MS Dhoni the dashing cricketer was shunted out. That is what reports say. But it is good for him on personal basis.
Now the reality is that he’ll be able to play free cricket and express himself as the aggressive MS Dhoni we knew when he first came into the team.
As a player, responsibility can take that away from you. Now people think it’s time he enjoys his cricket because he has taken so much burden for the country. He will not have the stress and also the burden of captaincy on him.
The matter of stepping down was discussed with Dhoni during the last week’s Ranji tie in Nagpur, where he was present as the mentor of Jharkhand.
After that things moved quickly it is reported. Mahendra Singh Dhoni conveyed his decision to quit as the limited-overs captain to the BCCI on January 4 before the announcement was made.
There has been pressure on Dhoni over his captaincy. While Virat Kohli’s standing has zoomed — he has led India to five Test-series wins in a row — the ODI side’s performance has been patchy.
In 2015, India lost to South Africa at home, were beaten 4-1 in Australia early last year, and then scraped past New Zealand 3-2 towards the year end.
Dhoni though led India to the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup, where they lost to co-hosts Australia, the eventual champions. India won seven and lost six ODIs last year.
Dhoni’s camp argued the ODI team wasn’t as dominating as the Test side because the selectors were focused entirely on the longer format.
They picked a full-strength side for the Test series against New Zealand and England but rested main bowlers R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja for the ODIs against the Kiwis.
However, the Test side did consistently well despite injuries to several players.
Kohli, in his interview after being named limited-overs captain, said: “It’s a win-win situation for the captain coming in to still have Dhoni for his advice, his inputs and his cricketing brain.