Dhoni’s elevation is a way forward’
PUNE, Sept 18: Female fans covertly nurse dreams of having the glimpse of him, while avid male fans go to the extent of bringing out a music album on him, not to speak of his swashbuckling batsmanship. Yes, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has created a mass hysteria on the field that many would find it hard to emulate.
The appointment of the 26-year-old Ranchi Rambo as skipper of the Indian team for the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup was greeted with a pinch of salt, but rest assured, this time few eyebrows would be raised with his elevation as Team India captain for the upcoming ODI series against Australia.
With Rahul Dravid shunning captaincy, and old guards - Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly no longer keen on taking up the captaincy mantle at least in the shorter version of the game, the national selectors had little option but to press the forward direction button and zeroed in on Dhoni.
“Dhoni’s elevation as India’s ODI captain is the way forward. A wicket-keeper is the best judge on all aspects of the game. He is the catalyst for the side. Dhoni is quick-witted, cool and composed. I have no doubts that he would do a decent job,” said former India wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani, the last Indian wicket-keeper to lead the team. Kirmani, who led India as a keeper against West Indies in Guwahati way back in 1983, reckons Dhoni should be given adequate time to prove himself. “You don’t pick somebody as captain and wield the axe on him after he fails to fire in a few matches. You got to give him a fair crack of the whip. Dhoni should be given a certain amount of confidence so that he can feel his way into the new job,” Kirmani explained.
With three former skippers playing under him, there are apprehensions about Dhoni not being able to take the tough calls as and when the situation warrants. Kirmani, however, feels such a situation can be avoided if Dhoni gets the backing of the three seniors. “Dhoni is junior to Dravid, Tendulkar and Ganguly. So, he should look to seek their involvement and ensure they take Dhoni into confidence.”
The former national chief selector cited an example of the 1983 World Cup winning team to buttress his argument. “When we went into the 1983 World Cup, there were seven players senior to Kapil Dev. But there was no unease among the players over that. We took pride in playing and faring well for the country. If at all any player had reservations about a junior leading the team, they never expressed it and took it in their stride,” Kirmani quipped.