Sunday, February 19, 2006

 

Dhoni rocks!


Indian cricket seems to have undergone a phenomenal change in the recent past. Though controversies are nothing new to cricket in India, the recent scheme of things is different, because even as controversies keep brewing on one end, the national team seems to be producing talented youngsters one after the other, my favourite being, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. From a batsman's perspective, he's probably India's answer to the likes of Gilchrist, Afridi, Jayasurya and Flintoff.

With my limited knowledge of cricket, hardly do I recall any other Indian wicket-keeper batsman being as effective. The current chairman of selectors, Kiran More was an excellent wicket-keeper with great fighting
instincts, but wasn't quite a classy batsman. Though Dinesh Karthik is another talented WK-batsman, he is definitely going to find it hard to make it now, with Dhoni rising up in the contribution scale. Dhoni seems to have become such an integral part of the team and more importantly a true life-saver who comes in to play when the ship is sinking and brings it afloat with pride. You see him play and it looks like he is going to hit a six every alternate delivery. That's the confidence he exudes! His 77 (6x4s, 4x6s) of 56 deliveries today is yet another example.

Cricketers, especially batsmen are very possessive about their batting slots and never want to give away or change their batting positions whereas Dhoni says "I have been shifted a lot in the batting order, so the more I play, the more I would get used to the batting slots like batting at 6 or 7 or 3 or even opening." He looks at how he could adjust to the new challenge that is thrown at him each time! That's the flexibility that this Indian team needs. He may not be a success in all his innings. Like all the others, he will have failures and 'lean patches', but the focus, aggression, self-confidence and the 'threat' that he is to the bowlers, will take him a long way.

In the 'not so old' olden days it was an accepted fact that Sachin's master craftsmanship with 'hi, 'hello' contributions of a shaky middle-order that used to shape Indian victories/close to victories. (Even then, there were/are many who argue that Sachin was never a match-saver, which according to most of my friends is a long-debate, so let me jump off that one). Raw talent was something that the team terribly missed those days. But with the emergence of talented youngsters like Dhoni and a few more, there's no ‘one-man’, ‘one-magic’ dependency anymore. In Dhoni, India has found a good wicket-keeper and a cool-headed batsman, batting at crucial positions without fear. For a person who started his career in a different sport (as a football player), this is quite an outstanding achievement!

Of course, not to forget few other valuable talent that seems to have come out in the recent past - Pathan, Raina, Sreeshanth, Venugopal Rao, RP Singh....! Well, hopefully these are good times for Indian cricket. There will be losses, there will be victories, but as long as the morale is not lost and the talent stays coupled with fearless aggression and instinct to win, Indian cricket will keep marching with pride!

pic courtesy:cricinfo.com

Comments:
Yes, I confess that I am in an euphoric state after India’s convincing win today. It was a delight to watch Yuvraj and Dhoni bat so confidently.

It is funny how, as a nation, our mood at any point of time is linked to our cricketing fortune.One victory, we float in air; one loss, we get into a depressed state.
 
true,...if u r in the US, or anywher wher u have a fast connection..try checking highlights on google videos..
some of his shots are audacious..
It needs no telling, as to how a pressure is lifted, when a keeper bats so well..as good or better than a regular batsman..

The good thing is, the bowling which was regularly givin 300+ scores to the opposition, has now come down to a better range and level..
Oh what wont ppl give for a FAST bowler..
 
You are right about Dhoni being the best thing that has happened to Indian cricket in recent times. Hope he goes from strength to strength. Don't forget that even Parthiv Patel did not do badly as a batsman though he is not a patch on Dhoni. So he must see to it that his keeping is also upto the mark.
 
yes dhoni does rock.... and nowadays in regular fashion....
 
yes, Dhoni is awesome. But Dinesh Karthik should be a standby just in case. We know what happens to a batsman when our team over-relies on him.
 
hiren, yes, Parthiv is a solid batsman if not as threatening as Dhoni. But probably on the wicket keeping front, both are on the same pedestal.
Deepa, absolutely. Dinesh karthik should defly be a stand-by on overseas tours where pressure is more than on the home turf.
 
Parthiv's keeping could bring out a torrent of swear words from a saint :-(
 
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