India news May 3, 2014

Dhoni can lead India for three-four years - Fleming

ESPNcricinfo staff

Stephen Fleming, the Chennai Super Kings coach and former New Zealand captain, feels that MS Dhoni can lead his country for another three to four years but is not sure whether he will be able to do so across Tests, ODIs and T20s given the amount of cricket India play.

"I haven't spoken to him on this issue. But he is in fine shape and if he is fit, he can continue to lead for at least a good three to four years," Fleming told PTI. "Having said that, I don't know how long he will be playing all three formats. It's pretty hard as India have such a tight schedule.

Dhoni has been India's captain in limited-overs cricket since 2007 and in Tests since 2008. He has led his country in 53 Tests, 159 ODIs and 48 T20 internationals. No one has captained India in as many Tests and T20s, and only Mohammad Azharuddin led in more one-dayers than Dhoni has.

Dhoni will turn 33 in July. In January 2012, he had said he might have to give up one of the formats if he was to lead India's World Cup defence in 2015. Such a decision would be made only at the end of 2013, he had said then.

Fleming said that an international captain could have issues if he led for more than four years, but added that this did not seem to apply to Dhoni. "Dhoni and Graeme Smith have been exceptions, but I feel that an international captain has a shelf-life of four years. After that it is easier to get back as another normal cricketer; if you have been the leader for too long, then it becomes difficult once you leave the job. You tend to miss the decision-making authority and stuff like that. In fact, I faced similar problems after I quit captaincy."

Dhoni's leadership style had suited the Indian team very well over the years, Fleming said. "Indians look for consistency and have a pattern. They have such talents that on a given day, some of them can single-handedly win matches. You don't need too dynamic or too radical thought-processes when you have players like [Virat] Kohli, Dhoni. In the case of the New Zealand team, Brendon [McCullum] has to be a bit dynamic and try a different strategy as they don't have a talent pool like India."

Apart from his India responsibilities, Dhoni has also been Super Kings' captain right from the inaugural IPL in 2008. Fleming has also been involved with the franchise since then, first as a player for the 2008 season and thereafter as coach. He said he had tried to ensure Dhoni enjoyed his time in franchise cricket while taking a breather from India duties. "What I try to provide MS is with two months of enjoyment, so that he can come into the Chennai side having taken a break from the Indian team. He loves his game and looks a pretty comfortable man winning games for Chennai consistently."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2014, 13:36 GMT

    Dear Sir, We Would Like to see M.S Dhoni has captain Team India will next four more Year, He must quit the Chennai Super King Captaincy and T20 International Captaincy, Our BCCI think tank must keep & preserve the M.S.Dhoni in good condition like Mentally and Physically Fittest as a player, We always see MSD has Test and One Day Captain of India.

  • Sriram on May 5, 2014, 12:12 GMT

    Dhoni might quict ODI captaincy afer WC 2015 and possibly allow Kholi to develop for the next WC, but there is also a WT20 in India, so he may fany that. As for Tests, unfortunately no successor in sight! Kholi too young and inexperienced to lead in Tests, yes Smith, MAK all did it but they were of a different league. Kholi so far in IPL and Asia cup has shown that he still has some way to go before he can raise his bar as a captain. With no other contender it could be that Kholi is pushed into captaincy quickly. The big question though is how long will Dhoni himself go in Tests? His record is nothing to be proud of, but he alone cannot change it. He lacks resources in bowling and with England and Aus tour rekconing its a huge pressure to deliver. Another 5-0 or 4-0 will be totally tarnish his reputation, if not already in Tests. Pujara has a calm approach but can he lead India in Tests, a touch prospect. Like SL, India too will struggle for leaders in Tests.

  • Isaac on May 5, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    I'm sure at least a few might think like me. Seeing the way Ashwin carries himself, the way he talks (I think he is quite knowledgeable) he should be given the proper grooming to lead the country in Tests. Kolhi should be preserved like Sachin was kept aside for batting (we all know what captaincy did to Sachin). Just worth a shot.

  • Naresh on May 5, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    Kohli has question marks on his tempers. If he learns to be a cool customer he should be the one to take over. Only time, maturity and experience will tell. Starting next Test tour India needs a new leader. Dhoni is perfect for the shorter versions and then only up to the end of next WC in Oz/Nz. The next coolest of the lot is RAINA for ODI's. There is also no reason why a good bowler could become TEST captain e.g. Kumble's era. No one has stood up and showed the interest to lead. The IPL has been good for Indian cricket in that it gives a broader spectrum and shows up the talent that is there.

  • Imran on May 5, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    Tests are the different type of game. Though DHONI is mature enough to be a test captain yet his as well as the team india parformance are not good at all specially in foreign wickets. Thats why it is time to choose a new test captain. A test captain should be aggesive, good tempered and best player. Kohli will be the first choice. Pujara will be a big name. In rest of the formet Dhoni is excilent.

  • Dummy4 on May 5, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    dhoni was best leader but i think his prime is past , dhoni get defensive over the time , when india became #1 in test there 5 century back to back by sachin & gambhir , sehwag , zaheer even ishant was firing & dravid & laxman how to forget him , but now days some retired & some r out of form & out of team new player not that promosing , especially bowlers

  • Sk Sahin on May 5, 2014, 7:15 GMT

    I don't think Dhoni should continue test captain ship, as his record (out side India ) is very poor. For one day & T20 he should continue as captain another 2-3 years. For Test immediately we need to find new leader. i think selector will definitely think about it.....

  • Android on May 5, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    Dhoni has aired his opinion that, if he wanted to lead India for the title defence in AUS-NZ next year, he will have to quit captaincy of one format which likely will be tests. But the billio dollar question is who is the next lilely successor after him to take the reigns of test captaincy?

  • mahendra on May 4, 2014, 20:13 GMT

    Give Dhoni a half decent test bowling attack and you will see the difference. He took India to no 1 ranking in tests with a mediocre bowling attack . Very few captains could have done that in the history of our beloved sport. MS, You are a champion.

  • Binu on May 4, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    Pujara can be a good test captain and dhoni can lead india in all other format, Sanju or KL rahul can replace dhoni is the test team

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