New Delhi: MS Dhoni has long been rated as India's most successful captain. In a contrast of epic proportions, he is also India's most unsuccessful Test skipper ever - 11 defeats on foreign soil and counting!
India's 40-run defeat against New Zealand in Auckland on Sunday was Dhoni's record 11th defeat as skipper in Tests on foreign soil. He was previously 'level' in the infamous group of skippers with 10 defeats - MAK Pataudi, Mohammad Azharuddin and Sourav Ganguly. This though is a statistic that India's three ICC limited-overs trophy-winning skipper did not need.
Interestingly, Dhoni had hinted in 2012 that he may retire from Tests to focus on the 2015 World Cup. "If I have to see through the 2015 (World Cup), I would have to retire from one of the formats," he had told mediapersons. The 'hint' has, since, never been heard of again.
Dhoni's losing streak in foreign conditions began with a defeat against Sri Lanka in Galle (July 2010). He has since suffered losses in South Africa, England and Australia. While these were formidable teams, even lowly-ranked New Zealand (8th currently) have shown 'bullying spirit' against India.
Such is the state of the Test team under Dhoni that India now has to win the 2nd Test against New Zealand to retain its No. 2 position in ICC Test rankings for teams. If the team fails to retain the rank, it would be its 11th defeat in 14 Tests! The second Test starts in Wellington on February 14.
For a skipper who has been raved about immensely, Dhoni has been unable to make use of his much-acclaimed shrewd cricketing mind while playing abroad. And with a tour to England coming up later this year, the 32-year-old may well be running out of time to redeem himself.