I would like to see Dhoni given a chance to run his own team. A team wherein he is the undisputed decision maker. A team where he does not have to worry about the legends who inadvertently command more respect and influence on decisions than he does.
It is one thing to be captain. Quite another to be a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid.
I think he will do well if he is the undisputed leader of the team.
He was man enough to lead a side wherein almost everyone was his senior, either in age or length of career. Even Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virendra Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh had played a good 5-6 years of cricket for India when Dhoni was made captain.
While he initially enjoyed the fruits of superlative individuals in his team, once the IPL started encroaching on national interests and priorities got jumbled up, none of the seniors stood up to support him. They had their own money making ideas over the fate of the national team.
Sachin Tendulkar and co. were more interested in negotiating with the BCCI a deal wherein they will get compensated if they were to miss the IPL while playing for India, than to discuss with the BCCI how to protect the National team's interest.
That became only Mahendra Singh Dhoni's problem.
Team India's culture that allows leadership shy cricketers to play 'just as a player' means the team has many leaders who demand a share in its success but only one that can be held accountable for failures.
Its fine to assume and say that Sachin Tendulkar is a great influence on the team. Its fine to assume and say that the 'dressing room benefits from his vast experience'. How does one measure the effectiveness of these contributions. How much of India's recent poor performances can be attributed to Sachin not doing his job as a mentor?
Its tough and probably harsh on SachinTendulkar to be asked the question.
But that is precisely the problem with having so many non performing seniors in the team, who are held to no accountability when the times are bad.
India's lamentable record warrants changes. Also warrants a hard look at Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
But India's problems are not problems of competency. Its an issue of attitude, priorities and loyalty to national interests.
Ever since Lala Amarnath scored a 100 on debut against Douglas Jardine's English team, there haven't been many periods where India have been without great batting talent. India may feel that replacing Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar will be impossible, but neither is such talent a prerequisite for winning nor is it prudent to believe that there is no talent waiting to be found.
Talent will be found. Both batting and bowling.
What we need a solution for is how to balance the IPL with national interests. A problem Sachin and other seniors have become a part of.
No captain can lead India again with honor and distinction unless the national game is given priority. Its not the losing that hurts its the mortgaging of India's national team to the IPL by the seniors that rankles.
To hold Mahendra Singh Dhoni alone responsible for that and expect that somehow Virat Kohli can fix that is delusional.