The fifth ODI against England at Dharamsala is little more than a formality. The series is already decided. India’s ranking in the ODI will remain at No.1 regardless of the result and that is why it is the perfect time for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the BCCI and the selectors to do some planning for the Tests as well.
It is important for India to set their goals now — ahead of two tough series’ against Australia and South Africa (at the end of the year). And then Dhoni can re-evaluate where India stand after them.
The goals have to be much more detailed than saying that we want to be No.1 in Tests too. Gary Kirsten did it early in his tenure and it helped the Indian team a great deal — they achieved both their goals of becoming world number 1 in Tests and world champions in ODI cricket.
Senior sports writer Ayaz Memon believes that Dhoni has to play a huge role in the coming months in setting these goals.
“He should be sitting with the selectors and watching domestic cricket. And telling them exactly what he wants. The way I see it, India have problems with their opening slot (both openers are struggling), opening bowlers (too many injuries), spinners aren’t a big problem but they haven’t clicked in recent times. And also figure out how he wants to blood the youngsters,” said Ayaz.
It is perhaps a lot to ask for but it needs to be done now.