The cricketing world and its adoring fans are unable to come to terms with the BCCI selectors’ decision to drop M.S. Dhoni from India’s forthcoming T-20 series against West Indies and Australia. While the wicket-keeper’s omission from the team is being widely debated nationwide, everyone is questioning whether the decision was made with his consent, given his cult status as a cricketing icon.
Hailing Dhoni as an ‘institution by himself’, former Indian cricketer Arshad Ayub feels that selectors don’t drop a player of Dhoni’s stature without speaking to him. “The selectors might have spoken to Dhoni before making the decision. He has a big heart, and he is always game to give youngsters a chance,” says Arshad, adding, “In fact, Dhoni himself has voluntarily retired from Test cricket because he understands what the team needs. I am confident that it is just a matter of time before he can make a comeback into the T-20 side.”
Interestingly, former cricketer Bishan Singh Bedi questions Dhoni’s approach towards the game. “Yes, Dhoni has been dropped, and I don’t think he seems to be keen on carrying on as well,” explains Bedi. He further asks if Dhoni was interested only in playing limited overs cricket, why hasn’t he played for Jharkand in the Vijay Hazare trophy? “If playing for the country is the highest honour, you should also play for your domestic side. I am not talking about the merits and demerits of a player; I am only talking about the ethics of the selection process,” adds Bedi.
Yet, analysts and commentators acknowledge that Dhoni was well-informed about the decision. “It isn’t such a bad thing. Dhoni’s favourite format had always been the ODI, and he will continue (in that) till 2019, post which I expect him to take a call on his future. I am pretty certain that he would have been part of the decision, (sic),” tweeted Harsha Bhogle.
Amid nationwide debate on dropping Dhoni, cricket legend Kapil Dev faults the use of the term ‘dropped’. He adds that Dhoni is intelligent and sensible enough to know when to quit.
“I think ‘dropped’ is the wrong word to be used, he’s been rested,” says Kapil Dev, adding, “Dhoni has played enough cricket and has served the country better than any other player. I think the selectors are only trying out a different combination of players, that’s it. I think Dhoni is still a good enough player to play for the country.”
LIFE COMES FULL CIRCLE
The selectors’ decision to cold-shoulder Dhoni from the T-20 team is ironical. Although players like Gautham Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj and Harbhan Singh never publicly admitted, they were actually dumped for poor performances under Dhoni’s captaincy. And now Dhoni is getting a taste of his own medicine when he’s shown the door under Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Former Indian cricketer Venkatapathy Raju recalls the selection committee’s policy for the inaugural T-20 World Cup in 2007. He states that Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and the likes were rested, and instead, a young team was picked under Dhoni’s captaincy.
“T-20 is a young men’s game, and I think the selectors are doing the same thing they did 10 years ago — looking for a young team,” says Raju, adding, “I think people got used to seeing Dhoni in the team winning matches for a long time, so they are unable to digest his omission. Dhoni is ageing and we haven’t seen his explosive batting in recent times. But no matter how big you are, there’ll be a day when you have to make way, that’s the beauty of the game.”
Meanwhile netizens continue to get emotional and express their anger and disappointment over dumping Dhoni. here’s what some of them had to say!
MS Dhoni Forever @msdhoni_forever:
You can drop him but he won’t drop you #WeStandByDhoni #INDvWI #MSDhoni #Dhoni
A player like @msdhoni walks once in 100 Years. A Man like him, Once in lifetime! Keep at it, Thala #Dhoni !!. Accept it on not!!. The more haters get some happiness the better he performs and enjoys doing it. The more you want him to fail it’s him who has the last laugh.
Dhoni has the second best strike rate and he is third highest scorer in the last two years in T20s. If BCCI can’t drop dhoni in ODIs after having a poor 2018 with the bat then no way they will drop him in T20s. It’s his personal decision. Retirement must be around the corner.
For me cricket starts with #Dhoni and Ends with Dhoni, and he is not gonna play in T20 vs WI, selectors are on weed, Remember he is the person who gave us the T20 champion title. Baap ko bitha k beton ko khila rahe hain. Bina #dhoni ke cricket nahi dekh sakta yaar
So No Dhoni in these matches. Dear BCCI, I have seen many selfish decisions, but this 1 has topped it! Dr. Vaibhav Karemore @drperiodon @virendersehwag @msdhoni @BCCI @bhogleharsha @imVkohli I respect the BCCI selectors, but this time you have disappointed Millions of INDIAN Cricket Fans! PLZ REVISE YOUR DECISION! You want us to watch cricket?