How Mars and Venus can Meet.

When a couple come together in a matrimonial alliance they are known as a husband-wife couple. In modern times there have been increasing attempts to include in the definition of marriage unions between couples of the same sex. This is to distinguish between holy matrimony and legal matrimony. However for the purpose of this blog post, i will focus on the relationship between a man and a woman for the purposes of a legal marriage.

There is a false misconception that arranged marriage is there only in India and not in developed western countries. Rather scientific study of 142 cultures throughout the world have revealed that arranged marriage is there in as many as 130 of them. Even in USA , Arranged marriages were there till as late as 1950’s.

Is a love marriage more successful than an arranged one. Interestingly throughout the world, even today divorce rates are the least in arranged marriage prevalent society. This is not to say of course that this automatically translates into arranged marriages being more successful. A couple who have had an arranged marriage  may stay together throughout life in an unhappy marriage, while another couple may have a divorce and move on to a happier marriage with a different partner each.

What would be the difference in expectations of partners from each other between an arranged marriage and a love marriage. I would feel that in an arranged marriage expectations are very less since the couple are virtually unknown to each other. Conversely in a love marriage expectations may apparently be more since the couple have supposedly known each other before they have decided to get married.

However is a love marriage really a love marriage ? Hardly so i believe. The only difference is that the couple have seen each other and theoretically known each other before getting married. I use the word theoretically as it is possible that actually the couple may not know each other at all and rather have put on a facade or a pretence so that the other has a better impression. This would be true more for a conservative society like India where a boy and girl meeting other a few times without their parents knowing about it makes their marriage a “love marriage” as opposed to an arranged marriage where they may meet but after their parents have fixed the marriage.

Be that as it may, once Mars and Venus get married, it is incumbent upon them to not just make the marriage work, but make it successful. How can that be possible ? Certain thoughts come to mind, such as follows;

Loyalty. This is the most important attribute required to make a marriage work. Once there is loyalty, everything flows from it. Allied closely to this is Trust. This is most important since if there is no trust, then various issues are likely to arise. What is however important is that there should be trust on both sides, and there should be no breach of trust as well

Fights. I believe that it is not possible that there is no fight at all between a married couple. If so it is a formal relationship where the married partners are aloof and detached with each other . However while fights are expected to happen, what is of paramount importance is that they should be few and far between, and once it happens should be got over quickly. Also important would be to isolate fights, in the sense that for fight A for reason B, the reason B should not be brought in fight C for Reason D. One should sit down and discuss and come to a conclusion. It may so happen however that one of the married partners is not in a mood to discuss. Then the other should, if possible, respect the views of the person and give space.

It is also important, if one has a fight, not to carry it too far. The golden words, the “mantra” is move on. Easier said than done, but one has to do it.

Marriage requires sacrifice on part of both partners. Now what the exact nature of the sacrifice would be will differ from person to person, couple to couple and marriage to marriage. However some element of sacrifice is a must. In a traditional society like India, the sacrifice will be more for Venus than for Mars, but thats a different topic in itself. What is important is that the sacrifice should be seen and acknowledged.

A couple should not entertain and allow extraneous factors at all to interfere in their marriage. After all, ultimately it is they who have to face life together including highs and lows, trials and tribulations. The extraneous factor is transitory and is to be treated as such and should not be allowed to play a pivotal role at all. This means that negative forces are not in any circumstances to be allowed around a couple as it will only play the role of chiselling away at the foundation of a strong pillar.

Ideally a couple should be best friends, rather than depend on other friends. Yes, Mars may prefer cricket, football and tennis while Venus may prefer Rom-Coms but that need not affect them. One can accept the other’s likes and dislikes and move on. Yes, amidst their own particular preferences , a “we” time should be there for each other, and not “me” time only.

Respect for each other is a must. Without respect, nothing will remain. Once respect is there for the spouse as an individual it will act as a binding force which will keep the couple together.

Can Mars and Venus meet. In my opinion, Certainly. They can not only meet but be happy and comfortable with each other in a lifetime journey of togetherness, joy and love.

Feedback is welcome

Kohli’s curious Captaincy Decisions

Congrats Team India and Virat Kohli for a comprehensive win in the 1st Test of the Home series versus NewZealand. Virat has now  won 8 out of 15 Tests, with 2 losses and 5 draws.

Kohli 1st became Test Captain due to Dhoni’s injury in the 1st Test of the Australian tour in December 2014. Dhoni returned to captaincy for the next 2 Tests before abruptly retiring. Kohli took over as Test Captain for the 4th Test and thereafter has continued as India’s regular Test Captain. Under his captaincy India drew an away Test vs Bangladesh, won against Sri Lanka  2-1 (away), won 3-0 against South Africa 3-0(home) and won against west Indies 2-0 (away).

Now there will be an unprecedented 13 Tests in a row at home which is expected to further improve his Captaincy record, given India’s home strength.

Twin hundreds on Captaincy debut in Australia marked Virat out as a player who will not let captaincy affect his batting. Indeed in the second innings of that Adelaide Test, Virat played what many called the best 4th innings played at Australia. India needed 364 in 98 overs and never played for a draw. Virat’s 141 in 175 balls could have taken India to a famous win, but it was not to be as Australia fought back to reduce India from 242/2 to 315 all out. India and Virat won hearts though and ensured that unlike other tours where one left with despair, now the tour will end with promise.

Virat’s captaincy has been by and large applauded. He has been seen as a bold and decisive leader, in contrast to his predecessor Dhoni who was seen as defensive and often clueless. Yet, there have been some curious selection issues which need a closer look.

1 Karn Sharma playing the 1st test at Australia in the 2014 series ahead of Ashwin was baffling. He took 2-143 in 33 overs and 2-95 in 16 overs in both innings. He never played Test cricket again and has played only 2 ODI and 1 International T20. Now Karn has taken 66 wickets in 34 first class matches @28.87 with only 2 fivers.  Does that merit selection in the Indian touring side. Once in the squad, does that merit selection in the playing 11. India lost that Test by only 39 runs. Was Karn’s selection too much a gamble?

2 In his second Test as Captain, which was at Sydney versus Australia, India played Suresh Raina at Number 6 and Raina, a delightful ODI cricketer otherwise,failed his captain with a pair of ducks. For this Test, Rohit was promoted to No.3 and Pujara was dropped. The point is that Sydney is reputed for helping spin, so shouldnt 2 spinners have been played ? What was the point of bringing Raina back in the last Test of the series?

3  The enigmatic Rohit Sharma looks super when he bats well. The balance is classy and the unhurried time he gets to play the ball is just awesome. Unfortunately he has not shown consistency at all. To be fair, he probably has not got a full series at a settled spot. He has batted at 6, then pushed up to 3, dropped, brought back at 5, dropped again and brought back at 6.  Virat seems unsure where to play him. His selection has also brought in other complications like juggling the batting order and experimenting with Virat at 3, Rahane at 3 and Pujara as opener.

4 The curious case of Cheteswar Pujara . For some time it seemed as if Pujara was India’s replacement for Rahul Dravid. However his place in batting line up too was experimented with. Pujara was dropped, then even asked to open (as India was injury-hit), scored a hundred as opener before going back to number 3. He was dropped again and is now back as number 3. One has the feeling that he should be given a long rope at number 3, especially since now he is playing only Test Matches.

5 The 5 bowler theory. This theory was started by Virat in the one off Test versus Bangladesh and continued in the India-Sri Lanka away series which followed.  However who will be the 5th bowler was the issue. It was Harbhajan, then Binny, then Mishra. With fanfare Ashwin was promoted to Number 6 and he obliged his captain with 2 Test tons and it seemed as if the 5 bowler theory will stay. However suddenly India reverted back to 6 batsmen and 4 bowlers. The point is, why not simply say that the best 11 will be chosen depending on situation of series, ground conditions etc.

6 Dropping of Murali Vijay was also inexplicable. For a few years Vijay played only when either Sehwag or Gambhir were injured. He thereafter staked his independent claim on merit and became India’s consistent number 1 batsman. In the 2nd Test versus west indies at Kingston he was dropped and Rahul grabbed the chance, scoring 158. However in the next Test when Vijay was fit he was dropped. Logically if Rahul was to be persisted with on form, then Shikhar should have been dropped and not Vijay. In fact to compound the selection jigsaw puzzle even Pujara was dropped and the batting order went awry with Kohli at 3, Rahane at 4 and Sharma at 5.

Maybe Kohli is experimenting with different combinations before settling down to what he feels is the best. Horses for courses are an acceptable , rather probably an advisable selection policy. However it does seem that his methods of selection are the other extreme of Dhoni who preferred to go in with the same 11, irrespective of conditions.

Its still early days for Kohli as Test Skipper but he is here to stay and its only a matter of time before he becomes captain in all formats.  it would be interesting to revisit this article after say 2-3 years.

Do you agree that he has made the above mistakes ? Feedback is welcome

Top 3 Batsmen among tailenders.

Very often in Test cricket we see excellent bowling dismissing the top half of the batting line up. However then there is a dour rearguard action by the lower order batsmen. Nothing can be more frustrating to the Bowling side and its Captain.

The key advantages of runs by tailenders are (i) getting the team some valuable runs (ii) peps up the team to put in a good bowling performance (iii) keeping the team in the 5 day match, allowing a chance to come back and (iv) demoralizing an already battered opposition.

Who are top tailenders in Test cricket. A few names come to mind such as Shane Warne, Brett Lee, Shaun Pollock, Jason Gillespie, Stuart Broad, Jimmy Anderson, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and so on. They are distinctly different from classic tailenders like Venkatesh Prasad and Glenn McGrath who when they come in to bat will make the bowling side reasonably confident that they are getting them out and coming out to bat.

The fact that Warne, Lee and Gillespie played at the same time no doubt contributed to Australia being such a devastating team. This is because even if their redoubtable batting order faltered, these 3 stubborn tailenders would combine with the best ever keeper-batsman in history, Adam Gilchrist to take the match away from the opposition. In fact the present English team too is strong as they have a similar long wagging tail instead of a feeble one.

Is Vettori a tailender batsman ? Is Shaun pollock one, though he has 2 test tons batting at 9, and is the only one to perform such a feat. Are Wasim Akram or Moeen Ali tailenders. In my opinion, No . They are all allrounders, and may be classified as bowling allrounders at most. The fact that they often batted at say number 8 or 9 is due to their team having a strong batting line up, rather than they being weak batsmen. Vettori in fact scored 4500 runs in test cricket @30 average with 6 hundreds, and he has , if required batted at Number 6 for the Kiwis.

After considering various tailenders, I zero in on the following 3 as my top Batsmen among tailenders

1 Jason Gillespie. He is the 1st nightwatchman to go on to score a Test 200. Jason was always a stubborn customer with the bat and valued his wicket very highly. It was always an issue getting him out. He once played an important role in saving a Test match at Chennai in 2004 by scoring 26 in over 4 hours at the crease and consuming more than 55 overs in a partnership with Damien Martyn. Overall Jason had ab average of only 18.73 in Tests with 1 ton (the 200 mentioned earlier) and only 2 50’s but he was much more valuable than what his figures suggest.

2 Shane Warne He too has a Test batting average of only 17.32 but has as many as 12 50’s. His highest test score was 99 and he has scored 3000 plus runs in Test cricket, the highest for any batsman without a 100. If Dizzy was obstinate, then Warne was exuberant. This exuberance cost him his 100 as he tried to get a big hit off the wily Vettori only to hole out to Mark Richardson. Sadly Vettori had bowled a huge No Ball but those days there was no DRS. Destiny that he would retire without a 100. However no doubt he was a dangerous batsman.

3 Anil Kumble. The memories with which one will remember Kumble is getting 10 wickets in a Test innings and bowling with a broken jaw at Anigua and dismissing Brian Lara. However Kumble was no mean batsman either. His average too was only 17 but he made it difficult to get his wicket. It took him 17 years to reach a Test 100 and that too he got it in England where traditionally Indian batsman do not fare too well. In that particular innings at the Oval, 6 Indian batsmen crossed 50 with Karthick, Sachin and Dhoni scoring 91, 82 and 92, but it was destiny that among them only Kumble would get a century. His grittiness makes me pick him above Bhajji who narrowly misses out.

These are my Top 3, Do u agree ?

As regards Jimmy Anderson and Ishant Sharma, maybe they will figure in my List of Top Number 11 batsmen, but well, thats for another time

Rafi and Naushad, Shishya and Guru

Naushad was a composer par excellence. Rafi was the Voice of God. It was destined that their’s would be a teacher-student, a Guru-Shishya relationship which would give the world priceless gems. and the world would enjoy the fruits of their partnership.

Naushad’s 1st work as a music director was in 1940 for the movie Prem Nagar. It took him only 2 years to give his 1st super hit which was Nai Duniya. He first used Rafi as a chorus singer in the movie Pehle Aap.

Its said that Naushad had Talat Mehmood as his favorite singer at that point of time. However, during the shooting of Babul, he saw Talat smoking and that infuriated him so much that he did not work with him for the next 18 years. More pertinently, from Rafi’s point of view, and to his luck, the songs of Baiju Bawra were given to Rafi. This was the oppurtunity Rafi required and he grabbed it. “O Duniya ke rakhwale”, and “Man Tarpat Hari Darshan ko aaj” established Rafi as the singing superstar.

Baiju Bawra gave Naushad Best Music Director award as well for “Tu Ganga ki Mauj” which was sung by Lata Mangeshkar and Rafi. This was Naushad’s only Best Music Director of his career which is strange considering his brilliance.

Baiju Bawra was a musical landmark as the songs were composed in classical raga modes. Distinguished classical artistes like Amir Khan and DV Paluskar were also hired by Naushad in his successful attempt to bring classical music to the masses. Later in his career he would associate Bade Ghulam Ali Khan in Mughal-e-Azam .

Naushad needed a voice which public would love and in Rafi he found that voice. The dedication of Rafa was something every Guru dreams of. As an illustration, for the song “O duniya ke rakhvaale” Rafi had to rehearse for 15 days and after recording the song his voice needed rest as it was so tired.

2 more interesting trivia about this immortal song. 1stly, Rafi had been concerned that his voice had not been making impact and Naushad had assured him that this song would establish him as a singer. To quote Naushad “This Baiju Bawra theme offers you the kind of vocal challenge which, if you meet, you will find yourself made for life.’ 2ndly a hanged convict when asked his last wish desired to hear “O duniya ke rakhvaale”instead of normal wishes like wanting to see family members or eating/drinking food of his choice. A tape recorder was brought to the jail and the song was played for the to-be-hung jailbird.

Naushad and Rafi would continue to create magic together for well over 2 decades. In 1960, for the Superstar Dilip Kumar’s movie Kohinoor, Naushad had composed the song “Madhuban mein radhika naache” based on Raah Hamir. However the producer was of the opinion that the Raag was too complex for the common man to appreciate and he asked Naushad and Rafi to change it. Rafi put his foot down and said that he will not charge fees and will do so only if the masses like the song. Naushad too insisted for no change. Not only was Kohinoor a big hit, the song was a super success. Later the producer came to pay Rafi his fees and present him a box of sweets, Rafi accepted the sweets but not the fees, saying the appreciation of public was the fees he needed.

“Suhaani raat Dhal Chuki” was a song in the movie Dulari which is one of the best compositions of Naushad. After the recording was over Naushad was satisfied. However Rafi could not sleep the whole night as he thought he did not do justice. The next day he went to Naushad’s house and started weeping. A startled yet impressed Naushad recorded the song again to Rafi’s satisfaction. This magical song we listen to even today. Dulari was in 1949. Who knows, maybe this dedication was in Nushad’s mind and helped him to decide in Rafi’s favour for Baiju Bawra when he was upset with Talat.

“Madhuban mein radhika naache” was written by Shakeel Badayuni, a Muslim. Composed by Naushad, a Muslim. Sung by Rafi and picturised on Dilip Kumar, both Muslims. Indeed, Music has no religion. In fact, “Man Tarpat Hari Darshan ko Aaj” too had the magical trio, Naushad, Shakeel Badayuni and Rafi and for the recording of this Krishna Bhajan, all musicians were asked to come in proper respectful attire and the atmosphere of a Hindu Temple was created with the producer distributing Prasad and sweets and everyone saying Krishna Krishna.  Respect.

I would like to conclude this blog by narrating how Naushad gave Rafi back his confidence. After the dynamite Kishore Kumar Rajesh Khanna craze swept the nation, Rafi had less offers and his confidence had gone down. Once in Mehboob studios Naushad heard some wannabe’s giving singing advice to Rafi. Naushad went away and asked Rafi to drop in at his house. He shouted at Rafi saying that “Who are these people to tell Mohammed Rafi what to do? Isn’t Rafi too trained a performer to submit to anyone but the song composer?”He said “Sing confidently, like my Rafi does”.

Not only that, Naushad hurriedly arranged a recording for his son’s movie ‘My friend’, a song in Raag Bhairavi . Rafi sang it brilliantly and got back his confidence. This coincided with Saawan Kumar’s “teri galiyon mein na rakhenge kadam” which gave Rafi yet another best singer award. Rafi was back, and next 6 years, he was the Rafi of old.

Sadly Rafi left us early when he was only 55. Ironically though Naushad was alive till 2006, with Rafi not around he could not produce the magic which he had with Rafi. However, over 30 years, the duo has given us 149 songs including 81 solo numbers for which they will always be in the mind and memory of music lovers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suhani Raat Dhal Juki Na Jane Tum Kab Aahoge

Djokovic joins the GOAT race

Congrats Stan Wawrinka for winning the 2016 US Open. The one handed backhand wizard lifted his 3th Grand Slam Title (Major) in his 3rd Final and also stopped Novak Djokovic from winning his 13th Major in his 21st Final.

However I firmly feel that Djo has  joined the race for Greatest of all time (GOAT), in which his illustrious rivals Roger Federer (Fed) and Rafa Nadal (Rafa) were competing. Nole has 12 Majors with Federer (17), Rafa and Sampras (14 each) ahead of him.

Criteria For GOAT. Offhand one can think about certain criteria such as Number of Majors won, whether career Grand Slam has been won , whether calendar Grand Slam has been won, number of weeks at Number 1, consecutive weeks at Number 1, finishing the year as Number 1 , number of ATP titles won, number of Masters won and so on.

As one sees above while Federer is ahead at 17, he is 35 and his last Major was at Wimbledon 2012. Sadly, It looks quite certain that he will not win any more Major. As regards Rafa, the great champion’s last Major was the French Open in 2014. At that point of time Rafa had 14 Majors and Nole way behind at 6. Now suddenly, just 10 Grand Slams later, Nole has 12. He has won 6 of the last 10 Slams, with Cilic and Murray winning one each and Wawrinka two. Federer’s 17 looks difficult but achievable.

Career Grand Slam is an important aspect as i feel one has to win all 4 Majors to be counted in the GOAT Race. Even Federer was taken seriously as GOAT only after he won the French Open to complete the career Slam. Same holds good for Nole as well. Wawrinka stopped him in 2015 and probably prevented a calendar Grand Slam, but in 2016 Nole by winning French Open tick marked one crucial omission in his list, just like Fed had done earlier. This is one area where Sampras with his poor clay court record and no triumph at French Open falls behind.

Calendar Grand Slam is something neither Rafa, nor Federer nor Nole have which could have been a crowning glory. One marvels how Rod Laver did it not just once but twice, and that too 7 years apart from each other. Don Budge too has done it. In Ladies tennis, Margaret Court, Maureen Connoly and Steffi Graf have achieved this awesome feat as well. However Nole remains the only other male player to win all 4 Majors simultaneously and is the 1st to hold all 4 titles on 3 different surfaces. Therefore he has held his own.

Most weeks at Number 1 is another criteria. Federer is way ahead of others with 302. However Djokovic has already completed 215 weeks at Number 1 and only Federer, Sampras (286)., Lendl ( 270) and Connors (268) are ahead.  Federer’s longest streak of 237 is huge while Nole has at present 114 consecutive weeks at Number 1.

Currently Nole has 14840 points and the Number 2, Andy Murray has “only” 9305 points, so its a fair guess that Nole is there as Number 1 for quite some time to come. On this criteria Nadal with overall 141 weeks and consecutive 56 weeks is way behind.

Ending the year as Number 1 is a criteria for GOAT where Sampras is alone at 6. Federer and Connors are at 5 times each while Nole is poised to join them as he has 4, leaving behind Lendl and Mcenroe at 4. Rafa is at 3. So here too Nole has held his own.

Now lets see Number of ATP titles and number of Masters . One sees 88 titles for Federer , 69 for Rafa and 67 for Nole. Of course Connors with 109 and Lendl with 94 have more titles. As regards Masters, Nole has 30, Federer 24 and Rafa 28.

If one looks at ATP end of the year Title where the world’s top 8 meet up, Federer has won it 6 times while Nole and Sampras have 5 each. Rafa has none and this is one tick-mark he would definitely like to achieve.

 One Last Criteria. Head to head versus other top players. Here i do not have data of former World Number 1 players but have data of Current and recent stars and it is seen that Nole has positive head to head versus all. Nole’s closest rivalry is with Fed and Rafa against whom he has a positive head to head of 23-22 and 26-23. Otherwise he has huge lead over other top players such as Murray (24-10) , Wawrinka (19-5) , Nishikori ( 10-2) and Cilic (14-0). Hence on this criteria too Nole has shown his mettle.

Ultimately however the criteria which i personally feel is most important is  number of Grand Slam Titles. Hence Fed is ahead with 17. If Nole or Rafa reach 17 then considering other criteria as discussed above , then he will be ahead of even the great Federer in the GOAT race. As of now, as discussed in detail above, Nole has definitely joined the race for GOAT.

what do all of you think ? Feedback invited please

 

 

Should Dhoni Retire ?

MSD or Mahi or Dhoni is an unique character in the history of cricket. Probably no one has ever polarised cricket fans anywhere in the world as this wicketkeeper-batsman of India who has a rags to riches story.

Labelled the best finisher, recently this label got dents with a loss each against Zimbabwe and West Indies in the last over of  a T20. There have been various discussions as to whether he should now retire from all forms of the game and not just Tests which he has done so far.

The magical journey started for this former TTE (a very junior employee of the state-run rail carrier Indian Railways) worker when he got a chance for India as other keepers did were not doing well and India dispensed with experiment of Dravid doing part time keeping. While his ODI debut saw him scoring a duck, in his fifth match he scored a 123-ball 148 and in his eighth, promoted to number three after the great Sachin fell early, he scored 183 and India easily chased 299. The Mahi script started well.

Captaincy? As destiny would have it, India were supposed to play the T20 World Cup. T20 was looked down upon, and Sachin, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid declined to play it, citing need for rest. The selectors headed by Dilip Vengsarkar sprung a surprise and made Mahi the captain.

India which went on to win the world cup in an earlier match won in a ‘bowlout’. This was in my opinion a silly experiment which thankfully was not repeated. In the event of a tie, three bowlers would bowl at the stumps. Pakistan went in for regular quick bowlers like Umar Gul and all missed. India went in with non-regular bowlers like Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa and our great offie Harbhajan Singh hit timber each and every time.

This out of the box thinking was also seen in the final by Dhoni giving an unknown Joginder Singh the last over instead of the vastly experienced Bhajji. Despite giving a wide the first ball and being hit for a huge six in the second, India defended the 12 runs reqd in last over and forced the bowl out.

Mahi later on became famous for such unconventional captaincy.

Test captaincy? As luck would have it, Anil Kumble chose to bow out after a remarkable career and Dhoni was pitchforked into Test Captaincy as well. Supposedly Sachin Tendulkar had a role to play here. Whatever be the reason, Dhoni remained the undisputed captain for all three formats until he decided to give up the Test captaincy.

There was discussion of his being dropped from captaincy but as per Mohinder Amarnath the BCCI President used his veto to retain him as Captain until he himself called it a day.

Utility as Test player? There have been lots of discussion about Mahi having a terrible technique. That could be , but well, Statistics don’t lie. In his 90 matches he has scored almost 5000 runs with six tons and 33 50s. Critics say that he hasn’t done well abroad, but aren’t Indian batsmen known for failing abroad, barring the odd Sachin and Sourav?

So why expect wonders from a keeper-bat? Isnt an average of 38 plus good enough for someone who is not a pure batsman.

Should he retire? Retirement is a personal decision and is not to be forced upon anyone. Rather selection is something which can be discussed and debated. Does he warrant selection in the ODI team and the T20 team as a player? I feel he is far better and far ahead of those aspiring to take his place.

Of late indeed the role of finisher has got some dents. Mahi’s style was to take the game till the last over and then finish it off with a few hefty whacks. However suddenly India lost a couple of matches and Dhoni was at the receiving end as he could not finish the game off, and India lost.

This has led to calls for his retirement from all forms of the game. Now should he retire ? There is no doubt that he is not at the top of his game and he is not the Mahi he once was. Cricket that way is a funny game with hardly any top cricketer retiring at the top of his game , except maybe Sunil Gavaskar or Greg Chappell. Otherwise most top cricketers have tried to prolong their career till as much as possible. Often with unfortunate ultimatums.

I leave this topic of whether he should retire or not to all of you to deliberate upon. Does he warrant selection in the ODI team and the T20 team as a player. I would say yes. While i would not go as far as Virat Kohli and Ajinjya Rahane who even now say that Dhoni is the best finisher and still will win India matches 9 out of 0f times, I would say that he is far better and far ahead than those aspiring to take his place .

Its up to the selectors and him to decide his future. Of course, as fans and avid watchers we will also have our views to which we certainly are entitled. My personal opinion is that if he plays as a player only without the burdens of captaincy we will see a transformed and rejuvenated Mahi who will win many more matches for his country.

( Note; this Blog has been published by the Aussie on line community The Roar)