Dhoni will let the national selectors decide his fate
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced that he has left his future as skipper of the national team in the hands of the national selectors after losing yet another series, with the only difference this time being that the loss came in front of the home fans.
Dhoni noted that he personally would not quit as captain since it would be a sign of him “running away from responsibility”.
“As a leader this is a challenge thrown at me,” Dhoni said. “It is always good to lead a side when you are performing well. That is not the time you need a leader. Leading a side is all about when the team is not doing well. To try to gel the team together. To back the youngsters, back the seniors. Try to move in the right direction.
“The easiest thing to do for me right now is to quit the captaincy and stay part of the side. That’s running away from responsibility that’s upon us. Of course there are others who will decide. There is BCCI and other administrative people who look into that. For me, my responsibility is to get the team together and be prepared for the next Test match.”
Dhoni once again brushed aside the criticisms aimed at head coach Duncan Fletcher, stating that the team and media should not be looking for excuses or scapegoats.
“He [Fletcher] has got excellent technical knowledge about our batting,” Dhoni said. “He guides us in the right direction. Ultimately once you cross that rope you are on your own whatever happens. That’s the time you have to get up and retaliate. That’s where we are lacking as of now.
“It’s wrong to question the coach. We have won quite a few series, the ODI performance have been really good. In between we have won Test series. Okay in Australia and England we struggled, but this is a series after that that we have not done well, the last two matches that you see. You shouldn’t really look for excuses, to put it on the coach. Ultimately it is up to the 11 players who turn up on the field. On a wicket like this, you need to score more runs, and the situation will be different.”
India’s 10 losses and six wins under Fletcher has not been that impressive since if people were to take into account the national team’s record against strong opposition, that record becomes an embarrassing nine defeats to one win.
Dhoni also noted that the batsmen have to take responsibility for their failures throughout the four-Test series against England.
“The batting order will have to take responsibility,” he said. “We need to score more runs. Of course the bowlers will bowl a few good deliveries that you need to keep out. But the top seven, most of us will have to score at the same time so that we can get a par total, which the bowlers can look to defend. If you don’t score too many runs in the first innings and if the opposition score runs in the first innings, you will find yourself under pressure.”
The India captain stated that this was not the worst phase of his career since that period came during the national team’s tours to India and Australia.
“If you talk about the low, the England, Australia series were the lows because we weren’t able to compete,” he said. “Here we know what the faults are and we should be able to rectify those. Overall the bowlers are doing well, I think. Once you don’t get enough runs on the board you question bowlers too as to if they would have defended a bigger score as well, but I think the spinners have done really well. Bit more contribution from the fast bowlers would really help.”
Dhoni refused to acknowledge that pace bowler Zaheer Khan was unfit and added that his poor bowling could just be a “phase”.
“The beauty of it is we all know the problem and it will be great help if [we] find out a solution,” Dhoni said. “Everybody is asking the same question.
“As far as the fitness is concerned, he has been the way he is for the last few years. Definitely he is not unfit, he is doing everything. The England batsmen are doing well. From behind it looks as if he is bowling in the right area. Bowlers sometimes go through a phase when they don’t get wickets. This is a phase maybe. As far as the bowling is concerned he is still bowling quite the same. He is swinging it both ways. We will have to wait and watch. He looks fit. Fitness is not an issue.”