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Why does India miss Dhoni in Tests? A question that needs to debated upon

Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
Feature
3.73K   //    12 Aug 2018, 11:28 IST

New Zealand v India - 2nd Test: Day 1

Have you ever wondered even in your wildest dreams, what if MS Dhoni had not retired from Test cricket? Many of us do. Right? So, let's learn why we do so.

Context

We are just ten days into the Test series, and we have already seen a lot that we would not have liked to if we are Indian cricket aficionado. Well, credit goes to the English bowlers, who have kept the Indian batsmen on their toes. The Englishmen have made India work tremendously hard for every run - Lord's Test is no different. 

Amidst this tumultuous patch that India is running through everyone would be emphasizing upon the selection blunders that the Indian management have made, openers' inefficacy to counter the new ball, and much more that certainly stands true as of now.

However, let's widen our scope to look against an error that India made three years back and is still daunting India, especially at this England tour, letting MS Dhoni retire from the longest format of the game.

Why does India miss MS Dhoni in Tests?

How badly is India missing MS Dhoni at this tour? A million times more than they fumble to Anderson's outswingers. Isn't it? If not as a captain, then definitely as a wicketkeeper-batsman. 

Not to scrutinize Dinesh Karthik, but if you are a wicketkeeper-batsman, certainly in this time and age, then you need to contribute with the bat as well to see your team in a commanding position, much like how Bairstow has been doing for past two years. And this has been one of the areas that India is lagging behind as opposed to the English side at this tour.  

Back when India toured England in 2014, MS Dhoni was India's second highest run-scorer in the Test series. Unquestionably, India lacks the 'Dhoni' factor at this tour. Karthik has just not been able to do that job of supporting the Indian lower middle-order.

Having castled in two innings from his last three, Karthik has failed to counter the swing combined with the sheer pace and lateral movement. 

MS Dhoni, with his 'awkward' technique and uncharacterized foot movement, would have bossed these English conditions - playing the ball late helps here in England. What MS Dhoni did well on the last tour to England was to consider the lateral movement as well; how the ball behaves in the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal (swing) plane.

With four fifties and a highest score of 82, MS Dhoni amassed 349 runs at an average of 34.90 on the last tour to England. Although these numbers don't exactly paint the picture of an excellent performance, comparing the other Indian batsmen and respecting the conditions, these numbers do standout in the context of the Test series. 

Can Dinesh Karthik emulate Dhoni on this tour? If India or Dinesh can find a positive answer to this question, then we can surely see India in a better position in the course of this tour. Till then, let us pull out a better story, only in our parallel world, if ever MS Dhoni was up for the service at this tour.


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Vaibhav Joshi
ANALYST
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