Sunday 10 August 2014 

Where Has India's Fighting Spirit Gone?

MS Dhoni has come under fire - is the time right to start looiking for his successor?
MS Dhoni has come under fire - is the time right to start looking for his successor?
© REUTERS / Action Images
 

When this Test series started it was not only a test of two teams but also of the two captains who were under enormous pressure because of their recent results; as the series has progressed we can now see that Alastair Cook is a better captain than MS Dhoni.

The Test series is now in favour of England as they are 2-1 up with a game to play. Even England wouldn’t have dreamt that they will control this Test match from the first hour of the first day itself. The Indians were eight for four at one point of time. Dhoni then rescued his team by scoring 71, showing some fight when he batted but when it came to captaining his side he failed again.

Dhoni's Record As Test Captain

Tests: 57
Won: 27
Drawn:14
Lost: 16

Overseas

Tests: 27
Won: 6
Drawn: 8
Lost: 13

Wins outside Asia: 3
Draws outside Asia: 7

Dhoni didn't lose a Test as captain until his 12th game in charge, an innings defeat to South Africa in 2010.

Some say it is hard to know what Dhoni actually thinks. His field placements and bowling changes are more often than not very surprising and even cricket experts are not able to describe them.

What surprises me most is that he is not able to keep the passion and fighting spirit alive among the players. When players are playing for their country it is very important for them to know that they should keep trying hard and give their best until the very last ball.

When things are not going Dhoni’s way he more often than not goes into his shell and keeps quiet. He waits for things to happen and stops making any further plans. In limited overs cricket these things don’t show up but in a Test match it is evident.

If the captain is not able to make his team come back from bad situations then for sure he is not good enough to captain the side. Dhoni is always under pressure when a Test match is being played overseas. He only occasionally talks to his bowlers on field.

The bowling unit of India is young and they need guidance. Dhoni has got the experience and he should use it. Since he is the wicket-keeper as well he has the best view of how comfortable or uncomfortable a batsman is.

He should always share his tips instantly with the bowler and not wait for a break in the play.

It seems sometimes that the workload of being a Test captain is too much for him. The Indian selectors need to think hard on this captaincy issue and choose someone else as the captain.

A new captain will bring in new plans. India surely needs an aggressive captain like Saurav Ganguly. Ganguly never gave up in any condition or situation. He guided the youngsters brilliantly during his time. He also motivated his players well on field.

Indian cricket fans are shocked by this dismal performance. Things are going from bad to worse and India could lose the fifth Test match as well. The only hope is someone scoring a big double-hundred in the next Test to save India which seems like a dream right now.

So, will team India again surrender under Dhoni? This question will be stuck in everyone’s mind for next few days.

All Indian cricket fans would love to see India fight hard. Losing a test match is not a problem but giving up early is a major problem which the team management should solve right now.

© Cricket World 2014

Fixtures & Results

9th-13th July: 1st Test, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 457 & 391-9 dec. (Binny 78) drew with
England 496 (Root 154no, Anderson 81)
17th-21st July: 2nd Test, Lord's, London
India 295 & 342 (Vijay 95, Jadeja 68) beat
England 319 & 223 (Sharma 7-74) by 95 runs
27th-31st July: 3rd Test, The Ageas Bowl, Southampton
England 569-7 dec. & 205-4 dec. beat
India 330 & 178 (Ali 6-67) by 266 runs
7th-11th August: 4th Test, Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester
England 367 (Root 77, Buttler 70) beat
India 152 & 166 by an innings & 54 runs
15th-19th August: 5th Test, The Kia Oval, London
England 486 (Root 149no, Cook 79) beat
India 148 & 94 by an innings & 244 runs
25th August: 1st ODI, Bristol
Match abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain
27th August: 2nd ODI, SWALEC Stadium, Cardiff
India 304-6 (Raina 100, Woakes 4-52) beat
England 161 (Jadeja 4-28) by 133 runs (D/L)
30th August: 3rd ODI, Trent Bridge, Nottingham
India 228-4 (Rayudu 64no) beat
England 227 (Cook 44) by six wickets
2nd September: 4th ODI, Edgbaston, Birmingham
India 212-1 (Rahane 106, Dhawan 97no) beat
England 206 (Moeen Ali 67) by nine wickets
5th September: 5th ODI, Headingley, Leeds
England 294-7 (Root 113, Buttler 49) beat
India 253 (Jadeja 87) by 41 runs
7th September: T20I, Edgbaston, Birmingham
England 180-7 (Morgan 71, Hales 40)
India 177-5 (Kohli 66) by three runs