New Delhi: Amid speculation that Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be replaced as India’s Twenty20 captain following the team’s dismal performance in the West Indies, BCCI on Friday sought to clear the air saying though it was unhappy, there was no such move.
“Obviously we are not happy with the performance of the team but it does not mean that we are thinking of removing Dhoni as Twenty20 captain,” a top BCCI source said.
The Indian team, knocked out of the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies, returned home today and will have to face some tough questions.
The cricketers avoided eye contact at the Mumbai and Delhi airports with the waiting media and slipped into their vehicles without offering any comments. Dhoni chose to make a quiet back door exit.
The team’s arrival came a day after reports that coach Gary Kirsten had spoken to seven cricketers individually and complained about their fitness and commitment.
On his arrival in Mumbai, team manager Ranjib Biswal denied that the players had got any dressing down from Kirsten.
“Nothing of this sort happened. We were all together at the team hotel’s swimming pool before departing for home,” Biswal told reporters.
Kirsten is believed to have held one-on-one meeting with seven senior players, including Dhoni, and is expected to give his inputs to Biswal who will submit his report to the BCCI.
While the players returned home, Kirsten stayed back in London and would rejoin the side in Johannesburg when the team goes to Zimbabwe for a tri-series also involving Sri Lanka.
Dhoni is under fire for his tactical blunders during the World Cup and according to a source, the selectors want to exert pressure on him by putting him on notice when they sit down to select the Indian team for the Asia Cup next month.
The source said Dhoni would be given the captaincy on a tournament-to-tournament basis.
Although he has led the team to the top of the ICC Test rankings and to the number two spot in the ODI rankings, Dhoni’s captaincy has not been upto expectations in the Twenty20 format.
Support for Dhoni came from former captain Sunil Gavaskar, who felt that he is the best man to lead the side.
“I don’t think anybody should be complacent enough to think his place in the team is secure as a player or as a skipper. But having said that, Dhoni has done the best he could. I still think he is the best bet as far as captaining the country is concerned. He has not quite had the luck he had when he started with India’s captaincy,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar, however, dismissed as a “poor excuse” Dhoni’s comments that IPL’s after-match parties and the hectic travelling had taken a toll on the players.
“I don’t think that is an excuse at all. I think that is a very poor excuse used by people to say that IPL parties were the reason for the team not performing. Tell me one thing, there were no parties in the West Indies were they? So how can you say that the team performed badly in the Caribbean because of parties in India,” said Gavaskar.