Well as expected the sudden retirement announcement of MS Dhoni came as a big shock for a common man as well as for the former Indian captains. Sunil Gavaskar, after the sudden announcement of MS Dhoni to quit captaincy of Test, has said he was not surprised by Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s decision to retire from Test cricket. Dhoni today announced his retirement after India drew the third Test at the MCG.
Gavaskar totally disagreed with critics who blamed that Dhoni had deserted a sinking ship. Gavaskar said “I don’t agree with this view. I have been a captain and there is a time when the burden becomes just too much and you think the next man will do a better job. It may not be tactically, but the next captain may have better luck Dhoni knew Virat Kohli was ready to step in and therefore his decision is not surprising.”
It is pertinent to add that Kohli had led India in the first Test at Adelaide and will now be the official captain in the fourth, starting in Sydney on January 6.
Gavaskar feels that MS Dhoni is a “supremely content person” and opined The burden on him grew over the last two-three days in Melbourne. Had India won at MCG, Dhoni would have been in a better frame of mind to resign after the Sydney Test.
Underlining the excellent contributions made by MS Dhoni Gavaskar said “India is going to miss ‘Dhoni the player’ big time. Who can forget his 224 against Australia at Chepauk. But the pressure of captaincy had started affecting his ’keeping skills off late. His concentration levels had dipped. But according to me, Team India will miss Dhoni the cricketer, wicketkeeper and batsman for a period of time. Dhoni gave a whole new dimension to Indian cricket. He gave whole new dynamics. He took them to being the No.1 Test team in the world.”
So far as the abilities of newly appointed skipper Virat Kohli are concerned, Gavaskar added “He is the appointed skipper. So there is no doubt that selectors have faith in him to lead India and succeed Dhoni. But how well he will fare as captain, only time will tell.”
Just a few days back, former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly called for a change in guard in Test captaincy after India lost in Adelaide and Brisbane and Ganguly had opined that Virat Kohli was the obvious choice given his form and the immaculate ability to lead a young team.
Former Indian Captain Rahul Dravid also expressed his views on the latest development and said “Dhoni’s absence gives Virat the opportunity to show that he leads may be differently. I still think it’s going to be Dhoni’s side, he has been announced captain. It’s just a nice opportunity for Virat and a great feeling, every time you get the opportunity to lead your country in a Test match, it’s a great thrill and Virat will really enjoy that.”
Dravid also expressed that Kohli is the most suitable candidate to take over the Test reigns from MS Dhoni in the long run but a lot will depend upon how he bats in Test matches especially overseas.
Highlighting the role of Virat Kohli, Dravid stated “I think he’s (Kohli) got a good cricket brain. From what we’ve seen a little bit in the IPL and one-day cricket, he’s willing to make things happen. He’s spent quite a bit of time learning from Dhoni. He’s been in the side for a while now. If he can bat well in Test matches and have that certainty about himself as a player, then I have no doubt that he’s the obvious candidate to take over from Dhoni once he’s finished.”
Perhaps for MS Dhoni this step will prove to be very result oriented as he will be able to focus more on his batting. On a personal note I feel so far as his contribution in ODI is concerned, he is the best Captain, best finisher, a reliable wicketkeeper, an excellent strategist and a supreme motivator to lead the team by coming upfront. Many of his fans do believe that he will prove to be a key figure in the upcoming World Cup and lead India to the victory.