A BATTING WITH BIMAL BREAKING REPORT: Giving Dhoni a break from captaining the national side will benefit him and India as well, says Sunil Gavaskar

Gavaskar feels that Dhoni needs some time off to “reflect on his game”

Former India batsman Sunil Gavaskar has announced that relieving captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni of his post as skipper will hugely benefit himself and the national team as well.

Gavaskar noted that Dhoni should still remain in the team, but could use the time away from all the pressure and responsibilities to “reflect on his game”.

“It’s still early days as far as 2015 World Cup is concerned, and I believe that a break in captaincy will do wonders for Dhoni,” Gavaskar told NDTV. “I am not saying that it has to happen during the middle of a series but maybe after the Australia series [in February] or later part of 2013.”

Gavaskar’s comments came after a tough 18 months for the Indian team, during which they were whitewashed by England and Australia before being beaten at home for the first time in eight years.

India have also failed to have any success in the limited overs format after their triumph in the 2011 International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup, especially since they have not been able to make the finals of the CB series or Asia Cup and were also dumped out in the super eights stage of the ICC World Twenty20 in September last year.

While Gavaskar praised Dhoni for keeping his cool during pressure situations, the former batsman noted that the Indian captain had to seriously consider rethinking his game before his time as an international cricketer runs out.

“He needs time to reflect on his game and come back in a better way,” Gavaskar said. “I am very impressed with the manner [in which] he remains cool and unlike other captains doesn’t clap and all, but a little break won’t be bad.

“Captaining India is a privilege but the demands and pressures that come with it are incredible … He can be part of the team [without being captain] for the next couple of years as he is a match-winner.”

At the conclusion of India’s 2-1 Test defeat to England last year, Gavaskar stated that batsman Virat Kohli was ready to take over the reigns from Dhoni.

Gavaskar once again reiterated that feeling, saying that Dhoni was a much better limited overs player and added that his game was more suited to the format as well.

“I could be wrong but Virat Kohli might bring the flair of Tiger Pataudi in his captaincy,” Gavaskar said. “If he knows that he will be appointed for the long term, he has the dynamism, the aggression, panache and class.

“I like everything about him apart from his mouthing abuses when he reaches a milestone. I don’t want him to change anything else, as he can bring in a lot of dynamism.”

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