An unashamed M.S. Dhoni stuck to his guns during the post-match press conference this afternoon and said he won’t step down as India’s captain despite two consecutive humiliating defeats on home soil.
Indian skipper Dhoni refused to bite the bait when asked if he still considered himself the best person to lead the team after being disgraced at the hands of the visiting England team, losing two Test matches on a trot – the first time India has faced two back-to-back Test match losses at home since 1999-2000.
“The easiest thing for me to say right now is to say, ‘I quit captaincy’ and be a part of the side. But that’s like running away from the responsibility,” Dhoni said after the seven-wicket defeat by England at the Eden Gardens to trail the four-match series 1-2.
Officially, though, Dhoni squarely left it for selectors to decide whether he should continue to lead what must be a demoralized Indian team.
“The selectors are there to decide,” he quipped. “Of course there are others who will decide. There is BCCI and the administrative people who also want to look into that,” Dhoni said at the post-match press conference.
In addition, he said India needed to retaliate after the crushing defeats and defended coach Duncan Fletcher in doing so.
“He has been doing what the coaches do. He has got excellent technical knowledge about batting. He guides the players in the right direction,” he said.
“But ultimately once you cross the rope, you’re on your own. That’s the time when you’ve to get up and retaliate to the opposition, that’s where we’re lacking as of now,” he added.
“It’s wrong to question the coach. We have won quite a few series. The ODIs performance has been really good, in between we’ve won a Test series,” he explained.
The back-to-back defeats at home, incidentally, came after India’s eight successive away defeats in England and Australia last year, which Dhoni described as the lowest phase of his career.
That lowest phase, perhaps, got a bit lower with Sunday’s defeat – and may get further lower if India lose the last and final Test at Nagpur.