With Mahendra Singh Dhoni suffering his third successive ODI series defeat as captain in Australia, the clamour for his head has just got louder. Several former cricketers feel that Dhoni should step down as India's limited overs skipper and the likes of Erapalli Prasanna and Mohinder Amarnath have demanded that Virat Kohli should take charge of the team in all three formats.
But a Syed Kirmani, India's former wicketkeeper, has a different view and believes that Dhoni deserves to be treated better.
"If you ask me, it was the best decision to make Dhoni the Indian captain [in 2007]. He took India to the top in all three formats. He became the most successful captain in India's history and has been their most consistent performer."
"Now, you cannot expect Dhoni to be on top of his game all the time. It's not his captaincy skills that have deserted him.It's just that luck is holding against him," Kirmani told TOI on the sidelines of the final of the first-ever T20 Asia Cup Cricket Tournament for the Blind at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi.
The 66-year-old is of the view that Dhoni should not be pushed to leave the team."They should leave it to Dhoni to decide on his future. There's nothing wrong with the team.They've been scoring over 300 in almost every match in Australia. It's just that India have failed to cross the final hurdle and we've lost some touch-and-go situations," he said.
Though he rates Kohli highly, he feels that the Indian Test captain can imbibe a lot of good qualities by playing under Dhoni. "He is a magnificent player and he has led well so far in Test matches. But I think he still has a lot to learn from Dhoni.He has to acquire the good leadership qualities of Dhoni and at the same time remain the same person that he is," felt Kirmani.
The wicketkeeper of India's maiden World Cup winning side, Kirmani thinks that India would not be having a hard time finding a replacement for Dhoni.
"No one is irreplaceable. When Farokh Engineer left the scene, everyone wondered who would replace him, and then I came along. Likewise, when Gavaskar retired, there were talks of who would fill in his boots and Tendulkar did that. So eventually someone would rise to the occasion," said Kirmani, who represented India in 88 Tests and 49 ODIs.
"Wriddhiman Saha, Naman Ojha, Dinesh Karthik and Parthiv Patel are all contenders and they are all good with the bat."
When asked about his views on Sanju Samson, Kirmani felt that Sanju needs to be more consistent in domestic cricket. "Sanju Samson has age on his side. He's got a brilliant start through the IPL.Now he should be performing consistently in the domestic first-class competitions to go to the next level," he said.