Friday, February 24, 2012

Cricketers must put the country above themselves

What has been a matter of speculation till now is finally out in the open. The Indian cricket team is having to deal with a serious rift between captain M. S. Dhoni and vice-captain Virender Sehwag.

Whether this rift is behind the lacklustre showing of the Indians in Australia, or questions raised over the team's dismal performance have caused things to boil over, is unclear so far. What is certain is that ego tussles between two senior players threaten to mar further the fortunes of the under-performing team.

The potshots that Dhoni and Sehwag have taken at each other at recent press conferences over the rotation policy being followed for senior players were clearly uncalled for. Such issues are best settled within the confines of the dressing room, and the fact that the captain and his deputy chose to wash the dirty linen in public indicates that all is not well with the channels of communication within the team.

Dhoni and Sehwag seem to consider their personal tussle more important than the interests of the team, and the expectations of millions of Indians. It need not be stressed here that their importance stems only because they represent India in the international arena. Realising that they are not larger than the team would help them lend a perspective to the issue bedeviling their ties.

While there is no denying that it is Dhoni's prerogative as captain to choose the eleven that he wants to field, this should not lead to autocratic functioning on his part, especially as regards senior players who have served Indian cricket for long.


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