Dhoni willing to quit ODI captaincy after Bangladesh loss

DHAKA, (Reuters) – Mahendra Singh Dhoni is willing to step aside as India captain and focus on his own game if it will help the team, the 33-year-old said in the wake of their first ever one-day series defeat to Bangladesh.

The long-serving leader, who will turn 34 next month, gave up the test captaincy midway through the series in Australia in December before retiring from the longer format altogether. And with two humiliating ODI losses in the first two matches of the series against their neighbours, Dhoni was asked if he still enjoyed leading the Indian team.

“I am really enjoying my cricket,” Dhoni said after his side’s six-wicket loss at Mirpur on Sunday. “I know this question was coming. I know the media really loves me.

“Yes, if it is a justifiable thing that if you remove me and the Indian cricket will start doing really well, and if I am the reason for all the bad that is happening to Indian cricket, definitely I would love to step away and play as a player.

“Ultimately you want India to win. It doesn’t matter who is the captain.

“I was never really in line to become a captain. It was a job or responsibility for me. I have taken that responsibility. If they want to take it away, I am happy to give it away.”

The wicketkeeper-batsman took over the ODI mantle from Rahul Dravid after India’s group-stage exit from the 2007 World Cup in West Indies and is considered the country’s greatest skipper in limited-overs format.

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