Was He Equally Good as a batsman, as a Wicket-keeper and as a Captain?

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably the best Indian Cricket Captain ever. Dhoni’s recent decision to step down as India’s ODI and T20 captain bring back many memories. One persistent, contentious factor has been Dhoni’s alleged favoritism in matters of team selection. MS Dhoni always had his way with team selection. This aspect has caused many cricketing controversies over the decade.

Dhoni has always leaned towards a select group of players and placed trust on them. To begin with, Suresh Raina’s repeated selection despite his vulnerability to the short ball raised many eyebrows. R Ashwin’s team retention had to do with his performance for Chennai Super Kings. IPL loyalty switching on to national team selection is a serious matter of vested interests. India’s current test captain Virat Kohli was also given a free hand despite disappointing performances. The Indian team strangely persisted with Ravindra Jadeja, despite the availability of many other promising cricketers.

Here’s a list – The great Sachin Tendulkar, swashbuckling opener Gautam Gambhir, the dependable Ajinkya Rahane and the stylish wrist magician VVS Laxman. All these cricketing greats have been treated unfairly by MS Dhoni. In fact, VVS Laxman was forced into an indignant, rushed retirement. This reportedly occurred due to his personal differences with Dhoni. Gambhir’s displeasure with Dhoni has found voice at many IPL confrontations. It was certainly puzzling that several non-performing openers were opted for, while Gambhir warmed the benches. And because of this many legends didn’t receive proper farewell.

MS Dhoni is the only Indian captain to have led the team to major championship wins. This includes the memorable World Cup 2011 win, 2007 inaugural World T20 victory and the 2013 Champions Trophy triumph. There will certainly be no cricket captain like MS Dhoni for a very long time. At the same time, this blemishing aspect of MS Dhoni’s cricketing life will make the headlines too.

Meanwhile, as viewers, life and cricket will continue to enthrall and excite us.

Though many hated him for his favoritism and for ignoring many deserving other players, everyone will agree that he was the best wicket keeper and finisher India and probably the world has ever seen!

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