Mahendra Singh Dhoni's comments on Duncan Fletcher have added a few decibels to the chorus demanding Dhoni's sacking as Test captain. The interesting twist is that it's the BCCI, Indian skipper's saviour on many occasions, that could look to clip his wings.
Referring to Fletcher as the "boss", Dhoni has sounded a bit displeased about the decision to install Ravi Shastri as the team's director for the ODI series, after the embarrassing Test series defeat.
That was also in stark contrast to what some of the senior BCCI officials have said on the condition of anonymity, hinting at a possible duel between the Indian board and the national team's skipper.
"Dhoni is no one to comment as to who is the boss of the team. It's not his domain," a BCCI official reacted to Dhoni's comment that Fletcher is still the boss.
Here's a look at how the two are singing to different tunes:
"He will lead us into the World Cup," said Dhoni referring to Fletcher.
"The BCCI has sent him enough feelers that he is not required," said a board official.
"He [Fletcher] is still the boss."
"Duncan has no powers left whatsoever."
"Ravi is here to oversee the operations from the outside, what he feels and everything else."
"Ravi will be calling the shots and Duncan knows it only too well."
The above contrasting reactions followed the news of Shastri being named the director and joined by Sanjay Bangar as assistant coach. Also fielding coach Trevor Penney and bowling coach Joe Dawes were given a 'break' by the BCCI.
And Dhoni's words clearly suggest that he isn't entirely happy with the sweeping changes made in the coaching staff, but his backing of Fletcher has come in for severe criticism with reports that the BCCI may take up this issue in its meeting on the World Cup.
"Dhoni is no one to comment as to who is the boss of the team. It's not his domain," another senior BCCI official strongly reacted when asked by PTI. "What happened is very disappointing and unbecoming of an Indian captain ... Just like BCCI officials are not going to decide who is in the playing XI, Dhoni does not decide who is going to stay till what time."
It's quite apparent that the board wants to show Dhoni the 'line' that he can't cross. And in a phase where Indian cricket's overseas Test record has hit a new low, Dhoni will be asked in no uncertain terms to keep his focus on the ground.
Fletcher's contract with the BCCI lasts until the end of the 2015 World Cup but there is an exit clause which will ensure his smooth removal from the top job.
(With PTI inputs)