New Delhi: No longer the goose with the golden eggs, Chennai Super Kings - captained by a soul-searching Mahendra Singh Dhoni - bowed out of the Champions League Twenty20 on Tuesday, but more importantly, it extended and for some quarters confirmed the downfall of Dhoni the captain and batsman.
The Super Kings needed to win big against New South Wales Blues on Tuesday. But it happened the other way round as NSW entered the semi-finals with a 46-run victory and escorted CSK to the exit door of CLT20.
Dhoni - who should have led from the front - first saw his bowlers being sent on a leather hunt by David Warner (135 off 69 balls) and then left his team in the lurch scoring just two in the run-chase of a mammoth 201.
In the four Group A matches, Dhoni scored a total of mere 46 runs at an average of 15.33, confirming that the Indian and CSK captain needs time to straighten his elbow.
And like in the whitewash on the tour of England, the CLT20 found Dhoni searching for his best as a captain that won him the treble of Test mace, World Cup and IPL not too long ago. Instead, his bagpipe - which made his opponents dance to its tune - kept leaking air to reach a deflated state on Tuesday.
The sad part of it all, though remains, that there is no respite in sight for Dhoni as he next meets the mastermind of his downfall, England, in just over a week's time for a limited-overs series at home.
Ideally, it would have been in Team India's best interest to give Dhoni a break from the England and West Indies series at home before boarding the flight to Australia at the end of this year. But the BCCI has some other plans. Hope it works, for Dhoni and for India.