MS Dhoni did not mince his words at the press conference following India’s first ever series defeat to Bangladesh. When asked if he is still enjoying captaining the side, Dhoni said he could see himself playing without the burden of leadership in the future, especially if he happens to be seen as the reason for India’s recent losses.
The captain also spoke about his decision to drop Rahane and why India are happy with the current support staff at the moment. Excerpts
On his captaincy
I’m always the one blamed for everything wrong with Indian cricket. Maybe it is all because of me that everything is happening. If you play long enough you see the good and bad days on the field. But I am really enjoying my cricket.
If it is justified that you remove me and Indian cricket will start doing well then definitely I would love to step aside and play as just a player. Ultimately, it is most important for India to win and not who is leading them to the win.
On considering stepping down
I was never really in line to become the captain, but it was given to me. Now if you take it away from me I will still be happy because what is more important for me is to play for the country and contribute to a win.
On team selection
The selection is the captain’s responsibility so please don’t interfere with it. How can you ask me to add Stuart Binny to the mix. Team selection is my area and I will do whatever I feel is best for the team.
On dropping Rahane
We all felt that he needs pace on the wicket to play well. On faster wickets he plays a lot better. But when he plays at number four or five on a slower wicket, he finds it difficult to freely rotate the strike.
This problem of his is especially seen at the start of his innings. It’s not easy. Ajinkya will have to wait. Whenever Rayudu has gotten a chance to play for India, apart from this match, he has done well for us. He is a good character to have in the side. He is not someone who looks very stylish but is someone who can score runs for you which is more important.
On coaching staff
Indirectly you are saying that you are missing Duncan Fletcher, which is good because I think he wasn’t really appreciated by the media. He did all the hard work and was with the team for a long time.
And during his time we travelled to a couple of diffuclt countries. But I don’t think we should blame our current support staff. Ultimately it is us players who go on the field and play. If you are indirectly hinting that we need a coach then I don’t agree. We have enough members in our support staff to take care of us.
On the series loss
It is quite disappointing. This is our first series loss (against Bangladesh). But in sport you must always find the reason. We were completely outplayed in both matches and in this game we didn’t get enough runs. Yes, it is disappointing. But it is not the end of the world.
It has been a long season of cricket for us. Four and a half months in Australia. Before that two and a half months in England. So it keeps going on.
It is very difficult for me to say if this (fatigue) is the reason. But it is the same team that keeps on playing in every series. So it becomes a bit tiring to consistently turn up and perform.