Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Sep 2018 15:20:07

WITHOUT doubt it was highly unselfish decision on the part of Mahendra Singh Dhoni to relinquish the leadership of Team India when he personally and the team as a whole were on the pinnacle of glory, having bagged three major International Cricket Council (ICC) titles. Having achieved such milestones, Dhoni thought it fit to quit as the captain and hand over the mantle to his successor as early as possible. In Virat Kohli he saw an able successor. And Virat Kohli has not disappointed so far, both as a batsman of great class and a leader. Seeing the promise, Dhoni had taken the decision to quit first as the leader of the Test team and later of the shorter versions as well. 

Looking back, now Dhoni thinks that his decision to relinquish the leadership role at that time in 2014 was right because he had in mind the next World Cup to be played in England next summer. He wanted the new leader to have enough time to gain experience and build his own team as per his requirement. Nobody would dispute such a thoughtful decision. Only a farsighted and an unselfish man can take such a coolheaded decision, a quality that Dhoni is known for in international cricketing world.

The manner in which the wicket-keeper batsman is going right now it appears he will be very much part of the World Cup team. His presence in the team itself is a big asset because he is a man who can play an advisory role for the young captain. His wise counsel will certainly have a calming effect on an otherwise flamboyant Virat Kohli. There is so much to learn from Dhoni in cricketing matters for Virat and hence it is necessary that Dhoni should remain part of the scheme of things, not just the shorter version of the game but his counsel will be of immense help even in building the Test team.

His recent lament over the pathetic 1-4 loss to England in the Test series shows his keen interest in all formats of the game. Like several experts, he too felt that the Indian team was underprepared for the Test series due to lack of tour games. The team should have been given more practice games before the Test series to get acclimatised to the British conditions. While the bowling unit was of world class, the famed batting side failed miserably in standing upto English bowlers, though the team had chances to emerge victorious. Dhoni rues this needless loss to a team that is considered as the weakest in recent times. Dhoni scotched speculations that he had quit the captainship because of decline in his own form by coming up with match winning performances time and again, re-emphasising why he was considered as one of the greatest finishers.