Dhoni echoes Gambhir’s line, says a captain is as good as his team

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy is as much under the scanner as coach Duncan Fletcher’s job as India begin their new season with a limited overs series in Sri Lanka starting on Saturday, says a report in Hindustan Times. However, with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir inconsistent with the bat and Virat Kohli too young to be saddled with the extra responsibility, Dhoni is set to lead the team at least for the first half of the new season, says the report, adding that thus, it was interesting to note the captain’s thoughts on the art of captaincy on the eve of India’s departure to Colombo.

“It is true that a captain is as good as his team,” Dhoni said, echoing Gambhir’s favourite line. “For instance, if you put the best captain in the world at the helm of a mediocre side like Alaska, just to use a name, he won’t be able to achieve anything. “For me, a captain’s key role is to channel the resources that are available to him and guide them. If he can get the best out of his team, he would have done justice to his job.”

According to a report in The Hindu, on being asked about the bilateral series against Pakistan, Dhoni was back to playing safe. “As professional cricketers we are taught not to really get into the emotional side. We are not the persons who decide but now that the series has been announced, we have to try and win matches.”

The 31-year-old spoke about starting the season on a bright note and added that playing in Sri Lanka regularly has made acclimatisation a non-issue. “We have gone there almost every year. The conditions are not very different to India. Most of the players who may be part of the T20 World Cup squad [to be held in Sri Lanka] are familiar with the conditions. That’s good for us.”

Meanwhile according to a report in Deccan Herald, Dhoni said that a good series against Sri Lanka would also be a confidence booster for the Twenty20 World Cup to be held in September-October in the same country. India play five one-dayers and one-off Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka starting July 21. “It’s a hectic schedule but as professionals we have to maintain our standard. We will play in different venues and travelling will also be there. It’s the start of the season and we want to start it on a good note,” Dhoni told reporters ahead of the team’s departure on Wednesday.

“Sri Lanka is not a new place for us. We have played series there at least once each year and even twice in a year. Conditions are also not so different from India and acclimatising to conditions will not be difficult,” he said. “This Sri Lanka series is good for us. We have to come back in Sri Lanka again for the Twenty20 World Cup. It will help us,” he added.