MS Dhoni and Duncan Fletcher have a mammoth task of salvaging some pride. (Getty Images)
With the 10 men England smashing the Indian team at Old Trafford, it seems evident that Duncan Fletcher’s men are incapable of salvaging a draw in a Test match; let alone winning it. Such has been their performances over the last 2 test matches that any die heart fan would hang his head in shame. The desire, intent and effort to win were all missing and all we saw was an abysmal surrender.
The Indian supporters were yet to recover from the shock of 8 for 4 from the first day of the Manchester Test and all they got was another blow after witnessing their team lose 9 wickets within a session. To make matters worse, they lost 5 wickets within 25 minutes in the second innings to gift wrap the lead to the hosts.
The so called young Indian brigade, neither showed any technique nor patience. The Indian millionaires attempted flamboyant shots which saw them trace their footsteps back to the pavilion one after the other. They looked extremely keen on getting an extra rest of 2 days of rather than spending time on middle.
One expected a better display from this team after what transpired in the last 2 weeks with the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson scuffle and the potshots taken by the British media, former players and the English team. However, such thing can only be expected from a team that has any self-respect and not from the current ‘Team India’.
Even Bangladesh or Zimbabwe would have fared better than this team. Such was their abject surrender that they couldn’t last even 50 overs in either innings. And now, it seems that time has come for Mahendra Singh Dhoni to be removed as Indian Test captain and Fletcher to be relieved from his coaching duties.
Let’s now have a look at the 4 reasons why the time has come for M S Dhoni and Fletcher to go –
1. Pathetic Overseas Record – With the loss at Old Trafford, Dhoni now has the dubious distinction of being the only Indian captain to lose 13 away test matches and counting. The sufferings of the fans need to end sooner than later! For how long are we going to see our team getting bashed day in and day out on foreign shores? From losing 4-0 to England in England in 2011, followed by 4-0 loss to Australia, losing to South Africa and even New Zealand; the story is no different 3 years later and India is again trailing 1-2 in the current series under the leadership of Dhoni and Fletcher.
2. Average Home Record – The skipper has a good record at home; however, numbers don’t necessarily speak the whole truth. It was under the current captain-coach duo that the team was thrashed 2-1 by England at home in 2012. It was their first victory in India since the 1984-85 series.
3. Negative Attitude – The current team management under Duncan Fletcher has a negative attitude and is content in being the second best. They have got nothing to show as an achievement except for few odd series win in ODIs and handful of T20s. There is nothing wrong in trying to win and ending up as loser, but it’s criminal to lose without trying. The current coaching staff is doing nothing but playing with the emotions of the cricket lovers. They have failed to instill the fighting spirit and the winning attitude in this team.
4. Obsession with Few Players – The Duncan-Dhoni pair is obsessed with certain players and these individuals get unlimited opportunities as compared to other deserving performers. The prime example here is Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja. The only distinction that Jadeja has is playing for Chennai Super Kings and the best example is the current series, wherein he has neither taken wickets nor scored runs, but is still playing for reasons beyond explanation.
While the other deserving spinners like Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, Karan Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, etc. haven’t even been picked in the touring squad. As for Rohit Sharma, no one has ever got these many chances in the history of ‘Indian Cricket’ to prove their worth. The management though can see some talent in him which the entire world is unable to. First thing first, this IPL fit batsman shouldn’t even have been on the tour at the cost of other deserving batsmen but that’s not how Indian cricket works!
While it is beyond doubt that Dhoni is the best wicket keeper batsman that India currently has; his shelf life as the test captain is over. We now need a fighting captain who hates losing, not hesitant to voice his opinion, takes tough decisions and can motivate his team to win in alien conditions.