Northampton, Aug 4: It's a sad day when the wavering performance of a team captain begins to parallel the ill-form of his whole team. It's such a scenario that the embattled Indian captain M S Dhoni, is currently embroiled in. With a run-aggregate of 49 at an average of 12.5 in the current Test series against England, he is just a shadow of his former self.
To make matters worse, his gloves have morphed to butter fingers as his grossly flawed display of collecting deliveries behind the stumps has become a regular phenomena. Now he needs to pick up the pieces and lead from the front. After all if a skipper can't galvanise his team by example, who can?
A former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, helps shed light on the burden of responsibility weighing down on Dhoni. "The moment the captain's performance starts to fall down, that's when he starts losing command and respect in the dressing room and that's where he needs to look at not just his batting but also his keeping," Gavaskar said.
A veteran with 59 Tests under his belt with a batting average of 37.45, Dhoni has to do justice as a player of his stature. And when a wicketkeeper has the experience of taking 171 catches, you expect him not to put down regulation chances.
Now as India take the field against Northampton, Dhoni must use the match to swing around India's flagging momentum. If an outright win is not a possibility in a 2-day tour game, then at least India has to give a good account of themselves and rejuvenate something of fighting spirit. Dhoni, who will be expected to lead his side onto the field for this match, has vast reserves of such. Now is the time to tap it.