|Player:||A Kumble, MS Dhoni, A Mishra|
|Event:||Australia in India 2008/09|
DateLine: 22nd October 2008
After what has been happening over the last five days it is extremely difficult not to ask the question that has been doing the rounds.Will Anil quit captaincy. After a tremendous last five days for Dhoni as captain, It was inevitable this question would be posed. Anil would obviously be under pressure on two counts. One obviously his shoulder injury and secondly his form.
Since taking his 600th wicket at Perth, Anil has had a massive dip in form.He has just taken 16 wickets since then in 7 tests. How much ever he may defend himself, saying that he has had just one bad test match but the fact of the matter is that he has had nothing much to show in the way of returns. This is his third series since his 600th test wicket. He has had a poor series against South Africa, followed by another against Sri Lanka. Now this is his third series and once again he has broken down. He is 38 and not a spring chicken anymore.
His shoulder has been troubling him from the South Africa series. Dhoni was a stand in captain for him in Kanpur were India came from behind to square the series. This being the second time India would want to take the momentum forward. Kumble's shoulder injury would be a big problem for the selection committee and the team management.India would want to seal the series in Delhi itself.
This is where the question arises whether Anil would quit captaincy. Considering the massive media scrutiny over his shoulder injury and former players asking whether he should have played in Bangalore in the first place, Anil has for the first time in his entire career reacted so sharply to media criticism in his own column. Dhoni doing so well in Mohali as a captain with an aggressive approach, he carried the team with him, contrary to the defensive approach of the Indian team in Bangalore. Anil would be under tremendous pressure also with Mishra doing so well on debut. It would be better off for Anil to allow somebody else to make the decision on who should play at Delhi so that he can just concentrate on his fitness and bowling.
At the end of the day Anil who has played International cricket for 18 years has never taken his place for granted and has won the maximum test matches for India single-handedly. How ironical considering the fact that Delhi was the place where he got the perfect ten. Lot of things for Anil to ponder over going into the all important third test in Delhi.