Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes it would do MS Dhoni good to take "a break" from the India captaincy. Dhoni, Gavaskar said, could keep his place in the team as a player, and use the time away from the responsibilities and pressures of leading India to "reflect on his game".
"It's still early days as far as 2015 World Cup is concerned, and I believe that a break in captaincy will do wonders for Dhoni," Gavaskar told Indian news channel NDTV. "I am not saying that it has to happen during the middle of a series but maybe after the Australia series [in February] or later part of 2013."
Gavaskar's comments came after a difficult 18 months for Indian cricket, during which Dhoni's team was whitewashed in Test series in England and Australia and lost a home Test series for the first time in eight years. Following the high of the 2011 World Cup triumph, they have also not enjoyed any significant success in limited-overs cricket, failing to make the finals of the CB tri-series in Australia and the Asia Cup, and exiting in the second round of the World Twenty20.
While Dhoni's calm under duress is a positive according to Gavaskar, he said that Dhoni needed to rethink his game: "He needs time to reflect on his game and come back in a better way. I am very impressed with the manner [in which] he remains cool and unlike other captains doesn't clap and all, but a little break won't be bad.
"Captaining India is a privilege but the demands and pressures that come with it are incredible ... He can be part of the team [without being captain] for the next couple of years as he is a match-winner."
Following India's Test defeat at home against England earlier this month, Gavaskar had said batsman Virat Kohli looked ready to take over the Test captaincy. Now, he reiterated that Kohli had the qualities required to lead India. "I could be wrong but Virat Kohli might bring the flair of Tiger Pataudi in his captaincy. If he knows that he will be appointed for the long term, he has the dynamism, the aggression, panache and class.
"I like everything about him apart from his mouthing abuses when he reaches a milestone. I don't want him to change anything else, as he can bring in a lot of dynamism."