Nagpur: Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be a captain in decline - those who have done the job at the highest level insist it comes with a limited shelf life - but he can never be accused of not being self-aware. Dhoni has been allowed to run the team as he pleased, but this is not necessarily because he was specially favoured or because he was indispensable. Rather, he has brought a certain nous to sussing out situations and people, and more often than not his gambles have paid off.
Recently, however, this has not proved to be the case. India have lost 10 of the last 17 Test matches they have played, and the draw in Nagpur was as good as loss as it put paid to a proud home record. India had not lost to England at home since 1985, and this particular statistic was hard-earned.
When Alastair Cook's team ensured that David Gower was put in the shade, it should have been a seminal moment, but to Dhoni, it did not feel that way, for he has not had to share India's overseas pains as much in his 73-Test career. "It was a tough series," said Dhoni after the Nagpur Test. "But there are not many things that will come close to the loss in the 2007 50-over World Cup. This is not close to that."