Sunil Gavaskar reckons that MS Dhoni should have stayed on as part of the Test team and just given up captaincy instead of quitting the Test format altogether. The former Indian skipper also suggests stand-in keeper Parthiv Patel’s errors could have made the difference in the outcome of the match.
It was another disappointing outing for the Indian team which saw them lose to the South Africans by a margin of 135 runs, which meant they lost the 3 match series going 2-0 down with one match to spare. The unattainable series win in South Africa still remains out of sight for the Indian team after their most recent loss.
Sunil Gavaskar, who was covering the match live on air, said that India missed the presence of former skipper MS Dhoni during the course of the match. The incident that made Gavaskar cringe occurred in the 25th over on day 3, when Patel failed to even register an attempt at trying to catch an edge off Dean Elgar during Jasprit Bumrah’s spell that left skipper Virat Kohli fuming over a missed opportunity.
"If Dhoni wanted to carry on, he could have carried on. Clearly, I think he might have had too much of captaincy [burden]. I would have actually liked him to maybe give up captaincy and still stay in the team as wicketkeeper-batsman because his advice in the dressing room would have been invaluable. Maybe he thought that the best course for him was to not to be there," Gavaskar said on air, ahead of the start of day four's action.
Gavaskar highlighted former skipper, Dhoni’s prowess behind the stumps which made him the indisputable number one choice for the keeper for the national side for almost half a decade. The likes of Parthiv Patel and Wriddhiman Saha have been used ever since Dhoni’s retirement from the Test format, but have not lived up to their predecessor’s exploits.
"Wriddhiman Saha has been missed. There is no question about it. His keeping is at an altogether different level," Gavaskar said on air.
"Parthiv Patel though is a competitive wicketkeeper. He is a little fighter as we can see when he gets the bat in his hand. However, sometimes with the gloves, he can have a little bit of an issue.
"We saw with that missed opportunity [Elgar on Day 3]. If we had gone for it and dropped it, then there would have been no issues. But not going for a catch does make you feel a little bit disappointed."
MS Dhoni, who had retired from Test cricket back in December 2014, will be back for the ODI series against South Africa which will start in February.