Has Captain Cool Dhoni lost his Midas touch?
They say cricket is a great leveler and India captain MS Dhoni for one would vouch for that 100%. The man, who was once hailed as one of the gutsiest captains in world cricket, is now being criticised by fans and former cricketers. They are asking one big question: Has MSD lost the golden touch?
They say cricket is a great leveler and India captain MS Dhoni for one would vouch for that 100%. The man, who was once hailed as one of the gutsiest captains in world cricket, is now being criticised by fans and former cricketers. They are asking one big question: Has MSD lost the golden touch? (Watch)
From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, Dhoni has seen it all in the five years that he's been in charge of the Indian cricket team. And now India's third straight failure to make the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 has raised some serious questions about his leadership credentials.
There was a time when captain cool's out of the box calls paid off. Like his decision to throw the ball to unknown Joginder Sharma in the last over of the final of the 2007 ICC World T20. In contrast, Dhoni's various tactical calls in India's last game in Colombo came under scanner. For example the calls to bowl Rohit Sharma and not to push himself up the order.
For many experts, Captain Courageous has transformed into Captain Confused. It was a rare instance when Dhoni came up with a lame excuse after the 9-wicket loss against Australia. "Because of the rain the spinners couldn't grip the ball properly," Dhoni had said.
The numbers also tell the story. Dhoni's winning percentage as captain before the 2011 ODI World Cup final was over 56%. Since then that number has dropped to below 49%. And the biggest contributor had to be the eight consecutive overseas Test losses.
So while MSD's brand value touched new heights, people had begun to question his value as captain. What made matters worse were clear indications that Dhoni didn't share the best of relationships with some seniors in the team.
"When you get a strong team, it is easier to perform well just like Australia did at one point of time. Australia won three World Cups because they had a strong team and not just because of the captain," Virender Sehwag once said.
Many feel that MSD has been given too long a run as captain and his close ties with BCCI President N Srinivasan could well be the reason.
"I think he is a very astute captain. In fact I do remember Gary Kirsten mention to me that in his opinion at that time, on the field, while the game was on, Dhoni was possibly the best. So, one cannot suddenly lose all of this. Cricket is a game of uncertainties. Sometimes it catches you unawares," Srinivasan said.
Call it tactical errors or sheer bad luck, Dhoni the magician seems to have run out of tricks.