Sunday, January 1, 2012

The ODI Captain

I have always been a fan of MS Dhoni's leadership style and captaincy style, of taking risks and making calculated gambles. He displayed that during the course of the recently concluded year, where he promoted himself up the batting order in a world cup final, during a tight chase, and won the cup for India. It is such inspired captaincy for which MS Dhoni will be described for years to come as India's greatest captain ever. He has even done so previously in test cricket to great effect, when he promoted Cheteshwar Pujara to one down down in a tricky chase at home against the Aussies.
However, one has to admit that his away captaincy in test matches off late has not lived up to its ODI and home test counterparts. Dhoni seems to me to be a captain who prefers turners at home, which is all right quite frankly, why shouldn't we make pitches which suit our bowling strengths. However, the worrying thing to me is he seems to be a captain who quickly runs out of ideas, with his fast bowling resources, which may have been meagre at times, but it cannot be said he has made full use of them.
Another thing which is very striking about Dhoni is his amazing ability to construct innings in tense situations in ODI games, while at the same time in parrarel his complete inability to do so effectively and consistently in tests in similar situations. Whether his captaincy feeds of his batting or vice versa, it is, in my view MS Dhoni who will decide the fate of this series.
Sachin, Rahul, Laxman, they have always been good, but they couldnt bring back the world cup or win a series in Australia. When the going got really tough, they often got going but they were either hamstrung by lack of support or by marauding unstoppable opponents. This time they are not faced with opposition of the calibre which has thwarted them in the past and they themselves are not past their prime. All they now need is MS Dhoni to be MS Dhoni, the creative, innovative, risk taking captain that he inherently is, and a first and last test series win in Australia will finally be theirs.

1 comment:

  1. I completely agree with you- i think his composure, level headed attitude in tense situation is incredible. His captaincy has been successful is evident as per the result of the tournaments in the past few years. But where you are spot on is in realizing his dependence on his spinners while creating a good bowling attack- his failure in england and his current decisions increasingly point towards the same. instead of attacking, he's been rather defensive in the first Test and that is what has caused our downfall now and earlier in the england series.
    But do consider that his risks have paid dividends also because of a younger Indian side playing together as a Unit rather than depending on one odd player to perform. I would rate Ganguly as a better captain who set the trend for aggressive captaincy albeit without such a good line up as today. Ganguly would lose out to Dhoni when it comes to calm composed filed presence but i think he was better at experimenting with his options.