Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the most successful leaders in the history of cricket. Apart from 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 ODI World Cup, he also guided India to the top of Test rankings winning the prestigious Test mace (2010 and 2011) followed by 2013 Champions Trophy. The 39-year-old led his side to all the major ICC titles etching his name in the history books.
However, despite the immense contributions he made for India during his career as a player and captain, there was still a section of fans who always criticized him for some reasons. Let us have a look at few of them:
1. Backing the players of his franchise - CSK
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During MS Dhoni's time as captain of India, it was a common belief among some fans that he backed Chennai Super Kings' players in the national setup, more than other players. Whenever players like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Subramaniam Badrinath, Murali Vijay etc. got an opportunity in the Indian side, fans used the term 'CSK Quota' to criticize Mahi. There was a time when there used to be at least 4-5 CSK players in India XI which people regarded as Dhoni's personal bias and favouritism.
2. Dropping senior members of the side
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Some of India's legendary players like Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble were dropped from the national setup as Dhoni wanted to build a young side. While most of these players were anyway towards the end of their career, the manner in which they were forced to retire was something that angered the fans. With MS at the helm of the things, he was held responsible for everything. While it worked in 2011 as India lifted the World Cup, the exclusion of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh from 2015 World Cup setup did not pay dividends as India lost the semi-final because of lack of experience and Dhoni was blamed for the same.
3. India's poor record in overseas Tests
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Team India had a very poor run in Test format (especially overseas) post 2011 under the leadership of MS Dhoni as they suffered shambolic series defeats in South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia (SENA) before he finally announced his surprise retirement from red-ball cricket on December 30, 2014 during India's tour Down Under. With 27 Tests wins (mostly at home) and 18 losses (mostly overseas) in 60 Tests in charge, fans often criticize him for his poor captaincy record away from home.
4. MSD's slow batting in second half of his career
Mahi announced himself as one of the most explosive batsmen in international cricket while playing some spectacular knocks batting at No. 3 in early part of his career. However, with the added responsibility of captaincy, he started to play the role of a finisher. While he won numerous games for India, the side also lost a few because of him playing with a slow strike-rate in middle overs to save his wicket. He was widely criticized for his unbeaten 42-run knock off 31 deliveries against England in ODI World Cup 2019 as India lost the match by 31 runs.
5. Getting the credit for India's World Cup wins
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Most of the fans do not like the fact that MS Dhoni is credited for guiding India to historic World Cup wins. The former Indian captain is often lauded for his decision to give Joginder Sharma the last over in 2007 T20 WC and his famous tournament winning six in 2011. However, people believe that because of him, other players like Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag do not get the necessary due for their contributions.