Mumbai: Team India’s shameful exit from the T20 World Cup in the West Indies might have serious upshot for “Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose gaffes with team selection, IPL parties, on-field tactics and overall fitness of the team have not gone well with the BCCI.
Sources told Zeenews that Dhoni’s six year stint with stardom might come to an end if he, along with his team, doesn`t gain complete fitness before the next major event (Asia Cup). His indomitable record in the Test arena would however ensure him retention of captainship in the longest format. Senior player Virender Sehwag is expected to replace the Ranchi lad as the captain if he fails to improve performance on all counts.
The developments came in as the Indian cricket team landed in Mumbai after their short Caribbean campaign.
Sehwag has strong support of a large faction of the BCCI, and his friendly equation with some of the other prominent players like Gautam Gambhir, Ashish Nehra and Suresh Raina would make it easier for him to don the mantle.
Gambhir might also be considered for the top job as the batsman has a good cricketing head and has been consistent with the bat for a long time.
Meanwhile, certain other media reports claimed that Dhoni might just be given one more chance before he is shown the door. As per this theory, he will be on probation till the Asia Cup in June in Sri Lanka. He survives if there is an exponential improvement in team’s performance on all counts, otherwise he is out.
Coach Gary Kirsten too, had blasted the entire team’s fitness and commitment levels yesterday while Dhoni shifted the blame on late night IPL parties despite smiling away with them when the cash rich tournament was on, a statement that would not go too well with some echelons of the BCCI.
His team is also embroiled in allegations over indiscipline and high headedness that was brought to light after a pub-brawl in West Indies after their unceremonious exit from the World Cup that they had won in its inaugural edition in 2007.
Surely, Dhoni would find it tough to hang-on with voices for his head getting louder by the minute. Former players slammed the Indian cricket team for its humiliating exit from the Twenty20 World Cup, attributing the debacle to skipper MS Dhoni`s poor tactics, IPL fatigue and the players` failure to cope with rising deliveries.
Otherwise a Dhoni admirer, cricketer-turned-commentator Ravi Shastri had no doubt that the debacle in the Caribbeans was Dhoni`s worst outing as the Indian captain and he advised him to be more flexible in his approach.
"It`s hard to put a finger on the exact reason but of all the tournaments Dhoni has led India in, it is the most disappointing," Shastri said.
"At times you can be stubborn and stick to your ideas but he might want to be a little more flexible in future," he said.
Former India captain Mohd Azharuddin said on his late night IPL parties, "Obviously if you stay up the whole night, it would affect you. Players should be responsible enough. The game is more important than the parties. Excuses like these cannot be given after you lose," he said.
"For a player, cricket should come first and everything else is secondary," he added.