Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here

Home > Features >

Mahendra Singh Dhoni: Systematically answering the unfair allegations heaped on him by vested interests

MS Dhoni

It is not easy being an Indian captain and neither is it easy being Mahendra Singh Dhoni in today’s times © PTI

By Bhavesh Bhimani

They said his time is up.

They said he doesn’t deserve to be in the team.

They said his ‘luck’ has finally run out.

But trust Mahendra Singh Dhoni to fight against all odds and opposition to prove his mettle. The unprecedented 4-0 annihilation of Australia has clamped all his carping critics. Dhoni now has led India to 24 victories in 47 Test matches — bettering Sourav Ganguly’s erstwhile Indian record of 21 wins from 49 Tests.

There are debates galore on social networking sites about Dhoni and Ganguly to determine which of the two is the best-ever Indian captain. Some hail Dhoni as the best-ever captain, while some still prefer to call him a lucky leader who is merely reaping the rewards of what had been ‘set’ for him. Dhoni, to his credit, has always played down such comparisons. He just goes about his business in the way he knows best. The fact that the Indian captain’s batting has hit a purple patch has left many of the anti-Dhoni brigade scurrying for cover.  However, one cannot deny the amount of attention Dhoni creates in the country — perhaps, second only to Sachin Tendulkar. Like him or hate him, you cannot just ignore Dhoni. Unfortunately, for all his contributions to Indian cricket, people from certain parts of the country continue to malign Dhoni and belittle his achievements, which is extremely sad.

Let us briefly look at some of those allegations that are constantly and unfairly targeted at Dhoni:

Allegation #1: Dhoni’s overseas record is abysmal

It is quite surprising to find even noted cricket historians trying to belittle Dhoni’s captaincy record in Tests by claiming that Dhoni is still way behind Ganguly when it comes to Tests overseas — the latter has 11 away Test wins as compared to Dhoni’s five.  However, these historians conveniently forgot to mention that out of Ganguly’s 11 Test wins as a captain, six have come against teams like Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Ganguly never won a Test match in South Africa or New Zealand, which Dhoni has.

Ganguly’s contribution as a captain cannot be belittled, but to keep his away record on a pedestal to constantly vilify Dhoni is uncalled for. Agreed that the disastrous tours to England and Australia under Dhoni cannot be ignored, but then it was a collective failure of the team.

Allegation #2: Dhoni is not good enough to be in the Test team

His patient innings of 99 against England in the fourth and last Test match of the series in Nagpur was conveniently forgotten, and the series loss led to the clamour for his instant removal from the Test squad. The public and surprisingly even some ex-cricketers joined the chorus for his instant removal claiming he didn’t have the ‘adequate’ technique suited for a Test batsman. Dhoni responded in the way that only he does, with a spectacular, match-winning innings of 224 in Chennai against the Australians in the first Test.

Allegation #3: Dhoni got a set team as a captain

This argument keeps coming, especially from a selected few sections of the country.

There are people — among the fans as well as the media — who would like us to believe that  Dhoni  got a set team from Ganguly, and the former is merely reaping the rewards of the latter’s effort as a leader. If one were to go by that logic, then the failures of the team in England and Australia should also be apportioned to Ganguly! But such thinking is ridiculous, to put it mildly. There is no denying that Ganguly did a great job as a captain, but why do people conveniently forget that he had the awesome privilege of having great players like Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble, among others, at their prime form? Dhoni, on the other hand, witnessed the same players waning in form for quite some time. And except for Tendulkar, the others have retired from the game. The team is under transition and it is now that Dhoni’s test as a captain will come to the fore. And he already seems to have started on a good note with the emphatic 4-0 win against Australia.

Allegation #4: He is a ‘lucky’ captain

Easily the most bogus and imbecile argument that is spread around. It is said that “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.” That is exactly the case here as some people keep repeating this foolish statement to disparage Dhoni’s achievements as a captain, which are monumental and incomparable. One need not look further than to have a look at Arunabha Sengupta’s piece, A scientific look at Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s supposed luck factor, to clear their clogged minds. But then again, people who have an agenda to pull Dhoni down will continue in the same vein, no matter how much Dhoni continues to achieve.

It is not that Dhoni is flawless; he has had his own periods of errors as a captain wherein he has looked jaded and over-defensive. But it is not easy being an Indian captain and neither is it easy being Mahendra Singh Dhoni in today’s times. The hallmark of a true leader is one who learns from his mistakes and is eager to lead by example. Dhoni has scored in both these points in his ‘comeback’ as a captain if you can call it that. As was seen in the series against Australia, Dhoni was a lot more pro-active and aggressive as a leader. He has learned well from his past mistakes and that augurs well for Indian cricket’s future. However, in actuality his ‘rise’ started a few months back. While his team kept floundering around him, Dhoni came to the fore as a batsman with some thumping performances. His 113 against Pakistan in the first One-Day International (ODI) was a knock that exemplified his grit and determination.

The Indian team has slowly started to rise from its failures and is responding with the same grit that the captain has shown them by his own example. There is no denying that team does looks more assured, albeit a few issues remain. One has to be patient and give time to this new and inexperienced lot to settle into a groove.

Dhoni has been severely criticised for backing players like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin. But it these two men who were the principal architects of India’s clean sweep of Australia.

The crater that Dhoni will leave behind once he retires would be extremely difficult to fill up. The multiple jobs he handles so efficiently is something people will only appreciate once he bids farewell to the game.

(Bhavesh Bhimani is a freelance journalist who got hooked on to cricket after watching the 1996 World Cup. His Twitter ID is  https://twitter.com/bhaveshthetiger)

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 24, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Sharjah

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 25, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Dubai

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 26, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

More

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 23, 2014  at Dubai

Chennai Super Kings won by 7 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 22, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 72 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 21, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Chennai Super Kings won by 93 runs

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 20, 2014  at Sharjah

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

Indian T20 League 2014

Apr 19, 2014  at Dubai

Delhi Daredevils won by 4 wkts

Photos

CSK vs DD, IPL 2014 Match 8 at Abu Dhabi

Videos

IPL: Tanmay Mishra talks shows the contents of his kit

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Sachin Tendulkar — the greatest batsman of India

Sachin Tendulkar: A timeless fairytale

Sachin Tendulkar: The child, the father, but sexy? Not quite

Chennai Super Kings Delhi Daredevils Glenn Maxwell India IPL IPL 7 IPL 2014 Kings XI Punjab KXIP vs SRH MS Dhoni Rajasthan Royals RR vs CSK 2014 Sanju Samson Sunrisers Hyderabad Suresh Raina

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Mumbai Indians look for win against confident Chennai Super Kings

Ali Bacher backs AB de Villiers as next Test captain

Sachin Tendulkar votes in Lok Sabha elections

Happy birthday! A bouquet of CricketCountry’s best Sachin Tendulkar features

Sachin Tendulkar – The century of centuries in tweets

Sachin Tendulkar — One of the hardest terms to optimise for any SEO professional

Sachin Tendulkar changed the fortunes of cricket journalists in India

Happy Birthday, Sachin Tendulkar — The lesser known records

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

622 Posts | 7 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli's 77 during India vs Sri Lanka ICC World T20 2014 final at Dhaka

Salman Khan beats Hrithik Roshan to be voted Bollywood’s fittest actor!

Samsung’s unannounced 7-inch phablet leaked online

Did Kareena Kapoor shy away from voting?

Pakistan Cricket Board looking at appointing Ahmed Shehzad as the captain of T20 setup

IPL 2014: Sunrisers Hyderabad look to open their account against Delhi Daredevils

Facebook CFO David Ebersman to bid adieu

Juhi Chawla, Preity Zinta, Mahesh Bhatt, Ritesh Deshmukh among others cast their vote

9 factors that increase your risk for HIV

Also on cricketcountry.com