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Break from captaincy will benefit Dhoni - Gavaskar

ESPNcricinfo staff

December 27, 2012

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MS Dhoni swings his arms, India v England, 2nd Twenty20 international, Mumbai, December 22, 2012
Sunil Gavaskar on MS Dhoni: "He needs time to reflect on his game and come back in a better way." © BCCI
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni | Sunil Gavaskar | Virat Kohli
Teams: India

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes it would do MS Dhoni good to take "a break" from the India captaincy. Dhoni, Gavaskar said, could keep his place in the team as a player, and use the time away from the responsibilities and pressures of leading India to "reflect on his game".

"It's still early days as far as 2015 World Cup is concerned, and I believe that a break in captaincy will do wonders for Dhoni," Gavaskar told Indian news channel NDTV. "I am not saying that it has to happen during the middle of a series but maybe after the Australia series [in February] or later part of 2013."

Gavaskar's comments came after a difficult 18 months for Indian cricket, during which Dhoni's team was whitewashed in Test series in England and Australia and lost a home Test series for the first time in eight years. Following the high of the 2011 World Cup triumph, they have also not enjoyed any significant success in limited-overs cricket, failing to make the finals of the CB tri-series in Australia and the Asia Cup, and exiting in the second round of the World Twenty20.

While Dhoni's calm under duress is a positive according to Gavaskar, he said that Dhoni needed to rethink his game: "He needs time to reflect on his game and come back in a better way. I am very impressed with the manner [in which] he remains cool and unlike other captains doesn't clap and all, but a little break won't be bad.

"Captaining India is a privilege but the demands and pressures that come with it are incredible ... He can be part of the team [without being captain] for the next couple of years as he is a match-winner."

Following India's Test defeat at home against England earlier this month, Gavaskar had said batsman Virat Kohli looked ready to take over the Test captaincy. Now, he reiterated that Kohli had the qualities required to lead India. "I could be wrong but Virat Kohli might bring the flair of Tiger Pataudi in his captaincy. If he knows that he will be appointed for the long term, he has the dynamism, the aggression, panache and class.

"I like everything about him apart from his mouthing abuses when he reaches a milestone. I don't want him to change anything else, as he can bring in a lot of dynamism."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by   on (December 30, 2012, 4:50 GMT)

Unmukt Chand and Shikhar Dhawan should be groomed as the next openers. Dhoni should play at no3 and kohli at no4. Dhoni can be the attacking no3 like Ponting and not a defensive no3 like Dravid. We need someone to take the attack to the opponents. Dhoni can play as an allrounder and let Saha or Parthiv keep wickets. Dhoni batting at no7 or 8 in tests is an absolute waste of his explosive batting talent.

Posted by khurdum on (December 29, 2012, 8:45 GMT)

I don't agree with Gavaskar. He is always after somebody who put his leg on his tail. Dhoni is the best Captain in respect of fighting skill and individual performance during crisis. Say about the latest T20 match on 28 Dec,12. In ODI's he is going to perform well to stop mouth of gav and others. It is not very difficult to understand gav and his feelings. He is so ordinary that he feels jealous like any other common man in india. He wanted others to hear him and obey when he used to play under the Captaincy of others. One Captain didn't listen to him. Gavaskar got angry. He scored 39 runs in 60 overs -created history remaining not out in that game- but india lost.

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 29, 2012, 0:31 GMT)

Dhoni is politically correct speaking captain. Somehow he escapes regionlism issue in that you can't tell him he is supporting player from south or north. Dhoni is not tactically brilliant captain. he is adequate in tactics. Issue for me is this , players stops playing for him. He can win here and there but against top level teams , his team is not fighting. When team do not fight captain has to go. I do not mind losing as long as we fight and lose. We did object surrender in 10-losses. Not even a sense of fight , Sehwag is bigger culpirit in that he got affected by dhoni's ego and self destructed. if sehwag wanted dhoni to lose he could have batted defensively and india could have still lost. Throwing your wicket and say this is the way i bat do not make sense to me. I really want gambhir to be given chance in Test before kohli takes over. Dhoni needs to be dropped from Test and replaced by Dinesh karthik. Also i will keep gambhir as ODI / T20 captain.

Posted by Ms.Cricket on (December 28, 2012, 23:41 GMT)

For once in recent years Gavaskar has spoken some sense. Dhoni should be retained as captain but told to take a break for a specified period. And IPL should be diluted to allow Indian players to remain fresh.

Posted by Nampally on (December 28, 2012, 22:41 GMT)

@Alex400: You did a Ha,Ha on Dhoni, Sehwag & Gambhir but thought Kohli may be a captaincy material. Did you look up who has better batting average between Pujara, Ashwin & Kohli? These are the 3 guys who will be in the Test side and are all approximately the same age. Pujara leads Kohli by a Mile in batting averages, technique & temperament as a Test class batsman. Pujara also has some Captaincy experience as has Tiwary. Kohli has no captaincy experience. Furthermore Kohli needs to take some courses on (1) Anger Management (2) Diplomacy & language refinement. Pujara does not need those courses nor do Tiwary or Ashwin. So these are the 3 potential candidates for future Indian Captaincy if one goes by some basis. If you go by "Gut feeling", like Gavaskar, then unless your guts have eyes, you will fail. Excellent Cricketing ability & Knowledge + Tempered attitude + Leadership by making things happen, are the Captaincy qualities.Very few have them all. Pujara has most of them +dedication.

Posted by riverbaby11 on (December 28, 2012, 21:48 GMT)

Nonsense! there is no one else who can captain this team and command a place in all three formats. Yuvi may be but they don't let him play Tests ,So let Dhoni captain the side and leave Virat alone to make runs.He is too young and important for this team.Dhoni may not be doing well ,but he is more hardworking than Sehwag and less ignorant than Gambhir :-). If Dhoni needs a break from captaincy he needs to take it during IPL. I am sure Chennai can find another bad captain for a month.

Posted by Nampally on (December 28, 2012, 18:56 GMT)

Irrespective of what Gavaskar says, the Fans have been howling to get rid of Dhoni since the 8-0 whitewash in 2 tours abroad. Many fans have also called for 3 different captains for 3 formats. It is about time the Selectors do this. For Example: Pujara (Tests), Dhoni (ODI), Yuvraj or Raina (T-20). This makes the team more streamlined & format dedicated. Right now S.Nadeem is the best T20 bowler & he is not even seen on the Radar. Get individuals specific to a format. It should start with the Captaincy followed by individuals best suited for each format. That is the only way India will have intensity in each team. Dhoni cannot work in all 3 formats even if he had the ability to be a good captain. Pushing personal favourites must stop. It is time to choose the best guys for each format so that the Team India benefits. Nepotism & Favouritism must stop & even the Legends need to be honest to themselves & to Team India.Honestly, Kohli as a Test Captain is mockery of the job M Sunil Gavaskar

Posted by Alexk400 on (December 28, 2012, 17:46 GMT)

Problem is options. If we had better options , we would have replaced dhoni after 8-0 loss. No one in the world cricket can with stand 10-0 loss. Loss after loss. He has godfather in n srinivasan who keep him in the job for his own economical benefits. He is a hypocrite. He blamed Modi for all bad things in IPL and he does same thing in different way. Sehwag is utter waste as captain , his brainless comments will start war. Hahaha. Gambhir batting is iffy nowadays and he is emotional and still angry. Hahaha. He is best stop gap bet as captain for me. Kohli is a captaincy material. I wonder his batting suffers because if he becomes captain india loses , he explodes badly and will affect his batting. And then no one else. This is why Dhoni is lucky in that no real opposition even when his mojo deserted him. One thing i give to him though, even things are ugly in 10-0 , he handled situation in calmly as good as any captain ever. But for me he has to go. We need to experiment creatively.

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