave enough to open up about.

Bhattacharya has pointed out, quite justifiably, that his protégé was upset with the bad vibes that prevail in the dressing room. It perhaps is true because Dhoni’s performances have nosedived since January. Call it a restless mind or sheer frustration, the fact of the matter is that the on-field fracas that almost injured rookie player Mustafizur Rahman is something out of Captain Cool’s normal demeanour.

The question that haunts every cricket fan is – what next for Dhoni? This is somewhat unwarranted considering that India’s most successful skipper has at least a couple of years more, despite his being the grand old man of the team at 33 years. This is where his problems are getting compounded, if one goes by his slow reflexes both behind the stumps and while running between the wickets. What may go against his continuation is his striking form with the willow and also the poor decision-making he has got entrapped in.

Of course, it is amateurish to seek his removal as the captain. One loss, howsoever humiliating, cannot be the talking point for his ouster. If that were the case, India would have a new captain after every overseas tour. In his hour of anguish, Dhoni has played his masterstroke.

By taking the blame and wishing to get relieved of the captaincy, he has won an overwhelming sympathy in his favour not knowing that in the world of ruthless professionalism, there is no place for non-performers. While giving credit to Mustafizur Rahman’s sensational debut, Bangladesh should be appreciated for exposing the chinks in India’s armour and its two biggest banes – the lack of the killer instinct and staying contended as the paper tigers.

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