Mahendra Singh Dhoni – statistically India’s greatest cricket captain of all time – retired from test cricket, to the great joy of Mr. Potty Mouth -who is now the captain – and the Times Group.
The Potty Mouth’s joy is understandable and all the best to him.
The Times Group’s vilification campaign however, leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. every day there is an article attacking the man and his legacy. They, and some so called experts who have done the grand total of fuck all and diddly squat in the international arena are claiming Dhoni should have retired after 2011 WC and that India’s dire overseas test record is directly his fault.
So MSD should have retired in 2011.
Who, pray, should have been the captain then?
Tendulkar was a flop as a captain, so not him. Ganguly and Kumble had already retired while Dravid (flop as a captain), Sehwag and Laxman were on their last legs. That left Gambhir, Yuvraj and Bhajji, none of whom were in any good or consistent form in tests, so couldn’t even get into the team regularly.
That left Mr. Potty Mouth, Mr. Mop Head, Mr. Waste of Space (in tests) Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina (complete flop in tests) and His Magnificence Lord Sir Shree Shree Ravindra Jadeja the Great.
Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina are flops in tests so not them.
Anyone who seriously suggests Ishant Sharma should immediately be deported to the Communist Utopia of North Korea for crimes against freedom of speech. Just because you have the right to say whatever you want does not mean you have the right to be a fuckign idiot. Ishant Sharma as test captain of India sounds like Ralph Wiggums as the President of USA or Rahul NoBrain as the PM of India.
His Magnificence Lord Sir Shree Shree Ravindra Jadeja the Great is above such mundane things like captaincy, so not him either.
That leaves the potty mouth. There can be a realistic argument that he could have been made the captain in 2011.
But thankfully, better sense had prevailed. Not everyone is a Graeme Smith. Instead of pushing the young lad in the fire, he was groomed, given time to mature and to step up and take the mantle. The small one day serieses/serii where he was made captain gave him invaluable experience in captaincy which will undoubtedly help in future. (He has spent his whole IPL captaincy tenure MCing an BCing, so that does not count….and anyway there is a difference in pissing off a few Bangaloreans and pissing off the whole nation).
So, Times Group, who should have been the captain?
Just imagine this scenario – Potty Mouth made the captain in 2011, India still loses the series in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia, everybody cries for his head, who is the next captain? Ishant Sharma??
Way back in 2012, MSD had said that he would think about ending his test career in 2013. When 2013 came, he probably was tempted to do so. He had nothing left to prove to anyone and could have gone out anytime.
Instead, he saw the schedule – 4 difficult away tours – and instead of abandoning the kids in the lions’ mouth shouldered the burden.
Another point – does anyone seriously think that he would have been fired after this series? That anyone in our selection team would have stopped him from reaching 100 tests? MSd could have easily hung around for another 10-12 test, especially as the next ones are in India, en route to improving his records as batsmen and captain.
Instead, he stepped down at a moment when there is nothing to lose and the next captain can play in a (comparatively) pressure free environment.
He could have just resigned from the captaincy and hung around, but that would have added the pressure on the new captain, so he just retired – no brouhaha, no jazz, no farewell; just one announcement and done.
And that goes exactly with his persona – everyone is witness to the numerous post win celebrations on the grounds that CSK and India have had – how many times have you seen the man hog the limelight?
Times Group, and so called experts, are blaming MSD for India’s test losses.
Apparently, it is MSD’s fault that the Indian batsmen could not face Dale Steyn or Morkel in South Africa or Anderson and Broad in England. Never mind the pacers, our batsmen are incapable of playing even Moeen Ali or Nathan Lyon – how the eff is all this MSD’s fault?
Its not only his batsmen who have let him down, the bowlers have contributed too.
Line and length are alien astrophysical concepts to the likes of Ishant, Shami, Umesh and Varun – less said about Mohit the better. Furthermore, they are all made of matchstick and liable to break down if a strong wind blows.
Bhubhaneshwar Kumar can bowl and has delivered but one man can’t do it all – by the end of the England series he was running on vapours and so far he has been injured in Australia.
Then there is Ashwin, perhaps the worst off spinner in Indian test history.
Its nigh on impossible to get 20 wickets in a test regularly with this lot, irrespective of who is the captain.
Another criticism at him is his bad test scores lately. This, in my view, is more a reaction to his extraordinary performances in the shorter formats of the game than anything else.
MSD still scored 82, 50, 71 and 82 in England whereas Potty Mouth could not differentiate between his arsehole and his elbow.
Its another matter that by the time he comes in to bat, India is usually in deepshit, which forces him to play against his natural attacking instincts.
And yet, he still saved that 3rd test.
India were on a similar position on days 5 of the 1st and 3rd test. It was upto the captains of the days to lead – one man chose a Charge of the Light Brigade approach and lost the test, the other saved the test.
See people, a Charge of the Light Brigade approach might sound exciting and romantic, all guns ablaze, gung ho, full steam ahead, going down in a blaze of glory etc…but the most important thing to remember about going down in a blaze of glory is that you are still going down.
The most important measure of a person is how his or her peers and juniors rank/rate/judge them, because ultimately they know best, not TOI journalists and so called experts.
And none of MSD’s peers, juniors or even seniors have a bad word about him – that’s the true mark of greatness.
The man can now rest easy in the pantheon.