Parts of the cricketing world woke up to the news that Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is to retire from tests. The 33 year old Dhoni has enjoyed an unprecedented amount of success over all formats of cricket with a T20,50 over world cup and ICC champions trophies – but the series loss to Australia where there is still one game to play seems to have helped make up the now ex test skippers mind.
Despite the success of India in the limited overs format of the game, in the test arena sadly they have struggled. There was a brief period where the Asian side did enjoy the dizzy heights of being world number one – but heavy defeats to England and now defeat to Australia has lead Mahendra Singh Dhoni to step down. Dhoni will however be available for one day internationals and T20 matches, what can’t be taken away from Mahendra Singh Dhoni is that he has been a brilliant leader, his record speaks for itself.
Vice Captain Virat Kohli will take charge of the Indian side for the fourth test. Twentyfive year old Kohli has been talked about as a future leader of India, now is his chance to shine – but my God does he have big boots to fill.
As for who will be Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s wicket keeping replacement there are a few players in the frame such as Wriddhiman Saha who deputised in the whitewash of Sri Lanka in the one day series, Sanju Samson who has starred for Rajasthan Royals and of course Parthiv Patel of Royal Challengers Bangalore. Patel once upon a time did keep wicket for India – but then came Dhoni and Parthiv Patel has never really had a look in since.
The void left by Dhoni as a captain is huge – and maybe the void left by Dhoni in regards to his skills as a wicketkeeper could be greater. There are a few good candidates there and all of them can bat which is always a bonus – but because Saha is the man ‘in custody’ of the shirt I think the selectors will favour the 30 year old for the foreseeable future at least.
Sanju Samson is not fully mature and is prone to throw his wicket away – but at 20 is definitely an Indian wicketkeeper of the future. Unfortunately for Parthiv Patel I don’t think he has done a lot wrong in recent years, the 29 year old has scored well in the IPL – but some one has to miss out and sadly I feel it’s Patel.
Very few when Mahendra Sigh Dhoni took over the captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 though that he would be India’s most successful one day captain – but the 33 year old did just that.The absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the test arena will no doubt be missed.