October 8, 2012

Indian cricket

'Time for Kohli to replace Dhoni'

India have endured 18 ordinary months in international cricket, and many are of the opinion that MS Dhoni has kept his captaincy just because there are no viable alternatives. At CNN-IBN, though, Gaurav Kalra believes Virat Kohli is ready for the job. Kalra cites the Graeme Smith example to suggest age should not be the criteria here.

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.

Boria Majumdar, writing in Outlook, thinks similarly. Although he mentions Test and ODI captaincy shouldn't be thrust upon him just yet, but he should be given T20 captaincy, after the latest World Twenty20 debacle.

With Dhoni's India not making the semi-finals of the T20 world cup yet again after being inaugural champions in 2007, fans' patience is fast running out. It is imperative that Indian cricket is fast brought back on track. We have been starved of a major success for 18 long months and need a new champion with younger blood at the helm. Without doubt, it is time to give it to Virat.

Virat Kohli's aggression and his single-mindedness towards success was his trait right since his childhood. Priyadarshini Sen, in Outlook explores his personality, and talks to his brother, friends, teacher and former cricketers, who say that his obduracy has helped him achieve his goals.

"Did single-minded obsession with cricket make him aloof and overly aggressive? "Of course, he's aggressive," says Virat's older brother Vikas. "He knows how to chase his dreams and gets obdurate when he sets his mind on something. Is there really any other way to achieve success?" Former India player Nikhil Chopra, among those who selected Virat for the Delhi Ranji team, says his understanding of the game, continuous self-renewal and maturity were evident at a young age.


© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.