MSD: Moody, Substandard, Defensive

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Mike Silva weighs into the debate regarding MS Dhoni’s future as captain of the Indian cricket team.

As a highly respected philosopher, Thomas Reid made no rush in founding the Scottish School of Common Sense. In his book ‘Essays on the Intellectual Powers of Man’, composed way back in the 18th century, he had no inkling that his phrase “the strength of the chain is determined by that of the weakest links” would become ever so applicable to the world of modern sports today.

It’s time MS Dhoni took a leaf out of Reid’s philosophy and started applying himself and using some common sense. Explain to me the rationale behind his decision to remain as Indian captain and continue playing for his nation, when it is clear that not only has his form dipped away but so has his tactical nous.

Michael Clarke is known for his aggressive and tactically superb captaincy, Graeme Smith – until his retirement – led the side with sheer grit and determination, and New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum captaincy has been highlighted by a no-fear brand of cricket.

On the other end of the scale, Bangladesh’s Tamim Iqbal is known for his inability to cope with pressure even when his side is on top, Pakistan’s Misbah ul Haq is a frequent abuser of slow over rate, and then we have India’s MS Dhoni.

If you ask any ‘real’ follower of cricket (in other words, anyone who watches cricket outside The Ashes, the World Cup or any one of the gimmick T20 leagues) they’ll back up the theory that Dhoni has no clue how to captain his side. The minute a boundary is conceded, Dhoni does not hesitate to spread the fielders on the boundary rope. Slip fielder is a position that Dhoni has clearly not heard of.

His issues with slow over rates have been well documented, and he abused it to such an extent that he has been banned for several matches as well as having faced several match fines.

His unrelenting faith in Ravichandran Ashwin is also cause for concern. Ashwin entered the international game on the back of superb returns in the Ranji Trophy, yet his game has not progressed much farther. Ashwin is now under the spotlight regarding his inability to gain any rhythm in his bowling, having changed his action so many times.

With Virat Kohli, not so much knocking the proverbial door to captaincy but virtually smashing it down, it is bewildering that he has to wait in line behind the weak link in the chain.     

Mike Silva

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