With the World Cup right around the corner, India's 'Captain Cool' Mahendra Singh Dhoni needs to find his Midas touch with the bat, at the earliest. Going into the World Cup each of the players needs to be at the top of their game - if India would want to lift the World Cup.
And to build such a team the Indian captain needs to lead from the front - with his bat doing the talking, which has been long overdue. Dhoni has failed to make a significant contribution with the bat, when the team is down in recent times. I can't remember when was the last time he played a significant role batting second under pressure.
India's bowlers should start to bat a bit
With the Indian top order Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir to return into the scheme of things for the upcoming World Cup, it is extremely important for the Indian captain to strike form which would give stability to the middle order and would also help the likes of Virat, Yuvraj, Yusuf and Raina to launch themselves against the opposition.
The last time Dhoni played a significant role when the team was in trouble, was when he scored 67 against Sri Lanka in Dambula, in August 2010. Wonder when is the next! Well, that too was for a lost cause and he had scored those of 100 balls and was the last wicket to fall.
With Sachin being in amazing form for over last couple of years and youngsters like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina performing, the failures of Dhoni hasn't been much noticed due to his captaincy skills. He had lead an inexperienced team to glory in the inaugural World Twenty20 and it would be interesting to see how he handles this bunch of now experienced cricketers in the World Cup.
If he does lead Team India to glory once more then he would do a world of good for himself and the team, but I still would like to see him lead from the front with his batting rather than just his captaincy.
Dhoni's average over the last 20 games he has played is about 32, which looks pretty ordinary against his career average of 48.80. The weight of captaincy has had its toll on Dhoni's scoring rate as well to a considerable extent over recent years. The mighty heaves from his willow that sent the balls into the stands seem to have dried up.
Dhoni's last century was back in January 2010 against Bangladesh in the Tri-Nation Tournament in Bangladesh 2009/10 with Sri Lanka being the third side. He has been void of centuries in the last 20 innings that he has played with a highest of 68* against South Africa in Gwalior when South Africa toured India in 2009/10.
World Cup 2011
His average in the recently concluded series against South Africa has been a mere 15, which is way too below the standards he has set.
One of the encouraging factors that Dhoni could come good at the World Cup is the fact that all seven of his centuries have been made in the sub continents.
Is that an indication of what we can expect from the mighty willow of the Indian captain?
We'll have to wait for the curtains to rise at the World Cup to know!