When all the cricket reporters and journalists were preparing to write their reports about yet another predictable series loss down under, India’s Test captain (now former Test captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni dropped a bombshell. During a post-match show in which Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar and Aakash Chopra were discussing India’s performance in the third Test, someone from the production team sent a message that stopped everything for a minute. Sunil Gavaskar paused for 3 seconds, then Sanjay Manjrekar interrupted.
“Wait. We have a breaking news here, ladies and gentlemen. India’s captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has announced his retirement from Test cricket with immediate effect,” said Sanjay Manjrekar.
The focus shifted from India, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and everything else to only Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s bombshell i.e. his retirement announcement. Everyone in the studio started talking about Dhoni’s achievement as a Test captain. People on the internet also started debates about MS Dhoni’s achievements and failures as India’s Test captain. But, when all this was happening, very few people raised questions about Dhoni’s sudden decision to retire from Test cricket.
Here are three questions that we and many other Indian cricket fans want to ask:
1) WHO PUSHED MS DHONI TO MAKE THIS CALL?
Since the beginning of this series, we all knew that Virat Kohli is the future captain of India and he will take up this responsibility very soon. His attacking captaincy in the first Test relieved lots of praise and a very big section of media and fans wanted him to take over from MS Dhoni as India’s Test captain, as soon as possible. India’s Team Director Ravi Shastri also gave a lot of emphasis on the word “aggressive” in a post match interview with Sanjay Manjrekar. MS Dhoni’s biggest criticism in Test cricket has been his defensive approach towards the game and many including Ravi Shastri (as a commentator) have criticized him for his lack of aggression in Test cricket. Now, was there a push from the team management? Did Ravi Shastri initiate a “Kohli-camp”?
We are not claiming anything because there is no substantial proof about this, but still this question needs to be asked.
2) WHY DID DHONI TALK ABOUT THE “UNREST” IN THE DRESSING ROOM AND LATER TOOK HIS STATEMENT BACK?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not known for giving controversial press conferences. But, after the second Test match of the ongoing Test series, Dhoni hinted towards some “unrest” in the dressing room. Later, Times of India reported that this “unrest” was a fight between Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan. After this, just before the third Test match, Mahendra Singh Dhoni took he statement back and started joking about this matter and said, “Virat stabbed Dhawan”. Now, this is clearly against the protocol. Firstly, a captain is not supposed talk about dressing room issues in press confrences. And secondly, how could he take a complete u-turn in his next presser?
Some people are also saying that Dhoni was too upset with whatever happened in the dressing room between Kohli and Dhawan. But, does it mean Dhoni will turn his back and let his team suffer? Many former Indian captain including Sourav Ganguly, went through a phase where they had issues in the dressing room. But they didn’t run away. In fact, they stood tall and took it on themselves to handle the situation.
Now, the question that we want to ask is- Did Virat Kohli get upset with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s “unrest” statement that led many debates in the media? Did Virat Kohli object to this matter and used his growing stature to force Dhoni to take back his statement?
3) FITNESS? IT WAS JUST A MATTER OF ONE MORE TEST MATCH
“One of India’s greatest Test Captains under whose leadership India became the No. 1 team in the Test Rankings MS Dhoni, has decided to retire from Test Cricket citing the strain of playing all formats of Cricket.”
This is the first line of the press release issued by the BCCI, about Dhoni’s retirement. Now, the question that arises is- how much damage playing one more Test match would have caused to Dhoni’s fitness? Is his fitness level so bad that he decided to leave the sinking ship and announce his retirement without any prior notice? Was it so bad that he couldn’t even wait for one more Test match?
These are the three questions that must be answered. Cricket is a religion in India. Whatever Indian cricket or the BCCI have achieved is only because of millions of fans, who follow this game religiously. If something happened in the dressing room or outside it, away from the cricket field, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s Team Director Ravi Shastri and the BCCI must disclose.
By The Cricket Lounge