MS Dhoni is without doubt the best Indian captain that India has had as the achievements and stats don’t lie. While respect must be paid to Dhoni for what he has accomplished, those same stats also suggest that the aging captain has lost his magic touch and his batting form has deserted him for the last couple of years.
Dhoni has lost ODI series to Bangladesh, Australia, South Africa in recent times and his ODI form with the bat has been terrible. Once known as the best finisher in the modern game, Dhoni loved to control the chase by taking it to the final over and then finishing in style. The Dhoni of 2016 has lost both the ability to finish matches consistently and also to captain effectively as India’s string of recent losses show that Dhoni is a man under pressure.
MS Dhoni has refused to retire stating that he can still run fast and is passionate to play the game. The selectors would have most likely dropped any other player based on their performance and captaincy but have given Dhoni the respect he deserves. The problem is Dhoni now looks under pressure in every match as he realizes that his captaincy and position in the side is under threat. Former Team Manager Ravi Shastri had earlier said that it was time for Dhoni to hand over the reins to Virat Kohli and step aside but Dhoni hasn’t been willing to do that.
Dhoni allowed the Kiwis to bounce back in the second ODI at Delhi by once again adopting his strategy of taking the match to the death and putting pressure on the bowlers. However once again his strategy backfired as the skipper lost his wicket and left the chase to the tail. Dhoni scored 39 runs of 65 balls and never played any big shots, leaving the tail to get more than a run a ball.
During the post match conference Dhoni said that they had the run rate under control indirectly defending his poor strike rate. If Dhoni ends up losing the 5 match ODI series to the Kiwis, the selectors will definitely have to pat Dhoni on the back and show him the door. Should India win the ODI series, Dhoni will be given a longer rope. However in the best interests of Indian cricket, Dhoni should walk away with his head held high, instead of waiting for that shoulder tap.