'We've been wiped 0-4 in past but captain hasn't changed': Gavaskar's Dhoni dig | Cricket - Hindustan Times

'We've been wiped out 0-4 in past but the captain hasn't changed': Gavaskar's cheeky Dhoni dig amid Rohit dressing down

Jul 17, 2023 08:32 PM IST

Sunil Gavaskar's questioning of Rohit Sharma and his captaincy indicates an indirect swipe at MS Dhoni.

India have been a greatly successful Test team over the last few years, finding success on overseas tours and dominating at home like no other team has in the past. However, losses in two consecutive World Test Championship finals have become something of a stick to beat the team with, as under both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma they have failed to lift the silverware.

Sunil Gavaskar criticised Rohit Sharma citing an example of MS Dhoni.(Getty Images)
Sunil Gavaskar criticised Rohit Sharma citing an example of MS Dhoni.(Getty Images)

While the consistency in quality to reach two consecutive finals is noteworthy, thanks to big wins in Australia, England, and South Africa, the inability to convert strong performances to tangible success is a major criticism of India. With failures in ICC knockouts also repeatedly becoming a cause for bother, there has been talk of holding members of the team to greater accountability to spur on better performances in big moments.

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Former India captain and legendary batter Sunil Gavaskar has become a recent figure asking for more accountability to be taken by the captains and coaches of the team. Speaking to the Indian Express, Gavaskar spoke out about the security modern Indian captains enjoy, with criticism targeted towards how they were allowed to continue on without any questions asked.

"Whether you win or lose, the captain knows that he is going to be there. This has not been a recent case, mind you. This has been happening since 2011. There have been results where we have been wiped out in the series 0-4, 0-4 but the captain hasn't changed," said the former India captain during the IE Idea Exchange.

Gavaskar's statement pointed at MS Dhoni?

This is perhaps a question towards MS Dhoni, who was captain on the disastrous tours of England and Australia in the 2011/12 season. Although he had clinched the World Cup for India earlier in the year, the Test team was blown out of the water by their hosts despite being number one in the world at the time. Not only were those two tours routs, with both England Australia whitewashing India with 4-0 wins, but the performances were miserable from the Indians.

Dhoni would stay as leader of the red-ball team until 2014, when Virat Kohli first came in as captain in that year's tour of Australia. Kohli’s captaincy would see triumphs with two series victories in Australia and success in England, as well as a near-spotless record at home. However, he would be replaced by Rohit Sharma during the series in South Africa in 2021/22.

Rohit oversaw the team reach another WTC final, but has seen his tactics and leadership called into question after a lacklustre performance against Australia in the final. Moreover, questions have been raised regarding India's policy of having a singular all-format captain, with most other countries entrusting different formats to different leaders to ease the burden and suit the purpose of the format.

Rohit remains captain for the time being, leading a new-look India in the West Indies and scoring a century alongside Yashasvi Jaiswal in Dominica. Following an important white-ball season with the Asia Cup and World Cup, Rohit's first big overseas assignment will be the tour of South Africa in December this year. Two years ago, he missed being part of the tour due to a hamstring injury and what better way to make up for that absence if he can lead India to their first-ever Test series win in South Africa.

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