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Dhoni‘s absence was a refreshing sight


MS_Dhoni_Captain_India_CricketIndian skipper MS Dhoni’s absence from the first Test against Australia at Adelaide couldn’t have come at a better time. Dhoni’s deputy and captain-in-waiting Virat Kohli gave a refreshing change of outlook while leading India against a real cut-throat competitive opposition.

No one can deny that Dhoni’s leadership in longer format hasn’t been as inspiring on tour as it is in India. Yes, in England he actually remote controlled his fast bowlers tactics and got the credit from his bowlers for the first Test win. But after that win, all that happened was disappointment to say the least.

Besides, his keeping too hasn’t been top class too for various reasons. This absence gave critics and Indian fans a glimpse of real substance of India’s future leadership. Dhoni also has been falling short of ideas on tours, especially with talent crunch in the bowling department.

While Dhoni shouldn’t be blamed entirely because the captain is as good as his team is, but he hasn’t been inspirational too. Poor glovework and overall poor team performance said a lot about Dhoni’s inability to get his best men to rise to the occasion. Some of the errors his side committed on the English tour were contagious.

For the second Test now, Dhoni in all probability may lead the side. A good performance from him with the bat should add lot of value to India’s campaign leading to the World Cup. Probably India lost the other day for not having someone with the right experience lower down the order.

This is the time Dhoni should be peaking, with the World Cup just three months away, resting for more than a game wouldn’t be a bad idea. Fact remains he is more comfortable with the limited overs format and this gave Kohli a feel of leading the team on tough tours like this. It was a win-win situation honestly.

A refreshed Dhoni for the World Cup defence would just be ‘what the doctor ordered for’. And an acclimatized team can make the team as good as their captain.

This tour Down Under is happening at a very crucial time for India. It will give them a chance to start acclimatizing to Australian conditions, the bounce, the speed and obviously show them the benefits of playing in the V.

But the tag that has been with them for years now should be done away with on the tour, lions at home, lambs abroad. It wont happen easily, rather it will be tough, but even a drawn series can do a world of good. The result of first Test is as good as a win if not a win.

Kohli’s intent to go for the win and not defend for draw was something that was never seen earlier in the team’s attitude. Doing that he led from the front, literally. The 26-year-old nearly took India home that too under extreme pressure, India needed, needs, and will need something like that more often.

Though some experts said that India should have played out a draw, which Dhoni probably would have opted for, but then if the team doesn’t want to be seen as lambs abroad, this had to happen.

More often than not, first Test of every series can set the tone. Kohli knew it well, a win would do wonders to him and the team, a loss would get Dhoni to do fire-fighting as always. Ultimately India lost the first Test, but the loss showed India’s intent. Australia would dare not take India lightly in the next three Tests. It has already given many and more a glimpse of what lies ahead for India.

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