What’s the story?
Former Australian wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has said that MS Dhoni would not be too peeved by losing the captaincy and felt that he was now enjoying playing in smaller amounts as compared to before.
“Batting, keeping and captaining at a time is not easy to do. I would not expect MS to be too upset about the loss of captaincy. He has achieved everything that can possibly be achieved in cricket. He has won all the trophies that one can win. I think he is enjoying his limited attendance in cricket. He has been one of the most exciting cricketers to watch in the last 10-15 years,” Gilchrist told Mumbai Mirror in an interview.
Last Saturday, Australia crushed India by a massive margin of 333 runs in the Pune Test and speaking about the result, the 46-year-old said that he did think that it was possible for the Steve Smith-led side to beat India, but did not think they would beat India in three days.
“I did think it was possible but looking at the two teams prior to the Test, it was unexpected, and certainly not in three days. My thoughts were that Renshaw (Matt) and Handscomb (Peter) did not have any previous experience but they prepared very well and had the best of the condition on a wicket which was not up to the standard. All in all, they did well to get that win and it is exciting for the rest of the series. India still play well in these conditions and they will be cursing. They will be ready to strike back,” he said.
In case you didn’t know..
A day before the start of the IPL auction, Dhoni was removed as skipper of the Rising Pune Supergiants and was replaced by present Australian skipper in all three formats Steve Smith. When the 35-year-old had handed his resignation in January earlier this year, he had hinted that he would lead his IPL team and his state side Jharkhand, but will now play merely as a player in the former.
The heart of the matter
Gilchrist further went to add that when India arrive in Bengaluru for the second Test, starting on Saturday, they would want to have a look at the pitch. He further added that the Virat Kohli-led side would hold the upper hand in the game if the coin fell in their favour and felt that this squad was capable of playing and doing well on good pitches.
He also added that when Smith declared Australia were the underdogs heading into the series, he was not being realistic about it and was not trying to create any form of smoke screen.
As far as Dhoni is concerned, his current priority before the start of the IPL would be help lead his state side Jharkhand to a win in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He already played a stellar role as captain in the second game against Chattisgarh, where he made a century in a winning cause.
When a player of the stature of Gilchrist feels that losing the captaincy would not make Dhoni feel too upset, then one needs to understand that and move on. As fans, yes, it would be difficult for most of us to see Dhoni just as a player in the IPL, perhaps the decision would benefit him in his game and we might see him play with a lot more freedom.