New Delhi: His aura has faded and the results have nosedived.
MS Dhoni has the numbers to stay on at the helm, but appears to have lost the sparkle that once defined his leadership.
It won't take a genius to find Dhoni's successor.
BCCI is considering the option of three different captains for three formats following Team India’s unsatisfactory performance in the ICC World T20.
India failed to qualify for the semi-finals despite winning four of their five matches in the tournament that concluded in Sri Lanka on Sunday with West Indies coming out on top.
According to reports, Dhoni is likely to retain the Test captaincy; Kohli is being considered for the ODI captaincy, while the T20 reins can be given to Suresh Raina.
Kohli is a feisty young man with the world at his feet.
He is the first name on all Indian teams these days - Test, ODI and Twenty20. His tears at the end of the World Twenty20 were a reminder that failure must rankle before it is explained. That India's cricket team impacts its followers and must do the same to its players. Does he have the nous and the tactical acumen? He may or may not, but unless he gets the opportunity one will never know. India starts an arduous journey in late 2013 in South Africa which will take them to New Zealand, England and Australia over the next year. The next Indian captain shouldn't start in the job with that itinerary staring at him.
Dhoni`s "tactical errors" and the poor form of some senior players were the main reasons for India`s early exit from the World Twenty20, according to former cricketers who said that there was no need for making drastic changes in the team despite the debacle.
His decision-making has been consistently feeble and often frustrating over the last 18 months. His poise in explaining away defeats was once endearing but increasingly sounds like a shallow play on words. Nonchalance is admirable but when the setbacks pile up - eight straight overseas defeats and three consecutive World Twenty20s without a place in the semis - the skipper can't swat the gnawing questions aside.
Over the last year, he has first been picked as captain and is then somehow fit into the XI, especially in Test and Twenty20 cricket. Over the seven Tests he played in England and Australia, Dhoni scored a mere 322 runs at an average of 27.
In the World Twenty20, he batted all of 51 balls in the entire competition, when several occasions demanded he promote himself in the batting order. In the longest and shortest formats of the game, Dhoni is captain first and wicketkeeper-batsman almost as an afterthought.
Former India opener Chetan Chauhan said that Dhoni needs to take responsibility for the team`s failure and also felt that pacer Zaheer Khan should not play for India in T20 cricket.
"The tournament is played in the sub-continent. We are used to these conditions. We have been to Sri Lanka, we played very well against them. Keeping this fact, I thought that we should have reached the semifinals. Unfortunately, we did not.
"A captain has to take responsibility, he is the captain. I would not blame him alone, I would blame the entire team. A captain is as good as the team. If you don`t perform, a captain could not do anything. Unfortunately, they did not perform there," Chauhan said.
"These are all the factors, plus at few stages Dhoni did make mistakes in decisions, like against Australia, there was no need to rest Virender Sehwag," he added.
Chauhan said except for Virat Kohli, none of the batsmen were consistent in the tournament and that was one of the reasons for India's early exit.
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