January 10, 2013

Dhoni needs a second wind as captain

He's still the best man for the job, for a number of reasons, but his leadership style could do with tweaking
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In the last six months, MS Dhoni has been under enormous pressure as captain and batsman. Leading India is a tough job and it is going to get even tougher because of the situation the team finds itself in.

I believe, though, that not only is Dhoni the only man to lead India in Test cricket, he is still capable of doing the job well. What it will require from him is a change in the way he captains, a recognition that he can't do everything all the time, and the willingness to ask for and accept help. He has had a good run, and will be recognised as India's most successful captain, and he now has a chance to extend it.

Other than his leadership qualities, there is the fact that there are no alternatives to Dhoni at this stage.

At one point we felt Gautam Gambhir could take over the job. In 2008-09, Gautam showed he could definitely play at the international level and in all formats. His captaincy of Kolkata Knight Riders in the last IPL was excellent. Yet what goes against him today is the fact that he has not scored too many Test runs in the last three years, and he averages under 32. Also, unlike Dhoni, Gautam does not have a second skill to back up his batting, even if that skill is being an excellent slip fielder. It is not a good precedent to have R Ashwin stand in slips (or Cheteshwar Pujara shuttling between short leg and slips with pads on) when there are frontline batsmen in the side who should be in catching positions, be they slips or short leg.

Still, Gautam's batsmanship and experience remain very important for the team, and giving him the captaincy at a time like this would be a burden on him. Before anything else, he has to get his Test batting back on track. If he does, he still has age on his side.

Virat Kohli is the only other alternative leader, and he ticks the box of being an automatic selection in all three formats. Yet I believe it's a little early for him. At the moment, he is a growing, developing cricketer. I would love for him to get the job after India has played another 15 or so Tests, which means after the England tour, in September 2014. If he can keep his form and develop till then, it will be a good time for him to take over. He is a long-term prospect as batsman and captain, but giving him the Test captaincy at this stage might be risky.

It is important for Dhoni now, even though he has no serious challengers, to make sure that he has the energy and the drive to still captain. Because if he doesn't, he should call it quits: the lack of energy and drive will show, and that will not go do his legacy or Indian cricket any good.

Everyone speaks about the tour of South Africa this December as being a crucial one, but there is more after South Africa: India go to New Zealand, and in the northern summer of 2014 they play five Tests in England. Between the home series against Australia next month and the end of that England tour, there are 15 Test matches. At the end of those 15 Tests, if Dhoni can have turned things around for Indian cricket, have had a couple of good overseas tours, and can then hand over the captaincy to the next man, that would rank among his greatest achievements. He would have taken the responsibility of leading a team in transition and left it in a better state.

What I like about Dhoni is that he is a leader by example. We saw this in the Nagpur Test match - and not merely from his second-innings 99. In Nagpur, because the wicket was slow, Dhoni came up to the stumps to Ishant Sharma, who was bowling at 140kph. To do that was gutsy, because it had "break your finger" written all over it. Dhoni was willing to take that chance, and to me, in some ways, that shows leadership. Sometimes he promotes himself up the batting order at critical times - the World Cup final was a good example. He is willing to play through niggles and injuries. That provides an example for others in the team to follow. When he bats with the tail, he plays his shots, can improvise, and shows he is not there to protect his own runs or his wicket.

There's a lot of talk of split captaincy these days. It won't be a bad model for India to adopt, if only to keep Dhoni fresh as Test captain. Dhoni has got to recognise that he can't continue to captain and play all the time, because it is making him stale. The pressure of international cricket is huge - it lends itself to a lot of fatigue - and Dhoni has been in the job a long time now. Once the early charm and excitement of captaining a team wear off, you need to pace yourself.

To start with, Dhoni could easily give up the India T20 and Chennai Super Kings captaincies. He has already achieved whatever there is to achieve in those roles. He needs to take breaks between captaining and keeping and playing. He should certainly play ODIs and T20s for India, because he is invaluable to the side. Giving up a couple of captaincy roles might give him more time in the main India job and the freshness to keep doing it. It would also give India an opportunity to perhaps give someone like Kohli a chance to be T20 captain, break him into the job and see how he goes.

Dhoni could easily give up the India T20 and Chennai Super Kings captaincies. He has already achieved whatever there is to achieve in those roles. He needs to take breaks between captaining and keeping and playing

There is another option for Dhoni as well, which he has resorted to in the past: to miss the odd one-day series and prepare himself for the big competitions like the Champions Trophy, the World Cup and the T20 World Cup. It would mean talking it through with the selectors and telling them that he will do the job but he's going to need his breaks and breathing space. In the past, he missed a Test series in Sri Lanka when he wasn't even captain, and an ODI series against Zimbabwe. It is time to revisit that strategy.

Dhoni must also recognise that he needs to change a very successful leadership style - almost change direction - because the team is changing.

India will always be competitive in limited-overs cricket; it is in Test cricket that the real transition is taking place. The departures of Sachin and Zaheer, and now Veeru, mean there's a bit of a shake-up in ODIs, but it is more stark in Test cricket. Over the last five years as captain, for the most part Dhoni led a team that had a lot of experienced players. He led on instinct and gut feel, and it worked brilliantly for him. His team-mates included Sachin, myself, Laxman, Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan, and we didn't need instructions about what to do to perform. Now Dhoni is captaining a team with young guys, who need more communication and guidance. They are learning about international cricket and dealing with their own stresses and challenges; they need someone to help them, to explain what is happening - for example, when people are dropped.

One of the criticisms directed at Dhoni has been that there is very little communication about plans and roles either. He is not one for bowling plans and bowlers' meetings. When you have senior bowlers like Zaheer, Kumble and Harbhajan, the captain need not worry about all that because the bowlers know what to do. On the other hand, the younger bowlers coming in now, like Ashwin and Ojha, need to know what the plan is, and need to make sure that they are on the same page. They need to discuss strategy and planning well before they go onto the field. Without that, younger guys in a team can get a bit disoriented.

Bowling attacks make good captains and successful teams. Dhoni needs to identify the next generation of bowlers who can do the job for him, because without a good bowling attack, India are going to struggle; they might have the odd success, but I can't see how they're going to be competitive and stay that way.

If Dhoni needs help, he needs to be clear about what kind of help, and he needs to ask for it. He should take advice and assistance from people around him: guys like Duncan Fletcher and the support staff have knowledge to provide. Dhoni has got to start tapping those resources a bit more in terms of tactics and strategy. Maybe he needs to listen to what other people say, rather than always relying on his instinct - especially with respect to the bowlers.

I don't think anybody expects him to have great success in the immediate future. People recognise that this is a period of transition and that there are going to be tough days. What they need to know, though, is that the way forward has been clearly mapped. Dhoni has got to have a vision of where he wants this team to be at the end of that England tour next year. And he needs to identify a set of players to take India through the next five years.

This is a critical phase for Indian cricket. If Dhoni wants to lead India, the job is going to demand a lot more energy and involvement from him. He is the man for it at the moment, if he can find that second wind.

Rahul Dravid scored over 24,000 international runs for India between 1996 and 2012

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY PPD123 on | January 10, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Completely agree with Dravid. The way forward for Dhoni should be to give up the T20 captaincy for India and CSK. That will keep him fresh and involved. Again the point around a core bowling group is so important. For India to stay competitive, there is no doubt that India will need quality seamers and spinners, India is clearly lacking on that front and that is the reason why we see India really struggling at this stage. Apart from Dhoni, I think Duncan fletcher needs to play a more active role. Given the composition of the current Indian team the coaching style has to be more directional since there are a lot of youngsters just getting to know their trade at the highest level. Gary Kirsten's style of passive/behind the scenes coaching was appropriate for that group which had players with 80/100 tests and 200+ ODIs. The next 18 months is key to the success of India cricket for the next decade, and dhoni and fletcher will play a key role to define the path it will take moving forwards.

  • POSTED BY aapkay2 on | January 10, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Rahul We are so glad you have become a commentator. You have been, and will always remain , a class act. If there is a survey among fans who in cricket since it all started, with greatest sportmanship spirit, Rahul will rank high up there. It is people like Rahul, that millions of middle class Indians like me sent their children to play cricket, because they want their children to emulate the spirit of cricket, which unlike other sports out there, epitomizes elegance, courtesy, politeness, and a noble soul. Rahul embodies these characteristics. So pleased that he brings that talent to commentary too. One small comment. Junaid Khan did short work of Indian batsmen including the great Kohli. Why are Indian seamers not taught to swing ball both ways? They too can destroy the other batting order, as Mr. Khan did recently. We spend tens of millions of dollars in cricket, but why no swing bowlers in our line-up? A fan of Indian cricket, and of Mr. Rahul Dravid in particular

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I commend this article for some positive thinking. Rahul Dravid has always been a thinking cricketer. His suggestions should help Dhoni a lot. One can always work on one's strengths but sometime the need to change one's approach because of changed situations requires some deep thought. With the team in a transitional stage, Dravid's suggestions based on his experience both as a captain and one who has played under different captain style, Dhoni will benefit a lot by taking his suggestions. He is our best bet as the captain now. It will take some time and experience to develop the new captain. Kohli ,may be a long term prospect but he has to develop some mental strengths and cool thinking to lead others.

  • POSTED BY 123cric on | January 10, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    I feel Dhoni as a T-20 & ODI leader has a lot to offer since that format suits his style of play and his captaincy also which is intuitive. Test cricket on the other hand needs more text books sort of preparation which isn't Dhoni's style. His place in the Test team is also a matter of debate. A captain is always good as a team, all great captains like Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ganguly were successful because they captained a good team.Personally i feel he still is the best bet and has a lot to offer to Indian cricket. He needs to be a bit selective in the matches to play ( he can miss an odd ODI, T-200 series) and for sure needs to give IPL a miss.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 12, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    @Natraja:There are certain things you learn as a Cricketer w.r.t.how you conduct yourselves to various needs. As a result you develop a sixth sense as a Captain. MSD does not have it in him. He benches guys irrationally-never thinks what it is to be benched 10 times in a row.He is inflexible, stubborn & not a empathetic team man like Cook. These are all part of cricket culture. E.G., Pujara could have been easily fitted in this ODI by dropping one of the seamers & using Yuvi +Raina(both all rounders) as the 5th bowler. But MSD was so hung up that he will not budge! India has a crop of fine bowlers who are currently available. Sreesanth did well in India A game- why is he not in the squad. S.Nadeem is the best spinner in Ranji but not in the squad. Agarkar, J.Saxena,Shami, all available & better than the bowlers in the XI. Why was Shami dropped by Dhoni in favour of Dinda+ Ishant? Pujara exudes maturity & confidence. He is emphathetic & conducts himself with proven leadership qualities.

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 12, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    @ Mumbaiguy and Nampally: Fair points even though I do not understand what cricket culture Nampally is talking about which Pujara and Tiwary know and Dhoni doesn't. Now where I disagree with you guys is your putting all blame on Dhoni for the losses. You are ignoring the fact that our current crop of the bowlers are so pathetic that none of them will find a place in second team of 4 top cricketing countries. And to win matches on their strength is next to impossible. So unless we find two good match winning bowlers we will be losing most of the games no matter what. In past to Kumble, Harbhaja and Zaheer were there to help mighty batting but now batting is not ably supported and when ever batsmen fail India will lose big time. And no captain will be able to do anything. So changing Dhoni is not the solution. He is still the best we have.

  • POSTED BY g.jeevan05 on | January 12, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Spot on,what to say.Dravid being a former mate of Dhoni has clearly got us into an insight of Dhoni's captaincy and what he needs to do in the longer-run.Giving up T-20 captaincy might be a good idea to keep him mentally fresh but i doubt he will do it(atleast for CSK).It's a huge challenge and if Dhoni triumphs it will be bigger than the world cup

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 12, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    @Natraja: I am not being funny when I propose Pujara & Tiwary for future Test Captains. Tiwary captains Bengal & Oujara has capotained so many India A teams successfully. Botha re excellent batsmen & lithe fielders. They have better Cricket culture than Dhoni has. They are both confident guys & full of confidence. I like to see such guys who use their heads rather than favouritism for picking their team. Kohli is too blue in his language & is short tempered to the point of being insulting to everyone. He is not Captaincy material. Believe me both PUjara & Tiwary will make it to Indian team soon as soon as Dhoni moves out of the way or pushed out.

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | January 11, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    @Natraja I never said Dhoni doesn't deserve to be a wicket-keeper in the Indian side. He is probably the best wicket-keeper batsman India has ever had. I am talking more from a captaincy standpoint. Do you think he deserves to stay at the helm even after losing 8 matches away from home? Being a great cricketer doesn't automatically mean you are a good captain. Mike Brearely for example was a very good captain, but look at his stats and you would know. Captaincy is more about man management and making decisions (on and off the field). Time to move on.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    aapkay 2 above has beaten me to the draw.He has taken the words out of my mouth.Thanks Rahul for being what you are an d -yes -a very happy birthday to you!

  • POSTED BY PPD123 on | January 10, 2013, 13:14 GMT

    Completely agree with Dravid. The way forward for Dhoni should be to give up the T20 captaincy for India and CSK. That will keep him fresh and involved. Again the point around a core bowling group is so important. For India to stay competitive, there is no doubt that India will need quality seamers and spinners, India is clearly lacking on that front and that is the reason why we see India really struggling at this stage. Apart from Dhoni, I think Duncan fletcher needs to play a more active role. Given the composition of the current Indian team the coaching style has to be more directional since there are a lot of youngsters just getting to know their trade at the highest level. Gary Kirsten's style of passive/behind the scenes coaching was appropriate for that group which had players with 80/100 tests and 200+ ODIs. The next 18 months is key to the success of India cricket for the next decade, and dhoni and fletcher will play a key role to define the path it will take moving forwards.

  • POSTED BY aapkay2 on | January 10, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    Rahul We are so glad you have become a commentator. You have been, and will always remain , a class act. If there is a survey among fans who in cricket since it all started, with greatest sportmanship spirit, Rahul will rank high up there. It is people like Rahul, that millions of middle class Indians like me sent their children to play cricket, because they want their children to emulate the spirit of cricket, which unlike other sports out there, epitomizes elegance, courtesy, politeness, and a noble soul. Rahul embodies these characteristics. So pleased that he brings that talent to commentary too. One small comment. Junaid Khan did short work of Indian batsmen including the great Kohli. Why are Indian seamers not taught to swing ball both ways? They too can destroy the other batting order, as Mr. Khan did recently. We spend tens of millions of dollars in cricket, but why no swing bowlers in our line-up? A fan of Indian cricket, and of Mr. Rahul Dravid in particular

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I commend this article for some positive thinking. Rahul Dravid has always been a thinking cricketer. His suggestions should help Dhoni a lot. One can always work on one's strengths but sometime the need to change one's approach because of changed situations requires some deep thought. With the team in a transitional stage, Dravid's suggestions based on his experience both as a captain and one who has played under different captain style, Dhoni will benefit a lot by taking his suggestions. He is our best bet as the captain now. It will take some time and experience to develop the new captain. Kohli ,may be a long term prospect but he has to develop some mental strengths and cool thinking to lead others.

  • POSTED BY 123cric on | January 10, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    I feel Dhoni as a T-20 & ODI leader has a lot to offer since that format suits his style of play and his captaincy also which is intuitive. Test cricket on the other hand needs more text books sort of preparation which isn't Dhoni's style. His place in the Test team is also a matter of debate. A captain is always good as a team, all great captains like Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ganguly were successful because they captained a good team.Personally i feel he still is the best bet and has a lot to offer to Indian cricket. He needs to be a bit selective in the matches to play ( he can miss an odd ODI, T-200 series) and for sure needs to give IPL a miss.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 12, 2013, 16:56 GMT

    @Natraja:There are certain things you learn as a Cricketer w.r.t.how you conduct yourselves to various needs. As a result you develop a sixth sense as a Captain. MSD does not have it in him. He benches guys irrationally-never thinks what it is to be benched 10 times in a row.He is inflexible, stubborn & not a empathetic team man like Cook. These are all part of cricket culture. E.G., Pujara could have been easily fitted in this ODI by dropping one of the seamers & using Yuvi +Raina(both all rounders) as the 5th bowler. But MSD was so hung up that he will not budge! India has a crop of fine bowlers who are currently available. Sreesanth did well in India A game- why is he not in the squad. S.Nadeem is the best spinner in Ranji but not in the squad. Agarkar, J.Saxena,Shami, all available & better than the bowlers in the XI. Why was Shami dropped by Dhoni in favour of Dinda+ Ishant? Pujara exudes maturity & confidence. He is emphathetic & conducts himself with proven leadership qualities.

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 12, 2013, 14:57 GMT

    @ Mumbaiguy and Nampally: Fair points even though I do not understand what cricket culture Nampally is talking about which Pujara and Tiwary know and Dhoni doesn't. Now where I disagree with you guys is your putting all blame on Dhoni for the losses. You are ignoring the fact that our current crop of the bowlers are so pathetic that none of them will find a place in second team of 4 top cricketing countries. And to win matches on their strength is next to impossible. So unless we find two good match winning bowlers we will be losing most of the games no matter what. In past to Kumble, Harbhaja and Zaheer were there to help mighty batting but now batting is not ably supported and when ever batsmen fail India will lose big time. And no captain will be able to do anything. So changing Dhoni is not the solution. He is still the best we have.

  • POSTED BY g.jeevan05 on | January 12, 2013, 0:33 GMT

    Spot on,what to say.Dravid being a former mate of Dhoni has clearly got us into an insight of Dhoni's captaincy and what he needs to do in the longer-run.Giving up T-20 captaincy might be a good idea to keep him mentally fresh but i doubt he will do it(atleast for CSK).It's a huge challenge and if Dhoni triumphs it will be bigger than the world cup

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 12, 2013, 0:28 GMT

    @Natraja: I am not being funny when I propose Pujara & Tiwary for future Test Captains. Tiwary captains Bengal & Oujara has capotained so many India A teams successfully. Botha re excellent batsmen & lithe fielders. They have better Cricket culture than Dhoni has. They are both confident guys & full of confidence. I like to see such guys who use their heads rather than favouritism for picking their team. Kohli is too blue in his language & is short tempered to the point of being insulting to everyone. He is not Captaincy material. Believe me both PUjara & Tiwary will make it to Indian team soon as soon as Dhoni moves out of the way or pushed out.

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | January 11, 2013, 17:37 GMT

    @Natraja I never said Dhoni doesn't deserve to be a wicket-keeper in the Indian side. He is probably the best wicket-keeper batsman India has ever had. I am talking more from a captaincy standpoint. Do you think he deserves to stay at the helm even after losing 8 matches away from home? Being a great cricketer doesn't automatically mean you are a good captain. Mike Brearely for example was a very good captain, but look at his stats and you would know. Captaincy is more about man management and making decisions (on and off the field). Time to move on.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    aapkay 2 above has beaten me to the draw.He has taken the words out of my mouth.Thanks Rahul for being what you are an d -yes -a very happy birthday to you!

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2013, 15:31 GMT

    himohan007 Completely agree. I will add kohli to that list. So players of DD in the indian team are real let down. Since Kohli has been mentioned as a Captain his performance has dropped so low that he doesn't deserve to be in team along with Gambhir and Ishant. Its high time Gambhir is replaced with Chand/ Dhawan and kohli with Pujara. Ishant should make way for Shami.

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | January 11, 2013, 10:04 GMT

    Having read Vivekananda and having been inspired by the great Swami, I wish the man with the Gravitas of Dravid will change the second half of his name. This is for the man who calls himself Dravid_Gravitas_Statchin_Selfishkar.Cricket writers or even comment makers can hardly be expected to have such operational names.

  • POSTED BY Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on | January 11, 2013, 8:16 GMT

    Oh, one more very important thing Dravid anna, Wish You A Very Happy Birthday. Welcome to Club 40! You are the youngest kid in this club! January 11th is a special day for me, and millions like me, as this happens to be your birthday. January 12th is also special for me as it happens to be Swami Vivekananda's birthday. Two cerebral sons of India born on successive days. Blessed to have read Swami Vivekananda's books and blessed to have watched you play and met you once in 2002.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | January 11, 2013, 7:24 GMT

    I find this view from Rahul Dravid absurd - that Dhoni should think of relinquishing the captaincy of Chennai Super Kings. CSK is a huge success story, and Dhoni has played no small part in it. IF anything, in the last series, it is the CSK boys that have been performing! Just because the "India" team isn't clicking, Dhoni shouldn't have to consider jeopardizing the good of Chennai Super Kings. If anything, Gambhir should give up IPL all together and focus on his batting for India. Dhoni is doing great by himself. Let his less committed team mates make their sacrifices for their awesome captain who has given them a taste of success in every arena. May we suggest Sachin stop playing for Mumbai Indians to play better Test cricket?

  • POSTED BY mylife4cricket on | January 11, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    Yes,Dravid is right, But I am not so sure that Dhoni would listen to Dravid.In my opinion Gambhir should lead the team in T20s and he is 100% capable and then in ODIs let it be Dhoni for 6 months more as in my opinion Kohli should be apt for it,but now let him focus on his batting.This should be done as soon as possible as Champions Trophy is on the way and more importantly World Cup!.

  • POSTED BY himohan007 on | January 11, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    @nyc_missile: Here also supporting another DD fans views blindly. Not surprising that too many Delhi people being sole reason for Indian Cricket letdown esp. Shewag,Gambir,Ishant,T.A Sekar.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 11, 2013, 5:32 GMT

    My worst fear is that if Kohli stays a player under captain Dhoni any longer,he may lose his aggression and expressive-ness since he will be drowned in the defensive mindset and negativity in team meetings of Dhoni.Sooner Dhoni is taken away the captaincy the better on all accounts.

  • POSTED BY rkrdxb on | January 11, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Interesting and persuasive article from one of my all time favourite cricketers! I must confess I am no fan of Dhoni's captaincy. He appears to be more enthusiastic during T20s and OID's and is also able to contribute more with the bat as well in these formats. He seems to lack the passion for Tests and seems to go 'flat' and does not have the creative spark any longer (look at some of Michael Clark's bowling changes). Perhaps he can give up Test captaincy and then let us see if he is able to recover his Test batting form. Further there is a crying need for a pace bowling all rounder to bat at No. 6 (or 7 if Dhoni goes at 6) for Tests abroad.

  • POSTED BY Vnket on | January 11, 2013, 3:37 GMT

    One of the best, thoughtful, and relevant article I have read in a long time on Indian cricket. Rahul would be the best manager for the Indian team

  • POSTED BY BaraBoss on | January 11, 2013, 3:31 GMT

    If the Delhi team can beat England XI, they can beat India ODI team too.

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 11, 2013, 3:20 GMT

    @ Nampally, you forgot Rohit Sharma. Along with Pujara and Tiwary he is also a good captain material lol...

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 11, 2013, 3:19 GMT

    Nampally is so funny that he is proposing Tiwari and Pujara as captains. These guys have not even played 5 tests and are captain materials in his opinion. Thank God he is not one of the selectors. lol...

  • POSTED BY PrasadTV on | January 11, 2013, 3:14 GMT

    I agree upto some extent. Dhonis is a present trend captain , no doubt about that. He used to make good changes to bowling, field setting very effectively upto worldcup, later on he is following same pattern in most of the matches and the opposite team planning things a head of his changes. There may by vaious reasons like no consistant bowlers or fielders to implement the plan. Atleat for some matches we should try Kohli or Yuvraj who has tendency for winnding the game.

  • POSTED BY on | January 11, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    Excellent article Rahul!! The article is very rational, well thought through and is at the same time, polite. It is neutral and shows the way forward. I too believe that Dhoni is the best option we have. He must believe in it as well and must take the positivity that this article oozes. Well written!! Also, Rahul, I hope you arent ghost writing your articles.

  • POSTED BY Babu22 on | January 11, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    To the people who are saying that there is no alternative to MSD. There is. And the name is Md Kaif. With a weak UP team he won Ranji trophy and made finals in 2 other occasions. Is a much better batsman than MSD/Raina. Unlike MSD, Kaif has nothing to lose and doesn't hate test cricket. Is a traditional test match player, good spotter and nurturer of talent and has not much to do with IPL. I am sure he wouldn't do worse than MSD in tests. My test 11: Sehwag, Rahane, Pujara, Kohli, Kaif (c), Tiwary(?), Saha(wk), B Kumar, I Sharma, P Kumar/Dinda, Ojha. Plus of course good sporting piteches.

  • POSTED BY Cpt.Meanster on | January 11, 2013, 1:01 GMT

    I think we have the NEXT COACH of team India guys: Rahul Dravid !!!!! Throw out Fletcher NOW !

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | January 11, 2013, 0:30 GMT

    This is a very good article with right insights. The issue is Dhoni's attitude is becoming Mr. Cool to Mr. Don't Care when it comes to selecting the team. He is persisting too long with failing or out of form players. No matter how talented Rohit Sharma is, there should be no place for him in the team or playing eleven after so many repeated failures. He may have natural talent but probably not so good cricket brain to do justice to his talent.

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 11, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    @ Mumbai Guy, Tell me one wicket keeper in Indian cricket history who is better than Dhoni as Keeper? Just one! And prove it with statistics of achievement and not with some BS emotion. Tell us who has more catches and stumping in his entire career than Dhoni? Tell us who has better records of catch/stumping per test than Dhoni? Just give me one name. Just one name who has been better than Dhoni. Also tell me the name of one wicket keeper in the history of Indian cricket who has scored more runs with better average than Dhoni. And if you cant find one name from the history of Indian Test cricket then do us a favor. Stop all BS you are writing. Thank you. Cricinfo please publish.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    Many people are commenting here as if they know Kohli et al inside out. Captaincy requires way more qualities than just being able to perform and please the public. There are dressing room politics, and BCCI related politics that must all be handled with tact. Dhoni has seemed to control some of these fine, and knowing Kohli's temperament, I do not think it is time yet to give him the captaincy. Gambhir needs self confidence before someone may think about passing on the cap to him.

  • POSTED BY Angry_Bowler on | January 10, 2013, 23:34 GMT

    Test captaincy should be given to a class player like Rahul, Laxman, Sewag ext, and transfer all the old guys or after they prove in ODI or play long innings in first class matches like Pujara, Badhri, etc, and not T20 players like Jadeja, Youvraj, Raina, they are just good for shorter format of the game on flat pitches.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 23:23 GMT

    For Dhoni to be recognised as a great captain, India will have to win a few big series overseas. Until then Dhoni will remain as a mediocre captain. Win test series in England and Australia, and get your name amongst the greats. Simple.

  • POSTED BY wake_up_india on | January 10, 2013, 23:07 GMT

    The article appears to be self-contradictory -- how can Dhoni be the "only man" to lead India when he has to change so much? Why not give the captaincy to someone like Kohli who is "already there". This article is the result of Dravid's penchant with political correctness -- blame nobody and be nice to all. What is lacking, both in Dhoni and in Dravid (when he was captain himself), is something called FIRE IN THE BELLY.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 22:24 GMT

    I believe that Ganguly and Dravid should be made as Mentors for Indian Batting side. Kumble and Srinath/Prasad should be made as Mentors for the Bowling side. I don't feel that a positive environment is created by Duncan Fletcher in the team. The players look all at sea if things don't go their way. Indian team is in a transition phase now and it needs all the guidance from these great players who should put their egos aside and work collectively for the rise of Indian Cricket.

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | January 10, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    A model of how to offer advice and constructive criticism to a former team-mate without being petty or vindictive. So many cricket-writers quickly seem to forget that they are still dealing with a human being as well as a player. I hope Dravid will not forget. I feel a bit sorry for Dhoni. I believe there is actually such a thing as a good 'excellent team' captain and a good 'average team' captain (in recent English cricket, for example, I'd put Michael Vaughan in first category and Nasser Hussain in second). So the change Dhoni now needs to make may be beyond him. I don't see why Gambhir shouldn't be given a go - I have a feeling his more intense style may be a right thing for a young team that now needs whipping into shape. But, finally, India: you need to get more out of Duncan Fletcher!!! He could actually be very good for India right now, but you need to entrust him with a bit more power and authority.

  • POSTED BY samincolumbia on | January 10, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    As long as mediocre players like Jadeja, Ishant and Ashwin keep getting umpteeen chances with the blessing of Dhoni and the selectors, talented players like Dhawan, Pujara and Tiwary would forever be condemned to carrying drinks.

  • POSTED BY atheros1672 on | January 10, 2013, 22:18 GMT

    A real thinking cricketer and a gentleman!!! I agree on most of your comments Rahul, except that Dhoni is not the best cptain for Tests. Take teh recent test series s an example. He looked lost, clueless and given up. But i understand what you mean by no possible successor. The next possible one for tests could be Pujara but that is a long time away. So Dhoni has to find ways to stay motivated and best way to do that if he does not want to skip formats is to give up wicket keeping. The reason why I say this is because India also had the same problem when Nayan mongia retired. No real tested WK when he retired. We were just lucky that Dhoni came along before who we tested with several dozen possible keepers (including you Rahul :)). It is time to start looking for a replacement and to start grooming him as a player, batsmen and a keeper.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 10, 2013, 22:15 GMT

    Dravid is talking about changes needed in Dhoni to make a good leader. How can you teach Old Dog new Tricks? Dhoni is so set in his tunnel vision that he does not know how to think out of the box. Take the example of Pujara. He will be #1 choice in batting in any team in the World with his current Form & Record but out in Dhoni's XI. Logic & Rationale never enters Dhoni's brain in XI selection. This MSD's blinkered attitude has hurt India in England, Australia & now in India. The longer he stays as captain the greater would be destruction of Team India. I always stated Pujara or Tiwary for Test Captaincy, Dhoni for ODI captaincy if he is excluded from XI selection & Yuvraj or Kohli for T-20 captaincy. Dravid is too attached to Dhoni emotionally to give an honest & impartial opinion. Both Pujara & Tiwary are batsmen with sound fundamentals. They should be #3 & #4 in Tests. #3 & 4 spots in ODI go to Pujara & Kohli- NEVER #4 to Yuvraj, an example of Dhoni errors. Yuvi is #6 batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 22:12 GMT

    Rahul Dravid ,s comments are very good. I have been watching Indian cricket since 1952 days. I am. 73 years of age and there are only three things in cricket, ....excitement, excitement and excitement. Nothing's depresses me more than a defeat for Indian team in any match. Dhoni had the charisma and.he should continue as captain. But his body language should improve. He should smile like. Sachin used to. He should concentrate on young bowlers who need motivation. My favorite captain is Kapil Dev and Dhoni should follow his methods to keep bowling effective.

  • POSTED BY Reverse_Bat on | January 10, 2013, 21:46 GMT

    Dhoni must quit thats the better option. sick of this guy.Horrible decions and Captaincy. Did anyone know at what age Greame Smith took Captaincy? Pleae remind this to the cricket pundits in India. So giving a chance to KOHLI won't be a bad option , I am sure it will be much better than losing 11 test in a row.Doni, Sehwag , Gambir must go PERIOD. They all are just making TEAM INDIA look horrible in the face of this world.Thier time is up, they must be gone.

  • POSTED BY mumbaiguy79 on | January 10, 2013, 21:27 GMT

    Couple of points. First, age need not be a reason to not give some one the leadership role they MIGHT deserve. Look at Graeme Smith who captained the South Africans at 23 and is still doing so. Second, not sure if there is a hard and fast rule that a batsaman need to be in catching positions. Shane Warne, Jimmy Anderson and Graeme Swann do a great job in the slips. I believe Dhoni is a good ODI cricketer, but how often would you pick him purely as a wicket-keeper in your Test World XI, let alone as a captain.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 21:23 GMT

    As always @Nampally gets it spot on regarding Dhoni,the captain.He is an awful spotter of talent & worse,a pathetic selector of XI even within the 15,he makes such goof ups that team ends up looking so bad &its actually not the case.There's enough talent around,if only Dhoni &incompetent bunch of selectors had opened their eyes.Even if they get selected in future,question has to be asked why players like Tiwary,Rayudu & Rahane have not been given enough chances or none at all.And they complain about lack of options.Even in bowling,Dhoni brainlessly keeps complaining about lack of pace blah blah.Where is Umesh,Aaron and who manages their injuries?MSD should have been removed immediately after Oz but selectors as usual have missed opportunity& let the team lose to Eng at home too.What bugs me is most problems with Ind cricket are unavoidable and have tangible solutions.Time 'experts' stop cribbing about 'systemic' issues thereby giving excuses on behalf of MSD&his pathetic leadership

  • POSTED BY ccrriicc on | January 10, 2013, 21:07 GMT

    1.2 billion people and we only have one man to lead India! Painful! Dhoni's average outisde and within India may further educate (Re. Narbavi) Also, read Sandip Sinharay, Deepak Appu and others - they shall enlighten you.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | January 10, 2013, 20:11 GMT

    Dhoni has neither Cricket culture nor leadership qualities in him. He is a good WK/Batsman ideally suited for short format.In the interest of Indian Cricket he must give up Captaincy, irrespective of Dravid's endorsement. The single greatest short coming of Dhoni as a Captain is his XI selection which is "bizzare". Also once he selects a XI in the first ODI, he remains with it for the series, including the batting order. His latest startement of not including Pujara in XI lacks common sense when India has not single reliable sheet anchor batsman like pujara. He totally lacks in initiative & original moves & cannot make things happen. Dravid is also jumping the gun by stating Kohli as the fuuire Captain in Tests. Kohli has not even cemented his spot in the XI. He totalled 13 runs in 3 ODI's vs. Pakistan & was all at sea against seamers falling top Junaid all 3 times. Dravid should be careful in his statement as to who he is backing especially now when India is in a changing phase!

  • POSTED BY TamilIndian on | January 10, 2013, 19:51 GMT

    Very logical and level headed thinking shown in this article. One can almost see Dravid as a person through this write up on how to handle the short and long term of Indian Cricket's test captaincy.

  • POSTED BY Aniruddha_K on | January 10, 2013, 19:34 GMT

    Great article...As expected, a hard, no-nonsense analysis of the situation by RD. He has made so many good points that if Dhoni reads the article, it will stand him in good stead for the next 2 years or so...

  • POSTED BY christened on | January 10, 2013, 18:45 GMT

    As someone in this post mentioned this post would be much richer and nicer if v dont get comments in the form of Nampally's , al Bundy's and rosh280's.... Point to note cricinfo...

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 18:39 GMT

    No point of removing Dhoni in 2013. He is doing a fine job. What is he supposed to do - when such a good batting lineup on paper keeps falling constantly?

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 18:38 GMT

    To say Kohli is too early for the job is really undermining his leadership instincts..its not that he wasn't a captain till now.He' s done it in U-19 WC and for a while for RCB.He's aggressive and like Sunny G said ,he might bring that aggressive streak in this youngish team,Dhoni's sphinx like quality is precisely what this team DOES NOT want.It will shape a new team and the theme has to be set positively by someone like Kohli.Not get drowned in negativity,blaming toss and pitch for non-performance like Dhoni.It needs a strong motivator as a coach and an able young leader for the team to rally around.In any case,Dhoni as a batsman will vanish quicker than expected if he greedily sticks on to captaincy and we can ill-afford that in ODIs since he is a good player and lends some experience down the order.Dhoni is the only problem with Ind cricket..who will provide the solution by removing him?

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 18:20 GMT

    Two points in the article I don't agree with (1) that experienced players know what to do and therefore do not need to attend meetings - if that was true for India, it would be one of the reasons for their debacle in Aus & Eng. Cricket is a team game, you need to discuss strategies and plans and then execute per plan to win matches against the best (2) Virat will be ready to captain India in 2014. I doubt it. His attitude towards the game is still quite raw, he still vents like a spoiled brat on the field, he needs time (not just more test match experience) to gain the respect of his team-mates (and the opposition), and to understand the responsibilities, the do's and dont's of captaining an international side, esp. in test matches - he may not be suitable exposed to captaining weakness in T20s and ODIs.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 18:06 GMT

    Dravid Should become the coach.. His attitude and approach will be similar to Gary Kirsten and combine well with Dhoni

  • POSTED BY christened on | January 10, 2013, 18:05 GMT

    @rosh280 : U re-ignited my innerself to comment again on cricinfo... Buddy i accept ur one hell of an expert but what is the whole point in ur post here....Through this are showing ur indepth talent of ranji matches???? If so y not bring all the players from there and y not even the hall of fame cricketers.... Ur funny as hell...

  • POSTED BY ThinkCric on | January 10, 2013, 18:02 GMT

    Finally, we have a former player who analyzes Indian cricket with a balanced and logical mind. Somehow most other former players (Indian and outside) seem to have either lost their mind or have a vested interest in something else or just try to say something sensational.

  • POSTED BY shreemanta on | January 10, 2013, 18:00 GMT

    India is a country of 1.2 billion people and at least 70% of the population love the the game of cricket irrespective of the format, which comes to 84 crore. There for I think we as a public feel very happy to comment and always in negative fashion. At this point in time Dhoni is the 1st and the last option to lead India. He is only guy in India who can teach how to handle pressure. We should ask him to give lectures in all the IIM's on "How to handle Pressure". If at all we really understand the game of cricket and really passionate about INDIAN CRICKET then at this point in time we should all support Dhoni and only say /write positive things about him and give him the confidence that we are with you. Positive vibes will have positive outcome and vise a verse.

  • POSTED BY rosh280 on | January 10, 2013, 17:54 GMT

    It can be really an eye opener for the selectors. Today we need to understand cricket is under constant changes in approaches.The test team approach should be entirely different from 20-20. As you said captain dhoni had to talk to the team mates bz most of them are youngsters. he has to churn out different plans by thinking of the skills of certain players.in most of the times he succeded. still he can make lot of changes in bowling and batting dept. In test side he could include solid players like Murali vijay, Cheteswar pujara, Sarul kanwar, Abhinav mukund, Dinesh karthik, C M gowtham,Ganesh satish.Rahul sharma has all the capacities and talents to play all level of cricket like oneday, test and even shorter format. Rahul sharma and yuvraj can play any level of cricket. In bowling we could use aswin, r jadeja, ojha, mishra, pankaj singh, ishwar pandey, m s goni, anand rajan, p razool, deepak chahar, jalaj saxena.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 17:43 GMT

    The tone of the article is reassuring and resourceful just as the authors batting was . I believe some one like dravid or even ganguly should not be left out of this team building phase ,make them scouts atleast ,and they will prove their worth in their 2nd wind

  • POSTED BY NIKHILJOHRY on | January 10, 2013, 17:41 GMT

    Dhoni is very overworked and these days he is everyone's punching bag.Sacking or replacing him is not going to improve results as a captain is always as good as his team.We cannot expect him to perform miracles.Yes his tactics have been baffling at times but i still feel he should remain captain of atleast the one day team till the 2015 world cup.check out my blog on issues facing indian cricket at http://nikhiljohry.blogspot.in/

  • POSTED BY ChaitanyaKapadia on | January 10, 2013, 17:35 GMT

    I agree that Test cricket is the toughest form of Cricket and hence commands a greater respect. But we need to understand the practicality of changing times. ODI and T20 cricket are also a form of that very game and just because players from 70s or 80s didn't had the chance to enjoy those formats it doesn't necessarily make ODI or T20 an unwanted child. They were great at Test Cricket because there were no other options available. All i want to say is, that it should be left on Dhoni that which format he prefers and his contribution to Indian cricket or his stature and importance should be no less even if he prefers shorter formats of the game. Importance of Test cricket should not be imposed on him just for the sake of it.

  • POSTED BY rosh280 on | January 10, 2013, 17:30 GMT

    Rahul you are extremely correct that in bowling we need to find few great fast bowlers who can be part of the next world cup. I certainly feel that pankaj singh and deepak chahar can be really handy in foreign conditions. s s sarkar and ashok dinda also bowl well. any way shami ahmed and b kumar they can swing the ball either way and can surprise batsmen anytime. we should also try m s goni ,pawan zuyal, anand rajan all proved well that they can bowl well. Ishant sharma, sree santh, vinay kumar, praveen kumar can comeback any time. in addition we should use especially pankaj singh, deepak chahar, s s sarkar, a dinda, shami, b kumar, m s goni, anand rajan, samad fallah, p rasool, pawan zuyal. In spinning option we cant get any player of kumble, maninder standard. still we can hope ashwin, pragyan and amit mishra all have that capabilities. we could also try jalaj saxena, b sharma, barghav bhat, baba aparajith.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 17:29 GMT

    There is no doubt about one thing, Dhoni is the most successful captain India has ever produced. Few qualities what Dravid has mentioned about Dhoni is like his ability to come up when situation demands, this is a rare quality which we have seen in Kapil also. Also he is a man of guts, he dont mind taking right decision, even if its dropping a senior player for the team. We got relatively young team now, which comprises of young blood, and I feel Dhoni is the right person to groom them and take the team to the next level. The energy flow was really seen in the last match against pakistan, fielding standards been fantastic, bad bowls been saved with excellent fielding by Rahane, Kohli, Raina, Yuvraj and Jaddu. We got to give them time, instead of criticizing. All these people who criticize should look at them before doing it. They are not able to come out with any constructive suggestions to revamp the team. Dhoni is matured to decide whether captaining three formats is a burden.

  • POSTED BY ChaitanyaKapadia on | January 10, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    The option of giving up T20 and IPL Captainship is the best one. In addition of keeping Dhoni afresh for Tests it will give a good chance of grooming someone like Kohli for Test Captaincy.But I see it highly improbable, N Srinivasan being the BCCI President and also the owner of Chennai Super Kings of which Dhoni is Captain. India is only country where such a glaring conflict of interest between is accepted and even enjoyed. And T20 being a cash cow right now I don't see N Srinivasan allowing any such decision. People expecting transparency from BCCI and expecting BCCI to take decision in favour of the game are living in a wonderland. Rahul "the Wall" Dravid very well knows this of all the people.

  • POSTED BY rosh280 on | January 10, 2013, 17:19 GMT

    Rahul you really researched captaincy much better than any other person. you were one of the best captain and a player of the earlier time. let me tell you one fact that we dont have players of your times calibre like sachin, ajay jadeja, robin singh, azhar, sreenath, kumble,v v s. we were hopeful when you land into crease that india can score past even 500 runs in an innings very easily bz you had players of that calibre. Now when you look at these times gambir, sehwag, kohli, rohit, suresh raina are all uncertain except yuvraj and dhoni. dhoni also sometimes he takes lots of ball to score few runs. What i really feel that kohli is like S ramesh type he has lots of flaws in his technique of batting.why cant we try dinesh karthik, mandeep, ganesh satish, c m gowtham, murali vijay, abhinav mukund, sarul kanwar, jalaj saxena, rahul dewan, manish pandey, i jaggi, jiwanjoth, manprit juneja,v a jagadeesh. in bowling pankaj singh and d chahar, b kumar, i sharma, sreesanth.

  • POSTED BY Nutcutlet on | January 10, 2013, 17:00 GMT

    It seems that India is stuck with MSD in all forms of the game as captain & wicket-keeper batsman. Talented though he is, he cannot, and IMO, does not, do all things well. It would be astounding if he did. Moreover, it's clear that he does not care very much for Test cricket & regards the playing of Tests as a necessary evil, probably because he finds Test series extremely draining & with a side that is in the process of recomposition, the challenges are esp. great. So, despite Rahul Dravid's considered opinion about it being too early for Virat Kohli, I respectfully disagree. I think that captaincy of the Test side would make him more responsible in his approach, so that he is likely to fulfil his potential as a batsman, besides setting a fine example in the field (& India's recent Test sides have been very poor in that respect). Of course he'll make a few mistakes as capt initially. He can be forgiven those as part of the learning process. India needs to look to the future, now!

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 16:45 GMT

    Sick and tired of the 'lack of options' excuse with all due respect to Dravid the legend.If now is not the time for a change,when is? We've lost everything abroad,home,tests,ODIs..what more do we want to think about a change? Before the youngsters acquire a Dhoni DNA that is losing most times,we need a fresh guard at the top.Kohli provides that in ODIs.Gambhir can lead it in tests and form a core before passing the baton to Kohli.Simple selectors must DROP Dhoni as he is not going to take a call himself.

  • POSTED BY Raj12345 on | January 10, 2013, 16:42 GMT

    @tanxi Got your point. How many runs Dhoni scored in last 13 tests. any idea? I am sure he is top than others. As a captain he has to telll selectors that he has given poor guys all time if not leave the job in test or make him to Tendulkar position in test, no keeping, captain & only batsman. It is not Dhoni fault. But think why he is giving importance to RG & Raina all time and why not Rahane, Puraja, Badrinath & Karthik. Can you tell me if Puraja/Rahane/Badri/Karthik failed in 13 ODIs like RG or if they fail like Raina did last 2 years, look at last 30 ODIs played by Raina, we will know the fact, wlill they survive in cricket. I feel something going beyond our guess, no one knows why they are keeping lose making team these days.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 16:41 GMT

    yo @jasonpete it is not blind dislike..it is seeing things as they are objectively..even in his better days as captain,I said the same thing.He let go of a great chance to win series in SA, 2011 due to ultra-defensive tactics.He screwed up a potentially winnable chase against a lowly WI in WI.So don't attribute loose terms just like that.Dhoni lacks killer instinct,passion and most importantly interest in test format..its clear for everyone to see.He sticks to the same tactics,does not motivate players,sets pathetic defensive fields even if situation calls for some aggressive thinking,lets the game drift..these are all fine and harmless in ODIs but not in Tests.So stop giving some random excuses like he does..as for 'team in transition' excuse that's a big joke as 5 of 7 players from WC are still there.Admit it Dhoni has lost it as a captain time to move on from him for the sake of Ind cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 16:34 GMT

    Straight in from and into dressing room....spot on!!!#dravid

  • POSTED BY rlefti on | January 10, 2013, 16:33 GMT

    I really like Rahul dravid as a batsmen for me he is the best! even tendulkar doesn't come close in terms of test cricket. But he was always bad at reading the game or captaining, very defensive in attitude, though the greatest team man. Captaincy needs a lot especially when you build a team and dhoni lacks most of those qualities, he has been a captain as good as Ricky ponting looked great when the team was great looked terrible during the re-building phase, where as if you take captains like Waugh, Taylor, ganguly or ranatunga or imran they all built great teams and made sure the talent flourished so well that the talent turned out to be great cricketers, dhoni lacks that vision. India never had such strong talent pool or bench strength yet we are failing badly. If we go for split captaincy dhoni shouldn't lead in test cricket rather lead in shorter format of the game...

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 16:23 GMT

    it is very clear why Dravid was held in high esteem.he comes out with suggestions without dramatizing but lucid in his reasoning. i am also of the opinion that now is the time fir a change in leadership. the failures at England and followed by at Australia are because of the collective failures of batsmen. Yes he seems to be short of ideas at times and his ideas do not work. but he is genuine leader.on Virat i would like him to wait till he learn to control his emotions or needless aggression (his bad mouthing and sledging)

  • POSTED BY IamdKing on | January 10, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    Awesome! what an article. Wrote with a lot of thinking, and by whom? THE WALL himself. We need to understand, that these are the gems of Indian cricket, who were far better than the Mohinder Amarnaths. MSD deserves to captain India right now, simply because he is still the best man to lead India, and he himself is performing well enough, far better than the Sehwags and the Gambhirs of the team!

  • POSTED BY anilkp on | January 10, 2013, 16:18 GMT

    It is always fun reading the comments like that of Ambika Arun; nice to know that we still have kids talking around among adults. S/he does not understand why Dravid says what he says, because, perhaps, Dravid's language seems archaic Latin to her/him? Dravid clearly tells that there are no alternative to MSD now, and he explains why. Amazing that people can still question that. And, Kohli is a "marked underperformer"? Really? How many centuries he has got so far? How many runs he got in 2012 alone? Fun aside, this space will be richer if commentors grow up and think a little before commenting.

  • POSTED BY TrueFactors on | January 10, 2013, 16:12 GMT

    If I was Dhoni, then --->

    I would have quit from Test and T20 Captainship. Even I would take a retirement from test side. I would retain ODI and CSK captainship though, because thats where I am really good and I can think better. This will also provide me better control on my body and I can decide what is good for team. Gauti and Sehwag would have been with me since I am not taking a full piece of pie..

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | January 10, 2013, 16:11 GMT

    I have great respect for Rahul, but respectfully disagree, on the following counts. First - Kohli is ready. As Ganguly has said, one doesn't need to be broken in to captaincy to be a successful captain - Ganguly himself was not given any kind of long breaking-in period. Kohli has been playing intl cricket as long as Ganguly was when he became captain, and much longer than Dhoni was when he became captain. Second - what the team desperately needs is energy. Dhoni doesn't have it - he looks stale, and he is leading a stale side. Third - Dhoni is not the best man to identify long-term talent, because he fundamentally picks teams by nepotism and not merit. Raina is likely to play the 1st ODI ahead of Pujara, for instance; or his preference for RP Singh over Irfan. And fourth - Dhoni is not the best keeper-batsman in India today. Saha is a better keeper and Test batsman; ditto C.M. Gautam; Parthiv's a better bat. So he shouldn't even be playing Tests, let alone leading the side in Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 16:02 GMT

    I have all the respect for Dhoni's talent as a captain where his main strength is his street-smartness and his the knack of optimally using his every resource at hand and bring out their peak performances. However, he has singled out the senior players always as early since the first T20 world cup and ensured that there are no replacement for him as a captain when failure creeps in. The end result is obviously the premature retirements of Dravid, Laxman, Sachin and further Sehwag. Not saying that they had very long years left in them but atleast a couple of years more. Hence the evident decline in the quality in the side which shows in the results. Now we have noone else to rely on with the team being fresh and vulnerable. Looking ahead, we are in desperate need of finding methods to unearthing new talents thru India A-B team matches (apart from ipl), looking into the under19 winning Indian team and guide promising youngsters like Kohli and Raina into consistency mode.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 15:54 GMT

    Most of the people here are criticizing Dravid for picking Dhoni to stay as test captain, but can anyone suggest an alternative? Gambhir is out of form, Sehwag is lost and the rest are new to test cricket. And Dravid isn't saying for Dhoni to stick to his current plans but reinvent himself as a captain. And Dhoni is deserving of playing as a batsman in all three formats. He may not be a great batsman in tests but does adequate. Through I agree that he is overworked and Kohli can be given T20 captaincy now. But in tests, it has to be Dhoni. He needs to because captaincy almost always leads to poorer batting and Kohli is too inexperienced to be a test captain. Read the article before condemning a common sense based article.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    It is that Sehwag is dropped. he destroyed the top order, threw his wicket in the series against pakistan and test series against england just bring MSD down. This can be reflected from an interview where he said anyone can captain team India that won the world cup in 2011 and thats is where he doesnt agree to acknowledge the role MSDi played with the bat in the final. Mr. Sehwag the team in 2003 world cup, where we lost to australia after DADA elected to field on a pitch which was a batsmans paradise, was much stonrger, mature and firmer than the team in 2011 which eventually brought us back the cup after a span of three years. Dravid as usual have spoken here with sincerity and integrity. THATS THE WALL

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 15:51 GMT

    Excellent article. Articulate and intelligent as ever from arguably India's greatest test batsman. If an objective and impassioned analysis of the Indian team's crisis is done, then what the 'Wall' has said is definitely true. Dhoni is the best option to lead India , at least in Tests and ODIs. What he could do is to take a call on his T20 career. He himself would know better that players are known for what they achieved in tests and to some extent in ODIs, rather than all those meaningless T20s. One more option would be to get in someone like Parthiv Patel or Dinesh Karthik , in the test team , as some batting slots are still open after the retirements of Dravid and Laxman. What this could mean is that at least during tests, Dhoni can share wicketkeeping duties with either of these experienced players. A win -win situation for everyone.

  • POSTED BY vsreddy4u on | January 10, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    I think india needs bowlers who can take 20 wickets in a test match rather than changing captain.I feel bhuvaneshwar kumar and s.ahmed are good future prospects for india in this regard.As rahul said dhoni have to give a miss for ipl n some other unimportant matches.In batting india need to promote guys like rahane,vijay and others who are performing well in domestic level rather than sticking with yuvrajs and rainas.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 15:47 GMT

    How about Yuvraj as captain in limited overs? India have never tested him as captain and he deserves a chance. Not sure what the outcome will be just saying because of his seniority and performances.

  • POSTED BY henchart on | January 10, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    Very magnanimous article by RD especially in the light of the fact that MSD played a big role in RD's ( forced ) retirement.RD is articulate besides being more moderate than Ganguly. Gavaskar is stuck in time wrap and Shastri ,like the player he was ,an opportunist.RD is the best among current crop of ex Cricketers turned commentators.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 15:29 GMT

    A defensive player's take on a man who's captaincy has always been defensive. Dhoni as a captain is not a progressive step for Indian cricket. He rarely tries to force victories in test matches, so much like Rahul Dravid who would inevitably draw a match where you could have gone for a victory. The West Indies vs India test series in WI is the example I would point to. Dhoni as a captain and Rahul Dravid as a player both were responsible for draws in 2 games where India could have gone for victories. In addition, Dhoni's post game analysis of India's defeats is totally wrong. He doesn't realize that the real problem is Indian's cricket feeder lines. He is good as a player but as a captain I find him disappointing.

  • POSTED BY anisuddin123 on | January 10, 2013, 15:24 GMT

    wow.. today i find that someone is there who can show the real picture leaving behing all rubbish thoughts or partiality, Mr, Dravid Thank you,...

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 10, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    @Kedar Pandit , excellantly put. I think i started to think Dravid is a confused man with too many ideas. He may seems to say some obvious things , his decision making skills are atrocious. It shows up in this article. He say all the reasons he can see yet he make the worst decision possible of continuing with Dhoni as captain. No wonder india lost badly in 2007 worldcup. Dravid is a fighter in batting but not sharp in thinking. He is great man with compassion for people but saying we need to continue with loser like dhoni is bad idea from start. I know we have limited choices gambhir , kohli . I think you must promote people in your own team reguylarly. If there is no growth then there is no motivation. Gambhir as much skill as dhoni in leading. he already did. You can't expect every one like sweet talking liar like dhoni. I would take dhoni in heart beat if he makes his team fight , he takes credit when india win , when it loses he blames selectors and lack of talent. Baloney.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | January 10, 2013, 15:16 GMT

    Dravid again it shows your compassion but your statement are 100% BS. Dhoni is not invaluable for the team. Anyone loses Tests 10-0 is not invaluable in my dictionary. I would take losses if indian team fight and lost. India never fought in Test series. They quit under him. Yes bowlers win matches but for india it is always batsman win matches because our bowlers are always so so. We need to make bowlers lots of cushion of runs to be effective. For me dhoni is useless captain. He was good pre 2011 worldcup , from there on he think he is special or something. I think you people overhype a loser. if india gona lose next 15 tests i rather have youngster lose it and grow. I do not believe in guiding endlessly , it is worst method. Dhoni has to go. He can keep his wicket keeping job in ODI and he is best ODI batsman for india. Any attempt to keep Dhoni as captain is amount to treason for me. I never like losers. He is a loser because i never saw him make changes and try to win any Test.

  • POSTED BY cairan on | January 10, 2013, 15:10 GMT

    Dhoni - t20 - batsmen ODI - batsmen, keeper test - capt, batsmen, keeper these 3 options would be the best for MS Dhoni

  • POSTED BY colossalcricketer on | January 10, 2013, 15:08 GMT

    Dhoni is a hopeless or infact a gone case to be precise..! He is arrogant and believes in favouritism and unless their a mammoth change in his ' i am the boss ' attitude... Nothing's gonna change 'much' ! and Ambika Arun you are really thick! To say Kohli has under performed consistently is calumny! He has a 100 in every test series till now!

  • POSTED BY The_cric_freak on | January 10, 2013, 15:00 GMT

    Brilliant article....but will serve the purpose only if Mr. Dhoni reads it and act accordingly

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 14:52 GMT

    I am afraid Rahul has managed to york himself, raher like he did in the final tour of his life down under as an India bat! I have a huge amount of respect for RD, a true great of the modern game and one who would have made it in the top 15 of all time India greats. However RD it has to be said was not a great captain himself despite his much touted "cerebral analytical" power and always played his "goody two shoes" role to perfection. This article is no different. He is right to conclude that there is currently no alternative to MSD, but in the wrong form of the game! MSD needs to lead India down under in 2015 WC campaign. But the test results are not just a mere blip I am afraid caused by transition. It is a combination of factors. For starters, RD is towing the party political line here. MSD's blind cussed insistence on playing Ashwin as a strike offie is palpaby laughable. Ashwin is a rank mediocre one trick pony spinner who is at best a batting allrounder at the test level. (Cont/)

  • POSTED BY VickGower on | January 10, 2013, 14:51 GMT

    Thank God for this voice of sanity. As much as one may like the common sense/reasoning/objectivity in this article, what is most admirable is that the writer truly has the interest of Indian cricket at heart which is not something you can easily say for all the Indian commentators/pundits in the teeming wilderness. It is evident that the Indian public has not lost number 3. He is ever more there to steady the ship. I hope the Indian fans are listening.

  • POSTED BY likeintcricket on | January 10, 2013, 14:44 GMT

    I think Dhoni is a wonderful cricketer and an asset to any side. He only needs to move himself up in the order and push his team to perform. It is hard to produce batsman like Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman and Dhoni at one time. The current players are nowhere near the class of these players and it is not easy to maintain their excellent record at home. India kept persisting with senior players for a long time and didn't allow its young cricketers to develop. With Sachin's retirement in the corner one could expect a tough time ahead for Team India. One thing in their favor is their vast financial resources and if they plan carefully they will bounce back soon.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 13:52 GMT

    Totally subscribe with the opinion of Rahul Dravid. Excellent, intelligent piece of writing.

  • POSTED BY bhanuma_nagadeep on | January 10, 2013, 12:58 GMT

    I have seen commentrators bashing out on players and captains, have seen commentrator reminding of Dhoni's challenges (Sourav)......HERE IS A COMMENTRATOR, TRUE TO HIS NATURE, HELPING HIS OLD TEAMMATE!!

    hats off to you Sir Dravid

  • POSTED BY Natraja on | January 10, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    At last some one is talking sense in Indian cricket. Rahul has always been intellectual type of cricketer and this article shows that. He has analyzed situation well and came forth with good suggestions for Dhoni and team. Unlike a certain Mr. Gavaskar, Rahul is not playing politics and not driven by emotions. He has been an exemplary man and Dhoni and the team need to heed his advice.

  • POSTED BY crafty-Rabbi on | January 10, 2013, 12:43 GMT

    Dravid is correct. It probably is too early for Kohli to captain the side. He seems a little temperamental and volatile. The side may implode. But he was a very successful India under 19's captain. His form has recently dipped and the added workload of captaincy could cause an even greater slide.

    Some players such as Cook and Clarke seem to thrive when the additional responsibility is added. But neither Cooke nor Clarke seem as emotional as Kohli.

    But Ganguly was an aggressive temperamental captain rather like Kohli and it was he who started the resurgence of India which Dhoni took to another level.

    Kapil Dev was another full blooded leader and he first took India out of the minnow league to International success.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 12:31 GMT

    I am watching Indian cricket for the past 61 years( my age 73yrs). I can say confidently that we lack good bowlers. Dhoni should talk to bowlers, because they are inexperienced.He should have better body language and verbal communication with them. Dhoni should consolidate his ODI captaincy, leaving. T20 to younger generation (22,to 25 years age group) . Next to Sachin and Dravid, only Dhoni has the charisma . He is comparable to Vijay Hazare. The best captaincy I liked was with Kapildev in the recent years and Dhoni can raise himself to be the best captain if he could motivate the young bowlers to be attacking and agile in the field.The next man with charisma is Virat kohli and he has to get more experience overseas by playing for. Counties in UK.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 12:14 GMT

    dear mr. dravid, do not understand why u have to come out supporting MSD here, What has been his test performance as a batsman last 3 years, whats his statistics vs good bowling especially on sporting wickets, The worst of Dhonis is not looking at other FC performers but rooting for his short list of cronies like, rohit, raina, yuvi, jadeja, have u wondered what badri, tiwary, yusuf and other umpteen hopefuls would be going through, sorry but u have got it wrong here, as for Kohli why r u speaking of him as a captain , he is a marked underperformer , has he achieved any sort of consistency in test matches? even the one day hundreds have come against weak teams on placid wickets mostly against the like of Sri Lanka, he usually comes cropper vs quality bowling, did u see his performance vs Junaid in recent series, in this aspect he and dhoni are similar, actually pujara or ashwin might be better, my vote would go to pujara, he seems technically, mentally strong

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | January 10, 2013, 12:10 GMT

    Great article from Rahul Dravid. He is well qualified man who can understand the pressures of being the captain of India. The truth is that he needs to quit one format to keep his mind fresh and energy levels up. Too much is expected from him. He needs support staff, the current lot is not doing the job. These days there is lot goes in team's planning and preparation which is missing from the team India.

  • POSTED BY bhavesh68 on | January 10, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Hard and very honest factual truth about Indian Cricket Captainship. This is the mark of a great person. They raise themselves and also see the issue differently, they tackle it gracefully like this. What a great analysis. Hats off Rahul. Really great analysis. I really admire this article.

    Secondly, just to add one more point, don't you think it is very essential for a senior (experienced) bowler/batsman to train the newbies. Atleast that's how we have done it in the past since the reigns of Kapil. I think for a 5 day test, you need a different set of mind set as to 1day and T20. 5 Day requires complete different strategy and a big word called "PATIENCE". You need a bowler who can pitch all six balls at the same spot (fast or spin either). This creates the patches, which can be useful for day 4,5. But I think our current bowlers are unaware of this basics. Same for batsmans too. Greats like u, gavaskar, Saurav, Sachin, VVS, are all because of your enormous dedication and patience.

  • POSTED BY nebulous.dream on | January 10, 2013, 12:04 GMT

    i agree with dravid. but virat is bot the right person for captain... virat is a match winner but not d one for captain... maybe pujra might be the right man for test captaincy after 2 or 3 years....

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:46 GMT

    Dravid's made a great point about how Dhoni needs to work on a plan with our inexperienced bowlers.

    Whether in England or in Australia or again back home - we've seen that quality batsmen face no challenges against our attack after they survive the first fifteen minutes. Had UDRS been in play, we might not have dismissed Alastair Cook ever. Our bowlers just don't create the pressure. While people blame Ishant for going wicketless, Dhoni has to share large part of that blame. Ishant as the bowling spearhead and Dhoni as captain are our weakest links - but they still represent the best chance we have of taking 20 wickets.

    Its easy to see that Dravid can make a fantastic selector and I hope he considers that option.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:36 GMT

    Whatever Dravid said makes sense. This shows that he knows what exactly is going in the Indian cricket team right now. Now the Million dollar question is why didn't fletcher came up and started explaining these to Dhoni? Dhoni had some good players in the past so, he has never been thinking about cricket outside the ground. This is a transition period and some one has to ring the bell to Dhoni and that should be Fletcher. Is this not what he has been paid for?

    And Dravid, sorry I disagree with you at once place. Making Kohli as captain in future is like giving captainship to Yuvraj right now. They are both talented, but not a captains. Consider Raina, Rahane, Pujara or Jadeja :)

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    Best suggesion for Dhoni in this article by The WALL

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Very good article by Rahul Dravid. Dhoni should listen to players/captains like Dravid. When the captaincy was given to Dravid, it was he most difficult time for him. Just because, Ganguly was removed from the captaincy,many fans of Ganguly, media were against coach Greg Chapplel and Dravid was tyrapped in between. Still, he was succesful in Tests, ODI's as a captain, as an opener and also as a wicket keeper in earlier ODIs, against all odds. Dhoni has got the full support of Mr.Srinivasan/BCCI, so he needn't worry. But, he can't say no to CSK captaincy for obvious reason.Better to give up Test captaincy and concentrate on ODI/T20.

  • POSTED BY Harmony111 on | January 10, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    If what Rahul says about Dhoni's lack of comm with the younger bowlers is true then this is exactly how Azhar used to captain too. He used to say that at this level bowlers don't need to be told what to do - we all know how Ind performed under Azhar. I've felt at times that the bowler is trying things on his own or has been given too many options and is confused to pick one form them. I saw Ashwin regularly bowling round the wicket in the recent matches - why? He doesn't turn the ball so why increase the angle? Ishant often gives the impression that he jus doen't know how to bowl even after 5yrs of Intl cricket. Dinda is well Dinda. When he bowls, I am always a bit edgy - he reminds me of Srinath of old.It is good that Dhoni allows freedom to his bowlers and then he sets the field but these bowlers are not all that good to first come up with plans and then work those plans out. They lack that. But then Dhoni is a batsman-keeper and so we can't expect him to think like bowlers. Sigh.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:27 GMT

    great to get perspective from the great Rahul dravid. I salute you for your skill, the gentleman that have been, and the amazing service to the nation.

    please keep writing.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:16 GMT

    honestly speaking as a captain a person cannot do much if his/her players don't perform well,so build a team which has skill n right temprament around dhoni.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:14 GMT

    What a class act of writing an article!! Captures the situation so well, brings out the intricacies of captaincy in such short and crisp paragraphs, cuts out the agenda for Dhoni for the days to come in such a clear and concise manner!! Hope Dhoni reads this!!

  • POSTED BY ftitumir on | January 10, 2013, 11:11 GMT

    That is the best option for dhoni to give up IPL Captaincy.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:07 GMT

    Great article from Rahul Dravid. I strongly feel that Dravid should be made as the Indian Team coach which will drastically change the perspective of Indian team.He will instill so much of positive energy in the young minds .

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 11:03 GMT

    Interesting piece by Rahul ! As ever his analysis and the depth of his thought on the subject matter stand out ! There are very few who can be counted as more responsible marshals of Indian cricket than Rahul Dravid ! He has hit home a very important point that must be bothering most Indian cricket followers today - what next? The future may or may not lie in Dhoni's hands, but the selectors would do well to heed the words of experienced former players like Dravid and Ganguly in taking India through this potentially rough decade, where reputations could well be broken and a few new ones made !

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Today the great Rahul is confused........1) dhoni never shown and won a match for India as capt. 2) Dhoni is too protective about himself and promotes up the order when already India is 200/2 and drop when India is struggling as he can escape the blame. Srinivasan is his god father so no one can touch him. Presently if India wants to come out of the slump just Dump Dhoni as capt in all formats and keep him as player in T20 and oneday formats

  • POSTED BY Edassery on | January 10, 2013, 10:48 GMT

    What a fantastic piece from a true champion and gentleman of cricket! I totally agree with Rahul Dravid that instead of giving up the test captaincy to make things even messier, Dhoni should give up CSK and T20 captaincy thereby underlining himself as a matured leader for Test cricket and ODIs. As Rahul mentioned, by the merit of his alternate skills, he can still be there in the team that's being transitioned.

    However, one thing Rahul Dravid left out is Dhoni's attitude while picking youngsters. Dhoni doesn't seem to be completely impartial in his selections as he has several pets in the probable list. To become an all-new captain, he needs to be highly truthful to himself and maintain integrity as well.

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | January 10, 2013, 10:34 GMT

    It's very clear that youngster needs guidance.It was very much evident when Ashwin was keep bowling the unnecessary carrom ball and in the process giving away freebies to Englishmen. So for Dhoni to continue as a captain, he at least should be more provocative.And for God's sake,he needs to be more attacking in his approach.

  • POSTED BY saravanan_selvam on | January 10, 2013, 10:29 GMT

    It is really a nice article.Now i'm afraid of whether it will reach him or not.It should reach him. This is what an experienced cricket player and a cricket player who played for the country for long time and brought glory to Indian cricket team can give to junior players.It is well thought article...i really appreciate R.Dravid for this article.This kind of article really will help Dhoni to lead the team very well and make few decisions on his rest of the cricketing career as a player as well as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 10:19 GMT

    There is a reason why good players don't make good captains/administrators...Its okay to take risks or 'back your horses' as they say but you have to also counter this line of thinking with your horses ability+attitude....

  • POSTED BY SherjilIslam on | January 10, 2013, 10:18 GMT

    Spot on!!! But it hardly mattered to the deaf ears of MSD and BCCI/Srinivasan. I am not sure Dhoni will give-up any of his captaincy. Dhoni will simply stretch on because of the simple fact that he is very insecure about taking any chances against his captaincy or his wicket keeping.He knows, if somebody does well in T-20 captaincy and at the same time he himself fails in Tests(which is very much possible), our media and fans will start crying to bring the change in tests also.Same with the wicket keeping. So, to me this decision has to be taken by BCCI/Selectors.If they can force Sachin to retire in ODIs, they can do the same with Dhoni also.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 10:17 GMT

    Nice article, but we have to understand like a player , a captain also has a shelf life. You cannot be a sucessful captain for ever and continue for ever. Dhoni is already overworked these 7 years and its good for him to move away from captaincy so as to prolong his batting and keeping skills. He has been so successful all these years that we know him as a Captain and Batsman and we even forgot to criticise his primary skill - keeping. Graeme Smith,Fleming, Cook and even Sammy took over in difficult times and they have already made history by now. Go for Raina or Kohli in ODI's, let Dhoni captain in tests atleast for a year or two and let him skip the meaningless ODI's.

  • POSTED BY gargipati on | January 10, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    Well written article...Indian cricket would do well if can benefit by tapping into these cricketers who can still contribute positively with their experience....keep going RD

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 10:08 GMT

    You never know whether there is a good alternative or not unless you try something different. Dhoni has achieved a lot and lost the passion and aggression as captain and at this point anyone else would be a better option to lead India

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 10:02 GMT

    I feel that Rahul Dravid is one of the best commentators right now, for the following reasons. 1. He is the most successful of all crickets who are doing commentary right now ( along with Shane Warne ). So he knows what is the difference between talking about great things and doing great things as he has done it. There are other great ex-players doing commentary but some of them played cricket so long ago that cricket itself has changed a lot from the time they played. 2. He is a great orator, well educated and his command on the language makes him great to hear. 3. He has been such a gentleman and an ambassador for the spirit of cricket that his comments are highly respected. 4. He is from India, so he knows all about the highest level of pressure there can be while playing cricket.

  • POSTED BY itisme on | January 10, 2013, 9:57 GMT

    I have great respect for Rahul Dravid, the cricketer. But sorry Mr Dravid, you are absolutely wrong when you said Dhoni is the best choice to captain Team India. We have certainly much better choices. Explore and analuse Mr Dravid.

  • POSTED BY Karnamkotil on | January 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Excelent article by Dravid. He speaks our mind. As Dravid mentioned, v dont hav any options now for Test. Kohli is young for Test. I think, Dhoni is trying to change his approach..v could see in his inns in Nagpur and the way he captained to win d 3rd ODI againts Pak. Other Captains easily giv up in a situation like this, but Dhoni is ready to build a new team. Henc, v shud wait till the end of 2014. As for T20.. I wud appoint Kohli, 50/50 - Dhoni, Tests - No Option..Hence .. Dhoni. Personally -- Dhoni shud quit Captaincy of Test, T20 and IPL & Shud play only T20 & 50/50

  • POSTED BY VikasRoy on | January 10, 2013, 9:47 GMT

    Finally, a mature and well thought-out (typical Dravid!) statement of what needs to be done. I completely agree with this. Dhoni is among the few current Indian players who is fully committed to his side and is prepared to put his reputation - and knuckles - on the line. If only he were to return to his captaincy style of 2007-08 and the pretenders to the throne start concentrating on doing well for India once again instead of playing other games, there is hope yet for Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY rashivkd on | January 10, 2013, 9:44 GMT

    Well said Rahul bhai, Dhoni's style of sitting back should change now, because, the youngsters still didn't realize what is their job in the team. It will take time for them to realize. When Zaheer and Harbajan playing, it is not required to discuss about the plan, but if it is Ashwin and Ojha, it require. Dhoni is still good enough to analyse the mentality of youngsters, but he should involve their plan as well.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Dhoni should not lead India is test matches overseas. Dhoni's technique is not suited for Tests outside india, esp his high batlift.. He doesnt deserve a place a batsman, for keeping i think Saha is a better keeper. My choice for Captain will be sehwag. Since he is only accomplished test batsman in the entire team after Sachin. Viru neednot be a excellent captain, but he can be a certain player in Test Team....Kohli & Gambhir have to improve their techniques alot before they can ask for test captaincy.... I am surprised rahul hasnt thought of sehwag as an interim captain.. India's chances of succeeding overseas rests with Bowlers.. At the moment they look clueless

  • POSTED BY pradip1127 on | January 10, 2013, 9:43 GMT

    Please make Ganguly as Coach and see India will come with good result soon.

  • POSTED BY Ayush_Chauhan on | January 10, 2013, 9:39 GMT

    Probably the most constructive article I have read in some time. Especially the part about communications was sheer insight and just shows how a seasoned cricketer can see things that we don't. I am so glad that Dravid thinks the same way I do, pertaining to Kohli becoming the limited overs captain.

  • POSTED BY Arrow011 on | January 10, 2013, 9:38 GMT

    Rahul says" Sachin, myself, Laxman, We needed no instructions". This mentality only may have contributed to score slowly in the last test of the last tour of West Indies when India did not go for winning when 4th innings 180 was required of 45 overs with 7 wickets on hand. VVS & Rahul squandered a great chance, had it been Dhoni or Harbhajan who were to follow they would have tried their best to win. Defensive, purposeless batting by the stalwarts led to a tame draw, even the West Indies captain D. Sammy was surprised. Dhoni had to defend his aged teammates in the presentation ceremony.

  • POSTED BY on_the_rocks on | January 10, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    well said "ada007" Rahul is man who try to please everybody, like he did when he was captain pleased his coach. But i don't agree he is a ture gentleman bcoz i think everyone forgot what he did to Sourav. the man who made him a one player gone for his head as soon as he got captaincy. And "hair B Bhandari" this is for u, Dhoni is nothing but a lucky captain with no technique and brain. U r saying he did'nt got the best team, i say everybody know that he got the core team from the begining. the team made by Sourav gave all the yeild to Dhoni and Rahul. When that fellows r gone or out of form u see the true brain of Dhoni. And about his batting in pakistan series we all know with whose help he got those runs from PAK bowlers-Mr.S. the man who showed Indian Cricket team how to compete is Sourav, bcoz when he was captained there was betting problem he lost lots of players that time likes of azar, jadeja etc. but he created the team with new talent, gave them confedence and at the same time

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 9:28 GMT

    Speaking as an outsider, but nonetheless avid cricket supporter, I wonder if Dhoni is really the best man for the jobl. As a captain he tends to wait for things to happen rather than trying to make them happen. Now it's all very well to make the excuse that India is a team in transition, but if that is the case, all the more reason to have a pro-active captain rather than a reactive one.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 9:18 GMT

    Rahul, that was a great article - a good one since a long time, replete with maturity and objectivity!

    I agree one hundred percent that MS Dhoni is the best we have got form a captaincy stand point at the moment. Kholi is the man for the future!

    I would even go so far as to say that Dhoni is the differentiator for India - a class act, a selfless leader, smart and brave. Over the last 6 months, he has faced a lot of criticism especially form the likes of the great Gavaskar, Shastri, Amarnath and few other second rankers which has led me to wonder if there is some game plan to get Dhoni out of the way. Dhoni has fulfilled the dreams of 100 Cr Indians by bringing back the World Cup in 2011, contributed in the match that mattered the most - the finals, led us to believe that India can win close contests.

    Dravid and Dhoni epitomize the spirit of the Indian masses - an example of rising through the system without any god fathers or legacy. Let's step back and cherish

  • POSTED BY roversgate on | January 10, 2013, 9:17 GMT

    I agree with Dravid in that Dhoni should give up T20 captaincy and focus on test captaincy. I don't say this because he is the best captain around but because he is the ONLY captain around. Sehwag, Gambhir and Ashwin are too out of form and have their place constantly in question to be considered captain. Kohli, Pujara, Yadav and the #6 batsmen are too new into the team and burdening them with captaincy is harsh. Tendulkar and Zaheer are on their way out and cant be given captaincy so late in their career. That just leaves Dhoni. He is going to have to sacrifice the T20 captaincy to reduce workload but at least until Pujara gets some time out in the middle, Dhoni it has to be.

  • POSTED BY arup_g on | January 10, 2013, 9:14 GMT

    Dhoni is no doubt an excellent captain but I think more so in ODI and T20 cricket. He not only adds more to the team with his batting, but also his sharper thinking. I think in Test cricket he is behind the 8 ball, and his excellent start to Test captaincy was due to inheriting a ready made team - Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Gambhir, Zaheer. Now that two of those players have retired, and the remaining are out of form, Dhoni looks short of ideas for new ways to win tests!

    India need a new face to lead them forward with dynamic thinking. Virat Kohli seems to be the ideal man for this with his aggressive on the field nature. Why do people feel he is too young for the job? Graeme Smith took on the South African captaincy at a very young age and look where they are now! A new test captain and a new coach is where India need to be come the next tour. It is the time for Kohli to step up and show what he is really made of, just like Dhoni did a few years ago.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 9:12 GMT

    Rahul, you were a legendary player. A great captain, and a promising journalist. However, we need our articulate and intelligent ex-captains to exploit their powers of influence in a manner that will directly impact the administration of the game in India.

    "Dhoni has got to have a vision of where he wants this team to be at the end of that England tour next year. And he needs to identify a set of players to take India through the next five years." Really? Are you suggesting that all responsibility rests on Dhoni's narrow shoulders? What about the BCCI? Have you absolved them? If not, tell us about it.

    As recent sporting and non-sporting events have suggested, India needs strong proponents of transparency and accountability. If you're going to write articles, write articles that progress towards this end. You have the insider's perspective. Delve deeper. Get answers. Incite change. Expose the system. That's real journalism. I expect more.

  • POSTED BY bulldo on | January 10, 2013, 9:11 GMT

    Good article by dravid. i personally feel that Dhoni must come in at No: 3 position one dayers irrespective of the situation the team is. this would enable him to free his hands as well as dictate terms. im sure he still the better captain india has ever seen.

  • POSTED BY TATTUs on | January 10, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    In short what Dravid is saying is Dhoni the captain is starting just now. Previously he was captain just for the name and the team handled itself, which was evident from the wickets taken by India most of which were either bowled LBW of caught behind.

  • POSTED BY pradip1127 on | January 10, 2013, 9:05 GMT

    We need new capatain in test My XI is 1 ) Rahane 2) Gambhir 3) Pujara 4) Sachin 5) Rohit Sharma 6) Virat (C) 7) Karthik/Parthiv 8) Ashvin 9) Zaheer 10) Umesh 11) Oja /Bhuvneshwar Kumar and extra 12) Manoj Tiwary 13) IK Pathan 14) Amit Mishra 15) R. Jadeja.

    Dhoni is no test material. He is excellent in ODI rather best batsman/finisher in ODI. I am not against Dhoni. I am a BIG fan of Dhoni. We Have to accept the truth. Now the time has come for spilt Captaincy. Dhoni remain capt in ODI and T20. and Virat will lead in TEST.

  • POSTED BY RajDaw on | January 10, 2013, 9:02 GMT

    True genius, a cricket elite is Rahul! However, I think Pujara should be ahead of Kohli in the pecking order!

  • POSTED BY jasonpete on | January 10, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    A very good analysis of the current Indian team and its captaincy issues.As an outsider,it is always a pleasure to read his written articles.I guess dravid knows better than many who disagree here.He played under dhoni and knows him deep well more than many of us .@nyc_missile, you seems to have a blind dislike towards dhoni as captain and you are criticising his captaincy as a ganguly fan.I wonder why some ganguly fans criticises dhoni for the current situation.Obvious reasons,india go through transition phase and it will take some time to build up the team and seniors like Gambhir and sehwag fighting for captaincy ambitions rather than leading from front to be an example for youngsters.sreesanth,irfan is injured and kohli groomed under dhoni..Dhoni backing up too much rohit sharma and you still complain for it as well.gamguly had great players playing under him and he was a successful captain.Dhoni too had a success when all theses players were in form.A captain is as good as team.

  • POSTED BY pradip1127 on | January 10, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    We need new capatain in test My XI is 1 ) Rahane 2) Gambhir 3) Pujara 4) Sachin 5) Rohit Sharma 6) Virat (C) 7) Karthik/Parthiv 8) Ashvin 9) Zaheer 10) Umesh 11) Oja /Bhuvneshwar Kumar and extra 12) Manoj Tiwary 13) IK Pathan 14) Amit Mishra 15) R. Jadeja.

    Dhoni is no test material. He is excellent in ODI rather best batsman/finisher in ODI. I am not against Dhoni. I am a BIG fan of Dhoni. We Have to accept the truth. Now the time has come for spilt Captaincy. Dhoni remain capt in ODI and T20. and Virat will lead in TEST.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    I read all this article, even not skipped one sentence. What a wonderful article written by great wall of India.he has shown positive attitude towards Dhoni for the future of Indian cricket. Can any one accept Dhoni is the only one captain in this world of cricket has limited source of players and achieved this much achievements. Ricky had.....top class warne, lee, mcgrath, hyded,...billy......clark in his side and lead australia to top level of cricket. But please note who are the Indians you can compare with thos guys from indian team. Sachin,,,perhap Dravid or zaheer? no still we can't even compare, though still Dhoni maintain to keep Indian team to attain No 1 test team once. So I still vote for Dhoni till 2015 W cup as a wicket keeper captain............

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | January 10, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    The article is real interesting as Dravid has personal insight of each of these players and their leadership abilities. I agree fully with the point that India will be fine in ODIs and T20. When it comes to the Indian test team, I fear this is a discussion about who should captain the Titanic.

  • POSTED BY TATTUs on | January 10, 2013, 8:53 GMT

    CM Gautham KD Karthik P Patel Senju Samson. Jiwanjyoth Singh

    These are some of the players that did well in this years Ranji Trophy till now. But how many of these will get a chance in the India A team or India test team. With Dhoni standing in the way, will the top 4 of these get a chance? Please dont try these guys in meaningless ODIs or godforsaken T20s.

  • POSTED BY ada007 on | January 10, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    I respect Dravid but the problem with Dravid is that he is too much of a gentleman, come on dude, take a stance, stop trying to please everybody, first you say dhoni is ideal captain for all formats, then you say he needs a break, first you suggest kohli is not ready to captain, then you say lets make him t20 captain, first you say ghambir is not ready to be captain then you say he has a chance, quit trying to please everybody, perhaps you owe them one as a friend / teammate but now you are a writer, so write so that the readers learn and enjoy.

    anyways, my take on this cricket team's captainship: Dhoni for tests, since there is no one else, Kohli for 1 days and or t20s.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    Excellent article. Especially since it would have been very easy for Dravid to say "When I was captain,...." - after all, he was one of India's most successful test captains. To me, Dhoni clearly has two choices - (a) what Dravid suggests - give up T20 captaincy, especially CSK and get Kohli in or (b) retire from tests/ give up captaincy in tests to focus on the 2015 World Cup title defence and the T20 formats - make Sehwag or Gambhir the captain. Both are going through a bad patch, but this will be an interim step till 2014 England (similar to Kumble as captain till Dhoni took over in tests). Sehwag, especially will have the energy and time, if he is no longer going to play ODIs or T20 for India. Giving Gambhir the responsibility may actually make him more focussed and give him the trust (e.g. like Clarke, who averaged in the 30s/ low 40s before captaincy and look at him now).

  • POSTED BY King-Cobra on | January 10, 2013, 8:49 GMT

    Words of wisdom. We've already seen Michael Clarke doing it for Australia. He has stepped away from lucrative T20 leagues such as IPL, BBL and also international T20. He stays focussed on the longer format and Dhoni has to certainly draw this inspiration from him.

  • POSTED BY Addu04 on | January 10, 2013, 8:36 GMT

    Rahul a great Batsman a great slip fielder and now a great commentator and writer. Very well said Sir.

  • POSTED BY ashankar on | January 10, 2013, 8:34 GMT

    His team-mates included Sachin, myself, Laxman, Sehwag, Zaheer and Harbhajan, and we didn't need instructions about what to do to perform. Now Dhoni is captaining a team with young guys, who need more communication and guidance. They are learning about international cricket and dealing with their own stresses and challenges; they need someone to help them, to explain what is happening - for example, when people are dropped. - Excellent Point!!!

  • POSTED BY mathewjohn2176 on | January 10, 2013, 8:33 GMT

    A very good sensible article written by the wall Rahul dravid.As always some ganguly fans will make it as ganguly vs dhoni here as well.Read carefully and understand what dravid is trying to say.Under ganguly captaincy we had a young tendulkar,dravid,laxman,Kumble and he was leading the best Indian team at that moment.Now seniors are retired and its difficult to replace the great players immediately.So fans have to be a patient and ganguly fans shouldn't make it as a ganguly vs dhoni argument.If ganguly don't have dravid,laxman,Kumble and tendulkar in his side,he wouldn't be a successful captain.A captain is as good as the team .

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | January 10, 2013, 8:28 GMT

    Is giving up CSK captaincy, the way forward..?It is best to release him from test and retain him for ODI and T20. And who can replace him in Test...?Maybe Kohli...

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:27 GMT

    The most important need of the hour is the batsmen approach and sharpening of their techniques. every batsman cannot be a dravid or tendulkar. but with grit and resolve they can achieve. I strongly feel there should be a good batting coach and none is better than rahul himself for this job. he is not creative like tendulkar and he knows how to play correctly. When to leave a ball and when to defend and when to pull all is in this great player's craft. he should be used properly. he will definetly serve the need of the hour for Indian cricket team.

    Hope BCCI listens to this. as regards bowling I dont think ozha or ashwin are of that class of kumble / harbhajan in their primes. We need to develop bench strengths and use them frequently. Ashwin or ojha may not last that long if the craft is not improved upon.

    Like dravid for batting we need a very good bowling coach for improving the main stay in our bowling- spin dept.

    Perhaps answer is in kumble or some one like prasanna.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    Dravid clearly stated that because of the world class players like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Ganguly, Kumble, Harbajan and Zaheer India has achieved a lot in test matches and one day matches. Like Clive Lloyd's West Indies team of 1980's, Mark Taylor and Stew Waugh's Australia team of 1990's India also achieved a lot under Ganguly, Dravid, Kumble and Dhoni captainships from 2001 to 2011. Because of media torture our senior players retired prematurely like Dravid, Kumble and Laxman. So stop criticism on Tendulkar and Sehwag and at least save their test careers. Mr Dhoni and selectors must respect senior players and treat them accordingly.

  • POSTED BY RGP1 on | January 10, 2013, 8:23 GMT

    While we contemplate M.S. Dhoni's future, and R. Dravid has laid it out succinctly, isn't this article ample proof that R. Dravid's future must include participation or leadership in national team selection?

  • POSTED BY DaisonGarvasis on | January 10, 2013, 8:19 GMT

    That article should give a lot of heart to Dhoni and Indian supporters. That's how you explain where things are wrong and still not hurt anybody. Dhoni should take all the positives given out by the elder brother and go about achieving what Dravid stated would be Dhoni's greatest acheivement - Taking the team through the the transition and handover to the next man for the job. And yes, the energy levels - or the lack of it of Dhoni is showing when he come to play and hope it has nothing to do with team politics.

  • POSTED BY mjrvasu on | January 10, 2013, 8:15 GMT

    Today Dhoni is the most consistent batsman in the India side, and he knows the strength and weakness of players better than anybody else. Nobody but him to be the leader in all forms of the game, at least for a couple of years more. Virat Kohli has a lot of promise, but he is yet to deliver on a consistent basis, to be assured of his place in the side all the time; before he can be considered as a team leader. As for Gambhir, he has lost all the attitude to be with the team, has become lethargic in batting and fielding. His place in the India side itself is questionable, so no way he can ever lead an India side. IPL is not an example to follow for international cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Perfect analysis and suggestion from a perfect cricketer !! Salute your RD for looking the positive side of the game positive side of Dhoni. Only true and honest cricketers like you can think of team long term perspective. Your experience and guidance valuable. Keep writing in the interest of game in the interest of team and country

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:09 GMT

    I don't think Dhoni is the man to lead Indias test team through a tough period. He hardly ever does the little things like bringing the field in when a player is on 99. You can get away with that if you have a team that runs itself like when they had all the experienced players but now its just not good enough to be as passive as he was throughout the tours of England and India. Dhoni is a captain that does not seem to want to do a captains job.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 8:01 GMT

    As much as i would like it, not a chance in the world that Dhoni will quit captaining CSK. A certain Mr. Srinivasan will never allow that. Oh, I forgot, he is also the BCCI chief!

  • POSTED BY realfan on | January 10, 2013, 7:54 GMT

    continued from previous post

    and finally FLETCHER.. i still dont knw what made BCCI think him as indian coach.... i mean indian are not meant for technical coaching... ( we see that in Chappel case, sehwag was in horrible form in his coaching, but in case of JOHN WRIGHT and KRISTEN who are both are practical coaches, sehwag was in top form of his life) i agree fletcher has lead england very well in coaching, but not for indian players.... he need to be changed ASAP....

  • POSTED BY TywinLannister on | January 10, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    Just this last week I was thinking the same thing - when Dhoni took over the captaincy, there must have been a huge difference felt within the dressing room in that, he wasn't very hands-on and wasn't the type who preached a lot - so that must have allowed the rest of the players to breathe better and they responded well too with great performances. But like Dravid indicated, that may not always work - especially with youngsters now coming in who do need some preaching now and then and since that isn't happening, we may be seeing these recent issues with the team's performance or the lack of it. Also Dravid's just pointing out another pretty obvious fact about Dhoni's captaincy with regards to the bowling plans and strategy - we have seen no indications of any elaborate planning like setting up fields for particular batsmen other than the odd one here and there. So this article confirms that as well. Bottomline for me with Dhoni's captaincy is that he needs to show more aggression.

  • POSTED BY tanxi on | January 10, 2013, 7:53 GMT

    How can you blame MSD for all the defeats. Is he meant to beat teams single handedly? His top order in test matches has failed consistently.

    @Raj12345 - You say Dhoni&co. So why only release Dhoni, especially for Karthik who has had opportunities but failed. Dhoni still averages 38 in Test Cricket. At #7, that his highly respectable. (Opinions can't be false, but yours is as close as it gets)

    You must face the fact that the whole of India just haven't been good enough in Test cricket over the past few years. Not just one or two individuals.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    Rahul is most dependabl.he has ability to turn thematch whether india is chasing or batting first...i willl rated as sachin far behind rahul.....Rahul and sachin are gentleman.....

  • POSTED BY realfan on | January 10, 2013, 7:50 GMT

    As expected from the most respected unbiased cricketer.... i really think that this article was spot on..

    what i really look forward in indian cricket is that Virat kohli should me made t20 captain asap ( it suits his onfield nature ) and with the gain in experience he can be made captain for ODI in india tour to south africa ( by that time lot of t20i will be played....)

    and not only dhoni i feel gambir, should be rested from odi's and t20i ( i have seen a lot of changes in batting since ipl ) and he must be played only for test, so as sehwag ( atleast till south africa tour, sehwag should be part of indian test side )

    and if you are looking ashwin as a leading test bowler for india , get rest for him in t20is.....

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:46 GMT

    Well said Rahul sir u hjave mapped the things well for Dhoni and what he shud think to do in the near future i wud say not only he shud speak moe to hi support staff as yoiu ae suggesting n u must be ight in dat regards as you have played cricket and share d same dressing room he must also seek some guidance from experienced players like u,dada,kumble sir as u ppl now can see d things from outside also and can help in d overall pespective as to wat u ppl are analysing and where he is going. Otherwise i also believe that he is d ight man to captain India in longer format as of now.

  • POSTED BY Sunman81 on | January 10, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    Agreed... With their current form Gauti should do well to improve his batting form before thinking of Captaincy..but yes, Kohli is an able candidate and just like Dhoni, he must be given the T20 captaincy first and then gradually progressed to captain ODI and Test...... And its a good idea to suggest a temporary break for dhoni from T20 international...

  • POSTED BY anindya59 on | January 10, 2013, 7:45 GMT

    dhoni needs inspiration more than anything else right now!otherwise he can't lead wel,,he's leading from the front,right???now it's the responsibility from the other batsmen to do well...it's actually one man show in ind-pak series!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:44 GMT

    A visionary article. Must be sent straight to MS and to the selectors. Nice one Rahul. Thank you

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Superb article. Indian team and Dhoni require support rather than criticism all the time.

  • POSTED BY mukesh_LOVE.cricket on | January 10, 2013, 7:42 GMT

    Once again the gentleman and class act (on and off the field) that is Rahul Dravid has got it spot on... he summarized it perfectly , anyone who have observed Indian cricket without the prejudices would have reached EXACTLY the same conclusions he reached !

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:35 GMT

    Dravid is indebted to Dhoni as Dhoni kept him in the team in Australia when Dravid was finding different ways to be bowled without scoring too many runs. In addition, Dravid knows how influential Dhoni and Srinivasan are. Mahinder Amarnath was kicked out of the selection committee just because he said in a team selection meeting that Dhoni should be removed from captaincy. Naturally, it is to Dravid's benefit to keep Dhoni happy. Maybe, Dravid will apply for a selector's position or the Indian coach position soon. But it does not matter what Dravid thinks/writes--Dhoni will stay as the captain at least till Srinivasan is there and take team India to new lows. Let's pray that Dhoni quits the test captaincy after team Australia thrashes team India (he won't quit because he would be taking the responsibility of the debacles, but because he knows that team India is going to lose all the away tests in South Africa and England).

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:33 GMT

    "Dhoni must also recognise that he needs to change a very successful leadership style - almost change direction - because the team is changing." a good theme. It will gonna be character test for Dhoni. He just need to talk to Indian Greats and work on it.But i feel like world cricket will hardly find greats any more.Cricket has stopped.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:31 GMT

    This is an excellent, positive article by the Wall of Indian cricket. As he led the team in the past, Dravid knows best how to lead the Indian team. In the transition period, we need somebody to lead the team from the front. And Dhoni is the right person at present. Only thing is he has to change his method of leading. As Dravid correctly put it, he's to talk to the young bowlers and plan the attack. And after achieving success, he can hand over the mantle to players like Kohli.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    Very insightful and sensible article. I agree that this is a period of transition. However, one must fault Dhoni for team selection. There are too many players who are constantly overlooked at the expense of non-performers. Some of these non-performers have been given ample chances. Rohit in ODI's, Yuvi and Raina in tests, Bhaji, Sehwag and Gambhir in all formats. That's almost half our team. What about giving more chances to Badri, Tiwary, Pujara, Rahane, Unmukht etc. Now that we have Rahane, Shami and B.Kumar, we've seen how much better the team has done.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Sure go ahead with Dhoni as the test captain if we are not yet ashamed or tired of 10 losses on a trot..

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:27 GMT

    I am a Pakistani. I believe Dhoni is a great Captain and a great player. Its just that India is too dependent on flat pitches and their batsmen. If you see after rule changes where there is support for bowlers the indian batsmen faltered. Its time India realizes that flat pitches dont make great batsmen. Dhoni and Tendulker are great players who could play on any condition and both of them have got themselves in trouble due to negative media. This is my honest opinion no offense guys...

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:20 GMT

    Dhoni as a captain is highly successful, no doubt about that. But due to the inner politics, he is unable to control the players. He is capable of batting to the very end of game, hence I am of the opinion that he should start the innings and can bat till the very end with intermediate partnerships between the wickets. He can sustain ferocious bowling attacks with the new ball, as he is very dedicated and patient. It is high time selectors consider competitive openers to start the innings. Rahul Dravid's meticulous analysis of the game provokes good thinking.

  • POSTED BY AyanMula on | January 10, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    Great article by Mr. Rahul Dravid. Mr. Dravid has always been a thinking cricketer. probably this is the best article on the present condition of Indian cricket team. I think the time has come for split captaincy in indian cricket. Again a great thanks to Mr. Rahul Complete Batsman Dravid-THE WALL.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:15 GMT

    A thoughtful, level-headed and instructive article - but then one expects no less from someone of Rahul Dravid's caliber. Dhoni would do well to pay heed to this and so would the selectors and the BCCI. In fact, BCCI needs to grab Dravid, Anil Kumble and and Sourav Ganguly before they it's too late and give them the mandate to shape the Indian test team for the battles ahead. What selection committee that trio would make!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    Please make RD as the batting consultant / Coach. He is respected, got great thought process, and has done and achieve something which the current bunch of crickters can look up to

    We cant get a better option than the wall

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:10 GMT

    @Posted by Dhimant Chovatia on (January 10 2013, 06:12 AM GMT) Totally agree with whatever you have mentioned.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    A beautiful article. its dhoni's turn now to try and build a team. maybe he should give up T20 and CSK captainship. raina may be the alternative in both the cases. and indeed the next year and a half will be the most tough and challenging for dhoni.

  • POSTED BY sanjeevve on | January 10, 2013, 7:08 GMT

    Rahul Dravid's is a rare sane--and sage--voice in Indian cricket. Uncomplicated, analytical mind. Absolute pleasure to read his views on just about any aspect of cricket. Indeed, M.S. Dhoni is still the best to take Indian cricket forward. In Test cricket particularly, where we are struggling and will continue to struggle for a while longer. It's important that we get rid of players who are playing on reputation alone. Virender Sehwag should go. Gautam Gambhir too. Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja have no role to play in Tests. Rohit Sharma should play Tests and axed from other forms. Blood fresh bowling talent. Play Harmeet Singh, the left arm spinner. Shami Ahmed and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. Ishant Sharma or Ashok Dinda in the lead role. This team needs a makeover. The batting will in time settle down with Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara providing the fulcrum. Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Manoj Tiwary, Unmukt Chand, Robin Bist would be the others. Maybe Jiwanjot too.

  • POSTED BY rlefti on | January 10, 2013, 7:07 GMT

    I really like Rahul dravid as a batsmen for me he is the best! even tendulkar doesn't come close in terms of test cricket. But he was always bad at reading the game or captaining, very defensive in attitude, though the greatest team man. Captaincy needs a lot especially when you build a team and dhoni lacks most of those qualities, he has been a captain as good as Ricky ponting looked great when the team was great looked terrible during the re-building phase, where as if you take captains like Waugh, Taylor, ganguly or ranatunga or imran they all built great teams and made sure the talent flourished so well that the talent turned out to be great cricketers, dhoni lacks that vision. India never had such strong talent pool or bench strength yet we are failing badly. If we go for split captaincy dhoni shouldn't lead in test cricket rather lead in shorter format of the game

  • POSTED BY AdityaUpadhyay on | January 10, 2013, 7:05 GMT

    Amazing article sir, but not everybody is as selfless as you are. You left the captaincy after series win in WI & Eng. You were dropped from the ODI team as soon as you left the captaincy. Dhoni might be afraid of same. As soon as captaincy is over, the position of a player is in danger.As far as test captaincy, Gambhir is himself struggling with form. If you want to take a gamble like Grahem Smith for SA, the why not make Cheteshwar Pujara the captain?

  • POSTED BY moBlue on | January 10, 2013, 7:04 GMT

    for the most part, rahul is right, but only to a degree... i mean, unlike all the idiots clamoring for so long on this very forum for dravid and lax and sachin to call it quits in oz when IND were flopping in tests down under so that their "heroes", rohit and raina and such other IPL champs, could rescue IND in tests, i knew - and stated repeatedly - that we were on a lo-o-ong way downhill, especially after dravid and lax (and soon sachin) would retire... because those of us who have watched IND from the gavaskar days know what it takes for IND to succeed in tests and it is special never-say-die players like the trinity and ganguly, sehwag, kumble, zaheer and bhajji - not clueless IPL heroes like rohit and raina whom my feisty grandMa would be better than in terms of temperament and temerity when it comes to test cricket!!! ...and now for the ones still clamoring for sachin to retire, go away and watch your IPL and leave test cricket to the rest of us!

    thus dhoni can only do so much.

  • POSTED BY suman2 on | January 10, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    I disagree. Overseas tours will tell us if Dhoni as a wicket-keeper batsman is good enough to retain his test spot; Otherwise Saha. In limited overs, he should continue to be the captain. I have never liked Dhoni's captaincy and believe India won the WC despite the captain as it was a very settled team. However, I see no evidence that he is a man to a lead bunch of consistent losers to turn things around. Under the present leadership I have seen the darkest days of Indian cricket since 1970s. Not only in results, but many progresses such as selection issues made under Ganguly era, are being reversed.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    Rahul Sir,You have been my Champion since 10-12 years and all of this you have written is completely true.Yes Dhoni has been excellent as he had got us to Number 1 IN TEST rankings.Its just that as u have said,he needs a break between captaincy,keeping and playing.He has one problem that is ,he never goes up to the bowler or a young bowler to encourage him,yes it might be difficult because he is a keeper.But still he is the captain too,so I think this thing he should improve.

  • POSTED BY Raj12345 on | January 10, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    I don't find any value in this article and this written after more than 10 test failures caused by Dhoni & co. Release Dhoni and bring Karthik, Karthik was good middle order and team wasted him lot. Time to bring Karthik and give rest to RG.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Dravid is absolutely right..some legends of the game carried the burden and gave us some memorable wins/moments and MSD happened to be the lucky captain of that blessed team.Now that they're gone,he still has allies and friends..Srini in BCCI,pitches,weather & tosses --one to insulate him from selectors,others to cover for his own shameful tactics..

  • POSTED BY DSharath on | January 10, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    I strongly with the point Dravid is making here. According to me, Dhoni is in middle of something where he cant just hold or let go. He is the only experienced player in the team and he needs to motivate the team. He does that by his actions.. he steps up everytime he is needed to say look-this-is-how-you-need-to play. but not always and everyone can read that.Instinct is his USP which he proved time and again, so it would not be difficult to convince his team what he thinks. I want Dhoni to be captain atleast till England series next year but i do disgree on split captaincy at this point of time because all things spoken of, at the end of the day, success/failure in one format would still impact the morale of team in the other formats.

  • POSTED BY sshadab on | January 10, 2013, 6:54 GMT

    Brilliant article and suggestions by Dravid. From a layman I think another potential angle that Dhoni should look at is giving up wicket keeping in test cricket like Sangakara does for Sri Lanka. In this way his work load reduces and he can also if required contribute as a back up seamer if required. We do have a decent set of wicket keepers, like Dinesh Karthik, Parthiv, Saha, Naman Ojha, Gautham to chose from who are also good batsmen as well. This will help him regularly talk to bowlers and also be more proactive on the field.

  • POSTED BY Senthilkumarvs on | January 10, 2013, 6:53 GMT

    Very Good article! by the cricketing legend Rahul. Rahul is absolutely correct about the way forward for indian cricket as well as the way Dhoni need to change his captaincy style. Change is in-evitable in all forms of life. So dhoni must identify and must start grooming the next leaders for all three forms which will definetly reflect the true leadership quality he is having. Also Rahul has clearly mentioned about the roles & responsibilities which Dhoni needs to communicate to his players. Even dhoni should re-apply the startegy which worked well in the past like leaders for batting, bowling and fielding within the team squad. Let us all support our team during these tough periods so that we will become strongest soon. All the very best to Team India for a successful 2013.

  • POSTED BY ilovusenthil on | January 10, 2013, 6:45 GMT

    Very well written by the wall which mostly talks about the leadership quality and team handling skills. I have many points to take from this article be it in cricket wise or in my IT job wise.

  • POSTED BY Amit_13 on | January 10, 2013, 6:34 GMT

    Rahul, first and foremost... it has brought me great pleasure to see you feature here. The reasons for this pleasure don't need to be mentioned... your stature in cricket is adequate. I agree with pretty much the whole article. Indian cricket is in transition but its also between a rock and a hard place. The departure list is full of people who come but once in several generations. Dhoni is the best man if he is willing to almost be a different person. He has gone from the last of the big names to the first in Indian cricket in less than a year. He arguably needs a helicopter view of the situation that he is in. Given the way he plays, I doubt the desire to lead has left him. He needs to come out of it all for a tiny bit and see how the world around him has changed. Helping the youngsters now is paramount as some of the games recently have shown utter confusion on the field. He also needs to see the current situation as a startpoint for his legacy; as an opportunity.

  • POSTED BY SanatAttavar on | January 10, 2013, 6:30 GMT

    SPOT ON!!! Hope a copy of this is circulated to Dhoni and BCCI - Cheif and the Selection Committee.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 6:29 GMT

    Ganguly as captain launched and groomed Zaheer,Sehwag,Harbhajan & Yuvraj among many others.Dhoni as captain almost or is on the verge of destroying Sreesanth,Irfan,Tiwary & Rahane (to some extent Rohit in tests) when they were readily given to him.That's the difference between both captains.One thinks for Indian cricket,the other thinks CSK.

  • POSTED BY AsitDe on | January 10, 2013, 6:25 GMT

    While I respect Rahul Dravid for the cricketer he was, I cannot support his view at all. Firstly, Dhoni has not been the best test captain of India, and Rahul being one of the chief architects of improved Indian test record abroad, must know that. Dhoni inherited a team that Ganguly and Kumble built, and that required painstaking efforts, not just in finding and then backing new players who later became world-beaters, but also effecting a change in attitude when India travels abroad, and in putting in place a procedure like hiring a physic for the first time in Indian cricket history. Does Rahul remember, a completely out-of-cricket RP Singh was flown in from India and played in tests in England when a bowler like Umesh Jadav was warming the bench ? There are plenty of other examples of blatant bias by Dhoni. He is paying the price for it today. Even after captaining India for more than 4 years, none of the players he backs has established themselves. I support Kohli as captain.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 6:24 GMT

    Dhony is offcourse the most successfull captain after ganguly Dada.I have been watching cricket since nari contractor lead his lack luster team to West indies just to hand over captaincy to nawab of patudy after getting hit by by a bouncer by charlie griffith. Dhony reminds me of Nari Contractor in spirits rather then style.After laxman and yourself retiring there as it is was a big void and then the entire betting line including Gambhir,sehwag,Virat kholi,Yuvraj,Raina,rohit sharma and Jadeja all started struggling with form.Now as if it was not bad enough Harbhajan,Zahir,Yadav got hit either by bad health or bad forn.In this situation the fans and the so called experts start finding faults in dhony's captaincy.Listen People Cricket is a team sports.a captain is as good is his team players.if the main players will play according to their pottencial then only a team can hope to win any games.Dhony is the best captain India will ever have ,now young people have to step up to the plate

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 6:17 GMT

    We glad to see one of best successful cricketer like a Respective Dravid and becoming as commentator. Hope our team may see Indian coach as Dravid, He deserves for it. But I don't think we have alternatives for Test Captaincy. Still we can believe that Dhoni can Captaincy in all formats, But he should plan for upcoming series by taking rest to some of the matches.

  • POSTED BY SamRoy on | January 10, 2013, 6:14 GMT

    I have said since 2010 that Dhoni is a poor test captain. As a player he is irreplaceable in sub-continent/WI conditions but must be stripped from captaincy. In SA, Australia and England, Karthik should replace him. In ODI cricket both him and Yuvraj are irreplaceable. As

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 6:12 GMT

    I gather some very important points from this article, which Rahul has subtly mentioned. While he did praise Dhoni, he does suggest in not as many words that Dhoni does not listen to people and never seeks or hears advice. Yes there are knowledgeable people around him but he seems to care less about them. The other thing clearly coming out of this while Rahul does not mention it explicitly is that captain cool does not have a good communication channel with the youngsters and lacks real mentor-ship (read leadership) skills. Also that the past success he got was more due to the efforts of the seniors who knew how to be successful. Now given this little "reading between the lines stuff" I may disagree with the article's sense and say that maybe its high time Dhoni quits captaincy in all formats and test cricket as a player too. He is good in limited overs and can be a value add under someone like Kohli. We got to take some risk....

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 6:07 GMT

    Great article indeed. Though, I have a feeling Dhoni should opt out of Test matches and captaincy. He can keep playing in ODI's/ T 20's as captain and a key player and aim for 2014 T20 world cup and 2015 ODI world cup. In my opinion, in Text matches. India will need a fresh start and be ready for a long haul and kohli is a better bet there. I will follow the Graeme Smith example there. However, if Dhoni is in that team it can create uncomfortable dynamics. kohli can lead a youngish team there with likes of Pujara, Rahane, Tiwari and Saha hopefully with support from his Delhi colleagues - Sehwag and Gautam

  • POSTED BY justkiddin on | January 10, 2013, 5:59 GMT

    Nice article. Very rare commodity considering the experts that we have who are allies of BCCI.

    Give up CSK captaincy. Though improbable and good suggestion.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 5:56 GMT

    Insecure,listless&stale captain Dhoni must go.Period.No amount of rationalization or justification can offset 10 disgraceful test wallopings and numerous other limited overs disasters...

  • POSTED BY flavoidastic on | January 10, 2013, 5:47 GMT

    do not think dhoni will pay heed to such comments..everybody knows that Dhoni should give up captaincy in some format of the game or atleast should take a break but he will not.. with the kind of form he is having he fears his place in the side(especially test side).. good thing for him that there is no wicketkeeper batsman on the bench like him.. However, if he actually wants to prove himself out there I wonder why did not he promote himself up the order..making 30-40 odd runs at No.6,7 neither will do him or his side any good.. he took this risk in the WC and succeeded now he need to take it again!!

  • POSTED BY Sir.Ivor on | January 10, 2013, 5:46 GMT

    After reading Rahul's views I get the impression that Dhoni is not a good listener, and has been relying upon his so called "instinct". That instinct looks ridiculous now because he has run out of luck, the only plank upon which his success stories have been based. Duncan fletcher is accredited with a sharp cricket brain. He has a bowling coach who is said to be an honest performer. They have a computer expert -- I think Ramki--who could provide the data for evolving strategies and field placements for batsmen based on their strengths and weaknesses. The only thing is that someone should make sure that all these individuals are used to come up with a plan based on the opposite team's players. Dhoni is living his image of being a gambler. where I disagree with Rahul is that I would not want him as captain in any format because he is a wicket keeper and a good batsman if the pressure of captaincy is taken off. Gambhir is captain material for Tests and Kohli for the limited over games.

  • POSTED BY hotcric01 on | January 10, 2013, 5:43 GMT

    A good article by dravid.I think dhoni should give up the test format.We know any genuine test batsman has a solid technique which dhoni hasn't.Look at dravid,sanga,lara,cook, Clarke these all good test batsmen have sound techniques.And also dhoni's wicket keeping in tests is not tremendous.So,test captaincy should be given to gambhir for a 1-2 year time,till Kohli get matured.Gambhir has the ability to improve his batting and his experiences will be vital for young indian team.India should find a good wicket keeper batsman for tests.Dhoni still should captain the ODI and t20 sides,at least 1 year.He should definitely play the 2015 world cup.

  • POSTED BY kurups on | January 10, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    Great article..simple and straight. Still differ a bit - Am not sure if Dhoni is real test material, esp. overseas tours and it will be a great test of his skill and tactics in the future tours. Simply put, India is low on confidence and resources and much needs to be done to form a good team for the future and most particularly to get a slick bowling unit.Maybe get Junaid and Irfan from Pakistan on loan!!!

  • POSTED BY TATTUs on | January 10, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    I do not agree. It is high time Dhoni steps down from Test captaincy. I do not also think Kohli is not ready. Look at Gream Smith. Dhoni can continue with ODI and T20 captaincy. Its high time India takes Parthiv Patel , Dinesh Karthik or even C Goutham as test wicket keepers. Even Young Senju Samson from Kerala is promising Wicket Keeper.

    So Dhoni can continue in ODIs and T20s, but surely not in tests. But I guess N Srinivasan has other ideas.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:33 GMT

    Last year virat kohli was in awesome form, To some extent other played fairly well due to that we never saw decline in overall ODI and t20 performance of the team. , Now we realize the need of some one who can anchor the role of DRAVID. What dhoni coul dhave done is tried something beyond or out of Rohit, Raina, Jadeja, Ashwin. For me dhoni & selectors has given maximum support for his CSK guys. hope he realizes there are other who are available.

  • POSTED BY nyc_missile on | January 10, 2013, 5:29 GMT

    Some nice and thoughtful suggestions but sadly addressed to the wrong guy at the moment.Dhoni needs help and the best possible way is to ease him out of captaincy from ALL formats.IPL CSK and T20 are only a few matches so I don't see much workload there,he can also have other keepers for domestic matches.Its in intl cricket where he needs the break.He's keeping,batting & captaining incessantly so its taking toll on his judgements and decisions on field.So with due respect to Dravid,I completely disagree with his suggestion that he's still the best bet in tests and can give up CSK and T20s.It should be the other way around.Gambhir can be the test captain for a while and Kohli as ODI & T20 captain can grow into test leadership under Gambhir.Unless this is a reverse strategy to pressure Srini to persuade Dhoni to give up international captaincy to continue with CSK I don't think this is a fair call by Dravid.

  • POSTED BY GopiKothandapani on | January 10, 2013, 5:26 GMT

    One of the honest review about the current status of indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY pradeep1967 on | January 10, 2013, 5:24 GMT

    This is one of the best article I have read on Indian Captiancy. Also an honest and an unbaised one. I think some body should bring this to the notice of Dhoni. Keep writing Rahul, we appreaciate your valuable feedback to Indian cricket.

  • POSTED BY cricspeak on | January 10, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    Rahul, Rahul, Rahul...you keep us involved even with your writing. Once a performer, always a performer...so true!

  • POSTED BY Pedpathpres on | January 10, 2013, 5:16 GMT

    As always spot on Rahul. I say Rahul , Kumble and Laxman for BCCI , executive posts!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:15 GMT

    Most part of what Rahul has said makes sense. But the point is, nothing will be achieved if such pieces are written only for people like us to read. Rahul needs to discuss his views and observations with Dhoni. There should be a lot of communication between Dhoni, the selectors, the coach, BCCI and former players like Rahul and Anil. It is only then that a proper future course of action can be mapped.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Great Article,I personally think Dhoni should give captaincy in T20 to someone like Virat Or Yuvi if he is ready to take up the job. Dhoni also needs to be open to suggestions from all wise men out there..Mr.Dravid, Mr.Ganguly, Mr.Kumble etc..skip an odd ODI or series & meanwhile prepare Virat as the future captain by making him Vice captain in all formats... & one more thing..if only sehwag can drop down at No.6 in tests then there can be some other opener at the top who doesn't have slow reflexes like aging sehwag & we can find the solution for the middle order & sehwag can attack from no. 6 too when the ball is old!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    I dont know what role Dunccan fletcher is playing in the setup. I cant criticize him, but it is clear for what ever reason the young team members does not seem to have a clear direction and vision. Now that could be Dhoni's fault, but in cricket captain is most important. One thing, as Dravid said Dhoni is not one for exhaustive planning, so he probably needs a partner who could do that part and be more hands on in development of young guys. Purely going by the passive nature of Coach Fletcher, I think India needs a more proactive coach. It is regularly pointed out in commentary that there seems to be lack of energy in Indian team during practice, I would put that on the support staff. This team may need some help from people like Dravid, Kumble and Ganguly, on meticulous planning in preparation , strong determination and never say die attitude.

  • POSTED BY Narbavi on | January 10, 2013, 5:11 GMT

    @ccrriicc: Oh really? Dravid has made excellent suggestions here and u question him? fine, Dhoni is averaging 38 in test cricket, now tell me in the last 20 years which indian wicketkeeper batsman has averaged even 30 in test cricket?

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:09 GMT

    Excellent opinion piece both for the quality of the content and the lucid communication. Rahul, you should write a book. I will buy it.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 5:07 GMT

    I agree with Rahul completely. This is the best thing for Indian Cricket and Dhoni personally. Dhoni has been on the road since December 2005 and has had very few breaks in between. He has performed really well and has missed very very little cricket through injury. He is willing to play through niggles and pain. All this is testimony to his fitness and commitment. Let us all stand by Dhoni during testing times. I'm sure he is the most disappointed person with India's performance since 2011 World Cup win.In my opinion Dhoni should quit T20 Cricket completely. He has a contract with the Chennai Super Kings till the end of IPL 2013. He should neither renew nor go to another Franchise. I'm sure Dhoni will consider this option. Quitting T20 Cricket will ease the burden on him. It will freshen him up and he will have more energy with breaks in between. This will allow Dhoni to get India's Test Cricket back on track and prepare to defend the World Cup 2015 Down Under!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:55 GMT

    Very well written indeed. I must compliment Rahul for giving in insights as a professional cricketer. Dhoni for most of his career has been the most obedient captain, India has ever seen. Whatever has been entrusted on him, he has belligerently taken up the challenge and stood by the team and its non performing members for as long as I can remember. But Its even visible to the naked eye that he has been playing a lot of cricket, irrespective of the format. This has resulted in him being jaded all the time. Its for the BCCI to understand that tomorrow is Dhoni announces his abrupt retirement from test cricket, team India would be thrown into even greater turmoil. So its imperative that BCCI recognizes his work load and manages it accordingly so that he remains fresh and active in all the matches he plays. After all there are limits to what a human being (irrespective of being an Indian cricketer) can achieve, and Dhoni has already achieved all that long back.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:54 GMT

    if dravid speaks its absolutely worth listening to...the only sad thing is that i doubt if dhoni would come across this......but dravid is spot on in the entire length

  • POSTED BY fudgys11 on | January 10, 2013, 4:53 GMT

    I really think there should be different captains in all the formats. What this does that it gives each captain enough break and the selectors would also be in a position to pick and choose. It also gives the next incumbent enough experience to lead and hone his skills. Every captain has a shelf life and Dhoni seems to have reached his. " He has reached his level of imcompetence" . How many more defeats will we have to endure before we realise that Dhoni will soon have no other reason left to blame. No other Indian captain has had sudh a long rope. Earlier one series defeat was enough for a captain to be sacked. If you continue to do things in a similar way, you will never succeed if you have been failing. You have to do things differently to do different things, if you have to change things. Earlier it used to Bowlers fault, now its the Batsmen fault, When will Captains fault turn come ? Now he looks and acts too big for his boots. Slectors are also to be blamed, contd..

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | January 10, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    What i will suggest for Dhoni.. 1. Give away the test spot atleast for some 6 months and get back fresher provided the replacement keeper doesn't take his spot. 2. Be ruthless. The Dhoni who dropped Viru for Robin in the CB series or the one who picked Joginder when Bhajji was having a over in hand. 3. Never compromise on anything - Like the "Don't play for gallery" attitude. If Dhoni takes away the negativity in captaincy from his mind and stop his friendly sentiments and focuses on the talent hunt and keeping his captaincy record in tact, he can succeed again. He is still the best ODI bat in the country even in midst of all these pressure for failure in tests.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:51 GMT

    I totally agree!!! Many people said n number of things about Dhoni and Indian Team..This is the best I read..not surprisingly it comes from one of the most decorated and respected cricketer Mr Rahul Rock Dravid...

  • POSTED BY SJames on | January 10, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    I cant help but admire the transition Dravid himself has effected... from being a quite , on-the-backfoot batsman to a very vocal and curt commentator and ambassador of the game. In his eloquent and euphimistic style he has put up some suggestions that might ruffle a few feathers... I hope the powers that be appreciate the undeniable wisdom behind his thoughts...

  • POSTED BY veerakannadiga on | January 10, 2013, 4:42 GMT

    Very fair & nicely assessed article. Honest writing. As always with everything he does, RD, has analysed the ground reality perfectly. May the Great Man Live Long and keep educating us with his valuable views. God Bless Us All. Amen.from a loyal Dravid fan.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:38 GMT

    Excellent article ,,, well directed and well thought writing .

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:36 GMT

    Wonderful piece, Mr. Dravid. Thank you for your perspective. Thank you also for your wonderful contribution to India and Indian cricket. People think more highly of Indians because you are an Indian. We hold our heads up high when we think Aaah, Rahul Dravid.... he's an Indian.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:20 GMT

    Well composed Rahul..A Good one especially the part where he can give up t20 captaincy..Yes certainly if he does that it will be better..He has already showed signs that Raina would lead CSK but if he does that with India it would help him..

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:17 GMT

    Just like he did with the bat, Rahul Dravid has now calmed the nation down with his pen. And also provided good roadmap for the future.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:15 GMT

    Is Dhoni reading this? It is absolutely a waste for publishing this here if that doesn't happen.

  • POSTED BY ccrriicc on | January 10, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    I am sorry Mr. Wall, you are totally off the point. The label of the most "successful" captain doesn't fit the debacle Mr. Dhoni finds himself in. Let us be open - Mr. Dhoni 's technique will never work on fast swinging pitches outside of india, thus your time line to keeep him on until 2014 (England tour) is suggesting a grim future for India fans. Dhoni is a priceless ODI captain/player! With all the high grade players in the team Dhoni lost everything in England and Australia and now making him a leader to coach younger players - what kind of thinking is the "Wall" offering? - I see big wholes in your reasoning Sir!

  • POSTED BY Narbavi on | January 10, 2013, 4:09 GMT

    Perfect assessment is all i can say!! Hope Dhoni goes through this column, and as Rahul said, he needs to give up the t20 captaincy to virat, captaining and keeping and batting in all 3 formats is one heck of a tough job!!

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Words of wisdom from a legendary cricketer.. Hope Dhoni see this article before its too late.. All the best Team India.. We, true fans, are always with you..

  • POSTED BY leslie_alo on | January 10, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    The one day team looks good and with the return of Sreesanth and Umesh,it will become the team for the future - good job,Sandeep and co. Below is the recent performance of some players in domestic: Parthiv: 51,162,80,56,61,12,55,65,111,92,22,31,101,47 AM Nayar: 35,4,107,0,64,62,73*,51,26*,69*,11,28,62*,72*, 122 plus 22 wickets Murali Vijay: 22,39,13,7,32,15,0,17,3,13,42,24,24,76 Karthik: 74,0*,154,29,35,75,49,23,0,8,17,187 Why were M Vijay(3 fifties 2 hundreds) and Karthik (2 fifties, 2 hundreds) brought into test team. Why is Parthiv (7 fifties, 3 hundreds) not brought as a batsman like DeVilliers under Boucher and though Dhoni is not performing in tests,let them keep him if they want. This means first class is not the criteria used by wise men for Test cricket. And Rahane and Nayar also might need a look in before he ages. Let more money be pumped into first class too so much so that players are lured to play and let them be rewarded for performance after new bouncer rule.

  • POSTED BY Dr.Cricketisback on | January 10, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Amazing Read Sir. This is one of the most balanced description of the Indian Captaincy I have read in a long time. Couldnt agree more. Always a fan of your batting Sir.Thank You for years of joy you gave me through the sheer brilliance of your batting. I would love you to play a more prominent role in the development of Cricket in India.

  • POSTED BY kirangupta on | January 10, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    What a great article. Keep it up!

  • POSTED BY sramesh_74 on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Rahul Dravid gave up captaincy and we all know what happened. This could be the same reason for Dhoni not wanting to give it up in the shorter format.

  • POSTED BY N.Sundararajan on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    N. Sundararajan from Chennai Rahul, You have put it very well. As someone who has been in the team till recently and have known MS from close quarters, your views and suggestions should be taken well by MS and he should work at these. Unfortunately, the only seniors who could have guided him ( Sehwag, Gambhir) are competing with him silently ! And Sachin seems to have withdrawn himself into deep cover, deep midwicket and so on ! Hopefully MS will do better in the coming months !

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    awesome unbiased view on Dhoni we need players who will back their captain like you kumble and Srinath were foot soldiers for captian, who would die for teams sake

    i hope raina , ashwin and ishant learn from you guys

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | January 10, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Rahul Dravid provides the most balanced comments on Indian captaincy in recent weeks. Indians have traditionally tried to burden any young player- who performs- with captaincy and it has not always yielded the best results, Remember the cases of Kapil Dev and a young Sachin. Kapil Dev certainly could have done better with more experience in tests, and Sachin too may have become a very good test captain if the captaincy decision could have been delayed for a couple of years. I would be glad if Dhoni is offered the captaincy for tests, and he declines the offer, and then it is given to some/any senior member of the team (in recent years Indian successful captains- Kumble, Ganguly and Azharuddin have been such selections). Lets hope Virat is given the captaincy only after he has some more maturity and also when he justifies his place in the test side.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    very well written article by dravid. by here i would like to endorse gavaskar's view that a young kohli should be given the reins of the indian team. he is fresh, strong willed and responsibilty gets the better out of him. whereas dhoni has been leading for 5 years now and it seems that captaincy has taken a lot out of him. he should play all three formats for india though.

  • POSTED BY rawjosh on | January 10, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Absolutely agree that it is a bit early for Kohli to take up the ODI/Test captaiincy.

  • POSTED BY rawjosh on | January 10, 2013, 3:34 GMT

    Absolutely agree that it is a bit early for Kohli to take up the ODI/Test captaiincy.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 3:36 GMT

    very well written article by dravid. by here i would like to endorse gavaskar's view that a young kohli should be given the reins of the indian team. he is fresh, strong willed and responsibilty gets the better out of him. whereas dhoni has been leading for 5 years now and it seems that captaincy has taken a lot out of him. he should play all three formats for india though.

  • POSTED BY jimbond on | January 10, 2013, 3:48 GMT

    Rahul Dravid provides the most balanced comments on Indian captaincy in recent weeks. Indians have traditionally tried to burden any young player- who performs- with captaincy and it has not always yielded the best results, Remember the cases of Kapil Dev and a young Sachin. Kapil Dev certainly could have done better with more experience in tests, and Sachin too may have become a very good test captain if the captaincy decision could have been delayed for a couple of years. I would be glad if Dhoni is offered the captaincy for tests, and he declines the offer, and then it is given to some/any senior member of the team (in recent years Indian successful captains- Kumble, Ganguly and Azharuddin have been such selections). Lets hope Virat is given the captaincy only after he has some more maturity and also when he justifies his place in the test side.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    awesome unbiased view on Dhoni we need players who will back their captain like you kumble and Srinath were foot soldiers for captian, who would die for teams sake

    i hope raina , ashwin and ishant learn from you guys

  • POSTED BY N.Sundararajan on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    N. Sundararajan from Chennai Rahul, You have put it very well. As someone who has been in the team till recently and have known MS from close quarters, your views and suggestions should be taken well by MS and he should work at these. Unfortunately, the only seniors who could have guided him ( Sehwag, Gambhir) are competing with him silently ! And Sachin seems to have withdrawn himself into deep cover, deep midwicket and so on ! Hopefully MS will do better in the coming months !

  • POSTED BY sramesh_74 on | January 10, 2013, 3:58 GMT

    Rahul Dravid gave up captaincy and we all know what happened. This could be the same reason for Dhoni not wanting to give it up in the shorter format.

  • POSTED BY kirangupta on | January 10, 2013, 4:00 GMT

    What a great article. Keep it up!

  • POSTED BY Dr.Cricketisback on | January 10, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    Amazing Read Sir. This is one of the most balanced description of the Indian Captaincy I have read in a long time. Couldnt agree more. Always a fan of your batting Sir.Thank You for years of joy you gave me through the sheer brilliance of your batting. I would love you to play a more prominent role in the development of Cricket in India.

  • POSTED BY leslie_alo on | January 10, 2013, 4:02 GMT

    The one day team looks good and with the return of Sreesanth and Umesh,it will become the team for the future - good job,Sandeep and co. Below is the recent performance of some players in domestic: Parthiv: 51,162,80,56,61,12,55,65,111,92,22,31,101,47 AM Nayar: 35,4,107,0,64,62,73*,51,26*,69*,11,28,62*,72*, 122 plus 22 wickets Murali Vijay: 22,39,13,7,32,15,0,17,3,13,42,24,24,76 Karthik: 74,0*,154,29,35,75,49,23,0,8,17,187 Why were M Vijay(3 fifties 2 hundreds) and Karthik (2 fifties, 2 hundreds) brought into test team. Why is Parthiv (7 fifties, 3 hundreds) not brought as a batsman like DeVilliers under Boucher and though Dhoni is not performing in tests,let them keep him if they want. This means first class is not the criteria used by wise men for Test cricket. And Rahane and Nayar also might need a look in before he ages. Let more money be pumped into first class too so much so that players are lured to play and let them be rewarded for performance after new bouncer rule.

  • POSTED BY on | January 10, 2013, 4:04 GMT

    Words of wisdom from a legendary cricketer.. Hope Dhoni see this article before its too late.. All the best Team India.. We, true fans, are always with you..