New Delhi : As Rising Pune Supergiants’ run of misery continues, voices speaking out against team captain MS Dhoni also seem to be getting louder. RPS, borne out of the DNA that belongs to IPL’s most successful team Chennai Super Kings, have lost seven of their 10 games and are languishing at seventh in the table, sitting barely above Kings XI Punjab on the basis of Net Run Rate.
Even former India captain Sourav Ganguly has now questioned Dhoni’s future as India captain. Raising concerns that Dhoni might not have much time left as India’s limited overs captain, Ganguly, in an interview, said that the selectors must think for the future.
“My point is that selectors need to think three years down the line or four years down the line, when the World Cup is going to happen: Do they see MS Dhoni as captain of India? Does he have the ability to see India into that World Cup in 2019? He has already given up Test cricket,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by a report.
“Dhoni has been captain for nine years, which is a long period. Does he have it in him to go for another four years? Do the selectors think he has got in him to go another four years and be captain of a country for 13 years and take them to the 2019 World Cup? I am not so sure. That’s the decision the selectors will have to take,” he added.
Ganguly, however, came to Dhoni’s defence about questions of his form and the misfiring RPS. “To be honest, he has come under fire, but that’s because he has gone to a new franchise, a new team. His side has not been the same as it was with the Chennai Super Kings. You have got to take that into consideration,” Ganguly said.
RPS has been suffering due to a flurry of injuries to its star players, including marquee auction signings Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, Kevin Pietersen, and Mitchell Marsh. Dhoni’s individual form too has taken a hit in the tournament. Out of 10 matches, he has scored only 182 runs at an average of 30.33, failing to hit even a single half-century.
On the other hand, India’s Test captain Virat Kohli, who also leads Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL, is redefining the term “purple patch”. Kohli is carrying forward his excellent form since India’s tour Down Under in 2014, and has hit an astounding 561 runs in 9 IPL matches at an average of 80.14, including two centuries along the way. Many have supported the idea of making Kohli the limited overs captain for India as well.
Ganguly was effusive in his praise for the in-form batsman. “He (Kohli) has been exceptional. He is one of the best in the world at the moment. Whatever you have seen him as a Test captain, it has been phenomenal,” he said.
With a former India captain expressing doubts about Dhoni’s future, pressure would certainly mount over the RPS skipper to not just perform as a player, but also prove his worth as leader.