I’ve always admired Dhoni for his winning attitude,his leadership,his astute captaincy and aggression and calm temperament…he commands respect
Dhoni’s inexplicable Captaincy and Game Approach
But yesterday was an aberration….. I was simply angry with Dhoni’s captaincy and approach in their first Super 8 Match against Australia,which they lost… It was not the real Dhoni out there!….. this is why
- India wins the Toss and inexplicably, Dhoni elects to chase… even Australian Captain Michael Clarke voiced this post match
- On a bouncy and pacey wicket, Dhoni got two spinners into the attack in the first six overs when there are field restrictions…. he simply did not read the wicket
- Dhoni continues with spinner Jadeja… Jadeja was ‘jadoed’ for 19 in his first over and 19 in his second… Watson smashed three consecutive sixes and then Warner repeated this !
- Dhoni simply did not muster the team together… there was lack of a thought process and application… Batsman after Batsman threw their wicket getting aggressive too quickly before settling down… All that was required was to play out the first few overs peacefully and adapt to the initial bounce and pace of the pitch that was an advantage to the Fast bowlers with the new hard ball….. Dhoni needed to remind and convey this to the players in real time… he lost this right as he himself holed out early, ironically to a spinner, when he should have shown temperament and settled in first as our full top order had caved in before India even reached 50!
- Dhoni’s post match explanation was that we dd not get a good batting start and Watson and Warner took the game away from us by aggressive hitting !… come on Dhoni ! our batting strength is right down to No 10…no offense to Nehra intended ! ….. every batsman that followed capitulated like the openers did…being prematurely aggressive and trying to hit their way out of trouble before settling down and adapting to pitch conditions offering pace and bounce with the new ball and this was being exploited by the Aussie pacers!… as Harbhajan Singh stated just after the Aussie Innings that 185 was gettable on this wicket…. only our batsmen were in a real hurry to get it ! when pacing their innings would have been the ideal strategy given the early advantage of pace and bounce being exploited with the new ball by the Aussie Pace attack
- Dhoni did not acknowledge in his post match media talk the fantastic batting contribution of Rohit Sharma… I hope it’s not developed into a Dhoni v/s Sharma situation…. This is not good for Indian Cricket
Rohit Sharma comes to India’s rescue
Our Batsman in great form,Rohit Sharma was never played in the first three matches and thankfully got his chance against Australia… he smashed an unbeated 79 in India’s final total of 135… at one stage we were 50 for 7!…. now try and drop him,Dhoni!….Commentator,Ian Chappell even commented as to how Rohit Sharma has been badly treated by Indian Selectors despite being the most talented of the emerging players…Ravi Shastri retorted that Talent is not enough and Rohit needs to perform !… come on Ravi, this guy is deliberately not being selected.. how can he perform !… and believe me, everytime he’s batting, I love watching him… he’s classy, fearless, confident, hits beautifully all round the wicket and powerfully too…. and more important can clear the field at will !… An Imperative Skill for T 20….. and Ravi, post match you were on one of the TV News Channels and I was quite amused to hear you do a u-turn on Rohit Sharma…” I’ve always said…..” is how you started when praising Rohit Sharma…. Ravi, you’ve got sound cricketing knowledge… just try and be a little unbiased and less presumptious
Not taking anything away from Australia’s fabulous performance
This is not to take away the credit from a fabulous all round performance by the Aussies…. Clearly Australian opening batsmen Watson and Warner ‘sixed’ us out and their opening pace attack of Shaun Tait and Dirk Nannes ‘bounced’ and ‘paced’ and ‘yorked’ us out …. but we let them !…. Man of the Match, Warner smashed 72 in 40 odd balls and took a stunning catch
India threw their wickets and by this the match !
I was watching the match with my son… and at the outset was predicting from the start how our batsmen will refuse to apply their mind and settle down before getting aggressive…. this will result in them getting out to skiers having been beaten by pace and bounce
All our Opening Pair had to do was to see out the first four overs ! They should have taken a cue from the Australian Opener Watson who took eight balls to open his account…..Instead, inexplicably, India threw their wickets and by this the match !… Don’t read more than the literal meaning here… I’m not trying to raise any bogeys!….Murli Vijay, Gambhir, Raina, Pathan… all got out to miscued skiers….Yuvraj and Nehra were yorked… Jadeja was run out….. Dhoni, Harbhajan and Zaheer holed out…. Lack of Adaptability,Application and Temperament were on shocking display
We clearly have the batting strength right down to the end and with wickets in hand we could have chased over 10 runs an over in the last five….. India lost by 49 runs in the end… chasing 185 to win, we scored 135….. an unbeated 79 by classy Rohit Sharma saving India the blushes… or else we would have been thrashed by over a 100 runs!
Ravindra Jadeja is simply not World Class
In hindsight it was Jadeja’s two overs that cost us 38 runs and the match really !… the first over was a mistake…. Dhoni took a great risk gave him another and chose to repeat the mistake !… of his 12 balls, he was hit for six ‘sixes’…. Jadeja also dropped Watson’s catch at square-leg in the very first over… India paid heavily for this…. even when batting, Jadeja was run out stupidly… he was running towards the non striker’s end and instead of doing so wicket to wicket, he had his eye on the fielder at mid on and in natural reflex swayed away heavily diagonally while approaching the crease to avoid being hit by the throw!… “joh dar gaya woh mar gaya !”… This fearful reflex action cost India and him his wicket
I will be really annoyed if Jadeja is persisted with in the remaining two Super 8 matches that India plays against West Indies and Sri Lanka… he needs to be dropped now!
Net Run Rate may decide India’s entry into the Semi Finals
India needs to win both it’s remaining matches against West Indies and Sri Lanka and even then a net Run Rate may decide our fate, unless both our upcoming opponents lose to Australia…. I hope Australia does not allow itself one loss simply to thwart India !
With India at 50 for 7 at one stage, the ‘Net Run rate’ Fear was pronounced as we were staring at defeat by over a 100 runs!…. We must thank Rohit Sharma, who with his aggressive unbeaten 79 saved us the blushes and upped our run rate… Our other leading batsmen need to bow down to Rohit Sharma and take a cue from him as to how to hold temperament and face hostile bowlers on a bouncy and pacey wicket… sadly, most of our players have huge bloated egos and will not even acknowledge a lesson to be learnt…. Sadly even our Captain, Dhoni did not even refer to Rohit Sharma in his post match press speak
Dissension in the Indian Team
I clearly sense dissension in the Indian Team…. Our players were spread all over the stands,instead of sitting together…. Yuvraj had marooned himself away from others… Rohit Sharma’s initial batting approach smacked of “I couldn’t care less!”… he missed a fast ball coming down the crease… he was simply sauntering back… and could easily have been stumped… he however redeemed himself with a lovely unbeaten knock of 79…. Dhoni lost the right to pull up his players as he himself holed out early to mid-on of Smith, the lone Aussie spinner on display… I expected him to show the temperament and curb his aggressive streak until he settles down and play out the remaining overs… he simply compounded the mistakes made by our full top order of batsmen who threw their wickets before him
We need to redeem ourselves and thrash West Indies this Sunday… but be forewarned,West Indies too are in a similar frame of mind and need to redeem themselves too having lost badly to Sri Lanka yesterday… We need to play as a team with a focus and singular objective to win… not just eleven individuals playing their own game with their individual mindsets !
Is T 20 good for the game of Cricket ?…the verdict is yet out there
As far as T 20 Concept itself is concerned, the verdict is yet out there whether it’s good or bad for the Game of Cricket… depends on which perspective you’re looking at it
Clearly T 20 is proving to be a great entertainer and is bringing the crowds back in and even those, like most women, who don’t really understand the game are learning it’s nuances… This is great to promote the Game of Cricket around the world and make it more popular… Cricket has to evolve…. Imagine playing to an empty stadium… for any game to progress and become popular you need to have widespread crowd support and interest
However there are two strong arguments against T 20…both valid
Cricketing Skills are being honed and fast tracked to suit T 20… Purists are aghast at this…. Many Cricketing legends feel that T 20 is merely Exhibition Cricket…. Batting and Bowling techniques be damned !… However the ground reality is that the 50 over version is dying out… it’s boring and too long when viewed against the T 20… A full day’s play cannot hold crowd interest !…. Attempts to revive interest in a full day’s game are being made through having bowling and fielding restrictions with now even allowing the batting team to pick any ‘five over’ period for fielding restrictions to apply!…. How about breaking up the Innings into two of 25 overs each ! ?… with modifications like allowing two batmen, who have got out in the first innings to bat again in the second innings!… but within the overall ten wickets parameter
Crowd Puller leads to being a Money Puller… IPL has demonstrated this,rather obscenely I may add !…… the IPL and even Advertising Endorsement Contracts to Cricketers are so lucrative that Money Motivation is leading and creating a Cricketer mindset that playing IPL is more luring and the ultimate than playing for your Country !…. of course cricketers will ad-lib that Country comes first ! …. if you view the passion with which IPL is played and the confidence with which cricketers endorse products and services against the careless and casual approach of our Cricketers yesterday when donning the India cap, this conviction grows stronger
Ofcourse I love T 20…. especially when India wins !…. and I also believe it’s not simply a ‘Wham Bam’ Game ! or only a Game of Chance and Luck !…. one can apply a mind to deploying and being flexible with strategy to win the game… so one can begin with Plan A and fall back on Plan B and C as the game’s dynamics keep changing
Problem was that yesterday India and it’s Captain Dhoni had no Plan A or B or C going into the game !