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‘MS is the only boss in team...’

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Calcutta: The debate over who exactly is the Team India boss (Ravi Shastri or Duncan Fletcher) during the ODIs and the solitary T20I in England, it seems, is quite irrelevant.

At least going by what a member of the squad told The Telegraph on Thursday, before leaving Cardiff.

Speaking a day after India’s emphatic win over England, in the second ODI, he pointed out: “Like it or not, there’s one boss in this team — Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Sure, there are others around to help, but MS is the only boss. Why get into a debate on the issue?”

Dhoni is India’s most successful captain, though all may not place him right at the top among the country’s best.

Getting back to the big debate...

It started with Dhoni insisting that head coach Fletcher remained the boss, even after former captain and cricket manager Shastri’s appointment as the first-ever team director.

That bit clearly contradicted the Board’s stand that Shastri would be the “overall in-charge” of cricket matters (after the 1-3 whipping in the Test series).

Besides, in an interview to this Reporter in London last week, Shastri himself said Fletcher would report to him.

While the Board hasn’t taken too kindly to Dhoni’s comment on Sunday, there appears to have been no fall out on the ground in England.

Confirmation, perhaps, that the boss spoke!

Meanwhile, in a departure from practice, Dhoni and Co. took a train from Cardiff to Nottingham instead of travelling by road.

ODI No.3 is scheduled there on Saturday.

“It would have been a long ride on the motorway and, so, it was decided to travel by train,” the same member of the squad explained.

Not that the train journey was short: It took over three hours. It would have been much longer by road.

Footnote: In a rather churlish act, Team India didn’t hold a media conference on the eve of the Cardiff ODI. However, one is planned for on Friday.