India has been choking for quite some time now

virat-kohli-5835741_1280In the 2014 T20 World Cup India played spectacularly winning 5 matches in a row including the semis where they comfortably chased a target of 173 against South Africa.

Then in the final they crashed to an abysmal 130 in 20 overs to lose.

In the 2015 ODI World Cup, we bettered this league performance winning a whopping 7 matches in a row including a 300+ score versus Bangladesh in the quarters.

In the semis, we crashed to 233 all down chasing 329.

In the 2016 T20 World Cup in the semis, we couldn’t even defend a score of 192, as West Indies won by a good 7 wickets and 2 balls to spare.

In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, we were humiliated by Pakistan, crashing to 158 all down chasing 339.

In the 2019 ODI World Cup semis, we couldn’t even chase a target of 240, getting 221 all down.

In the inaugural Test World Championship, we topped the global rankings but crashed to 170 all down in the second innings when even a 220 might have been enough to draw the match thanks to all the rain delays.

And in the recent T20 World Cup we got thrashed by 10 wickets in the semis.

If we had bad teams and lost to a better team it would have been different. But we have been doing consistently well in the leagues and then crashing at the last moment.

The only silver linings have been the Asia Cups we won in 2016 and 2018.

We really are missing MS Dhoni (he was in severe decline in the above-mentioned period) and his Golden Era when from 2007-13, we won the T20 World Cup (2007), the ODI World Cup (2011) and the ICC Champions Trophy. Apart from the 2016 Asia Cup, Dhoni also won us the 2010 edition and our first ever tri-series win on Australian soil in 2008.

Our previous golden period was 1984-86, when we won the ODI World Cup in 1983, the Asia Cup in 1984 and the Benson & Hedges World Series in 1986 apart from other smaller tournament wins.

Let’s see when the next golden period begins.

Dhoni victory musings…

After retirement he can build the MS Dhoni Museum of Victory Stumps.

Dhoni must have seen Miandad’s last ball sixer at Sharjah 1986 as a small kid and vowed…
“I will avenge this a 100 times over!”

Overs 41-50 are called the Death Overs in ODIs.
Dhoni is the King of Death.

If the openers won’t get you, Kohli will.
If Kohli won’t get you, Rahane-Raina will.
Aur agar sab gaye tel lene, toh Dhoni hi akela kaafi hai.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Columns on MS Dhoni

Hero Dhoni becomes Villain No. 1 (like many before him!)
January 21, 2016,

Stoic Dhoni: A true victim of intolerance
January 10, 2016,

2015: Annus horribilis for Dhoni
December 16, 2015,

Dhoni: Rest as captain to prolong batting career!
July 7, 2015,

Dhoni still best bet against Aussies…
March 30, 2015,

Dhoni and the great team bubble
March 27, 2015,

Has Dhoni’s golden era ended?
March 27, 2015,

The Dhoni-Kohli show finally ends
March 26, 2015,

Seven Things That Set Dhoni Apart
January 4, 2015,

Dhoni’s Test captaincy in numbers
January 1, 2015,

Dhoni symbolizes this era perfectly
December 31, 2014,

MS Dhoni – A man who didn’t play for landmarks
December 30, 2014,

Is it the end of the Dhoni era?
November 19, 2014,

Why the BCCI won’t sack Dhoni!
August 20, 2014,

3 Test myths about MS Dhoni…
July 22, 2014,

Dhoni: A strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde
01 February, 2014,

7 reasons why Dhoni is a great leader
12 July, 2013,

Is Dhoni our greatest player ever?
24 June, 2013,

Dhoni: A strange but successful captain
18 June, 2013,

Dhoni begins his second innings in style
19 March, 2012,

Dhoni takes India out of the ICU
27 February, 2012,

“Last minute” Dhoni strikes again!
20 May, 2012,

The Mad Max Trinity
29 March, 2012,

Is Dhoni the world’s greatest finisher?
27 October, 2011,

10 change-makers: From Pataudi to Dhoni
26 September, 2011,

The Revival Man of Indian cricket
16 September, 2011,

Cometh the hour, cometh the man
14 May, 2011,

The Myth of the Lucky Captain, 21 October, 2010

Dhoni’s last Test series as captain…

MS Dhoni’s book about his Test career will be…
Tired and Retired.

Knock Knock.
Who’s there?
Dhoni who?
Don’ you think it was all rather abrupt?

MS Dhoni’s theme song is…
Saari duniya ka bojh ham uthaate hai…

Test cricket is truly dead when the Indian captain with most Test wins retires voluntarily at the age of 33.

The 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar Series may well be known as the Dhoni-Clarke Retirement Series.
(Also, both have whitewashed each other)

Now suddenly MS Dhoni will become the freshest player in both ODIs and IPL.

These versions by Sunil Rajguru

Why Dhoni may have quit Tests…

Captaincy bhi main karu.

Wicket-keeping bhi main karu.

Batting main bhi mujhe 4 down karna pade.

Sidelined coach ka void bhi main bharu.

Batting collapses aur spineless bowling ko main jhelu.

Test losses ka gaaliyon ka bauchaar bhi main jhelu.

Aur ye sab ODI/IPL/T20s/media scrutiny ke bojh ke saath!

Bahut hua (Test) sammaan!

I quit!

These versions by Sunil Rajguru


Indispensable Dhoni musings…

BCCI: We hereby make you captain!
Dhoni: Does the captaincy come with a guarantee card?
BCCI: Yes, in your case, it is valid for your entire cricketing life.

BCCI logic…
Fatigued Dhoni = Indispensable.
Losing Dhoni = Indispensable.
Injured Dhoni = Indispensable.

Fact of the day…
About 24% of all Test matches ever won by India from 1932-2014 against the Top 8 teams were done under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
Next best Azhar: Half of that (13).

These versions by Sunil Rajguru