India news December 27, 2012

Break from captaincy will benefit Dhoni - Gavaskar

ESPNcricinfo staff

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 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.

  • Mahmud 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.

  • Alex 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.

  • Prem 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.

  • Ashok 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.

  • Azad 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.

  • Ashok 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

  • Alex 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.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2012, 16:12 GMT

    well Dhoni has to be removed from captainship to have sense of discipline in Indian teamtemporarily removal is not good for captain. Gambhir will make lot better captain than Kohli. Gavaskar is getting old and is losing his balanced judgement.he failed to advise Sachin to retire in time .Now definitely Sachin is ranked second best player India has produced after Dravid. He clearly lost the chance of remaining best Indian player ever. If he continue to play than he may be ranked even after Gavaskar.

  • Dummy4 on December 28, 2012, 15:52 GMT

    The problem with a mishmash country like India is that regionalism will always prevail no matter what. For people supporting MSD, it appears that a lot of them do not really understand cricket! Test cricket is completely different to ODIs and T-20. MSD is a good ODI and T20 player and understands the game instinctively, but is completely out of his depth at the test level and it shows. People criticising SMG and even citing his own captancy records, all I can say is that the man was a legend at the test level and a shrewd strategic captain. Blessed with a pop gun attack and a single world class bowler who also happened to be one of the best allrounders ever, SMG's reliance on a defensive mindset was completely understandable. But when the opportunity presented itself, he could go on the attack (remember B&H WSC 1985 down under??). The man knows what he is talking about. MSD sadly is dragging India down. No other captain has lost 10 tests out of 13 and remained in charge.