Like every other Indian cricket watcher, I am way more passionate about cricket than is healthy. But I am glad I haven’t, in a fit of passion, written stupid articles like Biswajit Jha
Until now that is.
I am a Dhoni fan. Make that a proud Dhoni fan. Before that, I was a Ganguly fan, and before that, Mohammad Azzharuddin’s. Now, I am ok with the Dhoni bashing – as long as it is just a whine and meant to be a release of all the bottled-up frustrations. We lose a match and we have to blame someone – who other than the one who has the unenviable task of speaking/defending/answering at the presentation ceremony?
But, based on a couple of series, we end up calling him selfish, biased and short-sighted. On the other hand, all the team’s victories are because of his “luck”. We worry about India’s performance overseas and start doubting whether we deserved the world cup.
Invariably, anti-Dhonis are also pro-Ganguly. Now that IPL is coming, and Dhoni (and his team) will, without doubt, perform well, all this frothing will only increase. That’ll make me see red, so I want to put my views out there.
Let us first compare Saurav and Dhoni’s records:
Just because he had a poor run in overseas tests, we cannot call him “just lucky” or a bad captain. That is terribly short-sighted.
Let us look at the averages:
So, if all the blaming is going on about Dhoni’s average of 37.32 versus Ganguly’s 42.17, I hope it is offset by Dhoni’s one-day averages (with a more prominent difference).
Finally, if Ganguly was indeed a better captain, Kolkatta Knight Riders would have won the IPL. If you just retorted that the team or the coach are to blame for a team’s loss, I rest my case.
As for Dhoni’s bias (in choosing Ashwin and Raina over Pathan and Tiwary) for CSk team members, please. In the match against Pakistan couple of days back, Ashwin managed 1/56, while Pathan managed a 1/69. Shall we write that off as “Ashwin got lucky?” The new guy, Dinda, managed a 2 for 47 – wonder who put him there, considering he is not in CSK. Ganguly?
Ashwin has a bowling average of 28.16 and a batting average of 19.6, while Pathan has that of 29.90 and 22.8 respectively. If we are talking about terming Pathan as an “all-rounder”, we can give that prestigious title to Ashwin as well.
Raina, the one who seems to be getting a lot of flak lately, has a batting average of 35.21, and Manoj Tiwary, who is seriously contested as Raina’s replacement, had an average of 33.0. Does making a “Maiden century” make Tiwary an obvious replacement?
Finally, the writer says that the Sehwag and Gambhir are out of the team (or not made captains) because they “spoke against” Dhoni. That one statement managed to insult Kohli’s outstanding performances and ignored Sehwag’s really long out-of-form stretch in one go.
Frankly, at the end of the day, as a country, we have no hope. We managed to term Sachin Tendulkar, one of our most accomplished and unselfish players, as selfish and slow. We demanded his resignation, terming it as a dignified thing to do. We blamed him for our loss against Bangladesh. So, Dhoni shouldn’t worry about us – If we can talk against Tendulkar, we, with the goldfish memory, the hypocritical and the sorry bunch of cricket watchers can do anything.