Test team debacle after the 2011 World Cup
The 6-7 month period after the 2011 World Cup was pretty difficult for the Indians, who lost away to England in the Test, ODI and T20I series and also received some hammering in the hands Australia Down Under. The captain of the Indian side, MS Dhoni was again in the spotlight for failing to build on the inspiration which the 2011 triumph gave.
But a few reasons in Dhoni’s favor, most of his senior players had lost touch horribly, with Zaheer Khan getting ruled out very early due to an injury. Despite a few good knocks, Rahul Dravid was not at his best, so were the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag. This resulted in two 4-0 losses to England and Australia.
That was a horrible dip for the fans to digest, especially after winning the World Cup. Although the team was in a bit of a transition period, this result seemed unacceptable for a lot and Dhoni again was at the receiving end.
2. Persisting with some players for too long
After all that happened in England, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand in 2011 to 2013, the fans found it difficult to accept Dhoni as the captain. Another reason which really infuriated some of the fans was his constant support to some individuals like Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and a few others.
Ravindra Jadeja was still doing a fine job in Tests, but the curious case with Rohit Sharma was frustrating a lot of people. Although people did like Rohit, they felt he was being backed a bit too much ahead of other talents like Ambati Rayudu or out-of-touch Yuvraj Singh. We need not talk at length on what Rohit went on to achieve.
But this case happened with a few more players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and for some reason, the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Irfan Pathan and Ambati Rayudu didn’t get the chances they deserved.
3. Defensive captaincy
Dhoni was always a captain who liked to play it safe, or rather putting it in the words of some fans, “He was defensive”. We saw how Aaron Finch literally attacked to his last breath in the 2019 World Cup with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins, something which earned him a lot of compliments. Dhoni was never like that, and he never had such resources as well.
Apart from the Tests which were played in India, where he did have potent spinners in Jadeja and Ashwin to attack, his lack of trust on some bowlers to go all-out didn’t work well. A classic example was Dhoni spreading the field out when Brendon McCullum had just come to crease with the side losing half the wickets, but he ended up scoring a triple ton in 2013.
Dhoni’s stint as a captain ended in 2017 with Virat taking over the reins completely in all formats, but a lot of fans still consider Dhoni to be a little partial to a few cricketers, also using a term called “CSK quota”.