The Indian cricket team under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni landed the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, bagged the number one position in the ICC test rankings and won plaudits of their performances on the pitch. But that was the past. In 2012, MS Dhoni's men saw more slumps than peaks, starting off with a disastrous washout by the Australians at the beginning of the year.
Dhoni had now lost 8 consecutive away tests (England and Australia) and his captaincy became the talking point. And the problems didn't stop there, as there were reports of tension in the team. Virender Sehwag and MS Dhoni's 'rifts' became public news and their spat affected their displays on the field! In the Asia Cup, India went in as favourites, but ended up losing to hosts Bangladesh and were eventually knocked out of the tournament. Captain Cool did see some respite from criticism when the team won the ODI series against New Zealand, but considering the depleted form of their opponents, it could not be hailed as a decisive victory for MSD.
Dhoni launched his own superbike team titled 'Mahi Racing Team India ' but eventually found himself fleeing from the public glare. The team's absymal performance in the ICC World T20 again raised eyebrows, and Dhoni and coach Fletcher were held solely responsible. Their methods and team decisions were questioned by many pundits and some even suggested that Dhoni give up T20 captaincy to ease the pressure.
The final challenge came with the 4-test test series against the English, who were led by 27-year old Alastair Cook. After a brilliant performance in Ahmedabad, India suddenly seemed to lose the entire plot and England came back strongly and won back-to-back tests. The fourth test was a dull draw and the England side won a test series on Indian soil after 28 years. This was Dhoni's first home loss and the story didn't end there.
A squabble with Gambhir, asking for turning tracks , fights with curators and team selections were the many migraine MS Dhoni had to go through during the series. Dhoni stated that he won't run away from the responsibility as the captain , but time is running out for him and maybe it's time the World Cup winning captain passed on the badge on to a nother player! Dhoni still continues to be the best in the T20 and ODI format. His latest knock of 113 not out against Pakistan in the 1st ODI at Chennai was touted by critics as one of the finest. If he keeps scoring at this rate, India can soon achieve the heights of greatness!
MS Dhoni in ODI: Matches: 212, Runs: 7021, Average: 52:00, Highest score: 183
Most ODI 100s as captain for India: Ganguly 11. Tendulkar 6, MS Dhoni 5, Azharuddin 4 (*statistics: Mohandas Menon)
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