The semifinal loss against Australia brought an end to the 11-match unbeaten streak at the world Cup for India. The ouster from the World Cup 2015 has once again given rise to speculations regarding Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future as limited overs skipper. Ever since Dhoni announced retirement from Tests, there was intense speculation on his role after the World Cup. And now with Dhoni making it clear that he has no such plans of retiring anytime soon from limited overs cricket, it will be interesting to see how the BCCI and the selectors look to carry this team forward, especially some big series and a T20 World Cup to be played on home soil in 2016.
It will be quite a task on selectors’ hands on whether they want to have different captains for different formats, a theory not implemented as a regular one for a long time in Indian cricket, though it would not be wise to have different captains for different formats as this can lead to a dressing room breakdown with two power emerging out of it. Captains in the past have been allowed to build teams of their choice and enjoyed the complete backing of the Board’s top brass (most notably Sourav Ganguly & MS Dhoni), if the board thinks Kohli is the man to lead India across all formats then it would be right on their part to immediately hand over the baton to Kohli from Dhoni. But Dhoni, to his credit has been India’s most successful skipper in ODIs and T20s, winning a World Cup in both formats apart from winning a Champions Trophy. Barring a couple of phases in Test cricket, Dhoni has led incredibly well and extended his confidence and backing to players and in the process helping create a good nucleus of players. His captaincy has been the backbone of a youth-centric in the past couple of years.
Also one can’t ignore Kohli’s flair and aggression in his captaincy which has been a standout feature in his short stint in captaincy. As he’s been tipped for that role in the future the timing of handing of baton to him becomes even more crucial. In my opinion, it would be apt for Kohli to remain Dhoni’s understudy for an year at least and in the meantime get to learn from Dhoni’s experience and pick a leaf out of Captain’s Cool book in terms of patience and belief in his players. Dhoni must lead till the 2016 World T20 and pass on the mantle with another title in his kitty. Hopefully till then Kohli will develop into an even mature player and handles his game more responsibly.
After all Dhoni has for the very least has earned the respect and pride, so it will be prudent to let him decide on his future.