Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Mahendra Singh Dhoni ...The Rise and Fall .

In 2004 Dhoni the long haired wicket keeper batsmen from Jharkand the first to represent India from the region arrived as a hard hitting flamboyant batsmen with his trademark helicopter shot which never existed before,who wasn't afraid to take a risk and was a gambler by nature.When thrusted with captaincy of young indian side for world twenty 20 in South Africa he trusted his guts and wasn't afraid to gamble.Opening the bowling with Yusuf Pathan or asking Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over when your most experienced bowler had an over left and when world cup is at stake was a brave move which paid off for him and made him the poster boy of indian cricket .Not many can ask Rahul Dravid to move down the order ,he did and promoted Pujara against Australia which led way to a famous india win .

Who can forget Dhoni walking out in middle ahead of inform Yuvraj Singh in world cup final.Again he knew what was at risk and the nation would have crucified him if it had gone wrong for him ,but here was Dhoni unfazed by the situation and what was at stake .He delivered once again with a match winning knock.Here was a small town boy who wasn't shy on taking responsibilities .Here was a captain who was doing the opposite what others might have .He was ready to gamble because till then playing safe was never in his mindset.Whatever he touched turned into gold and he played the most significant role in India rise to no 1 in test and wining the world cup after 28 years .

And thats where the fairytale ended.It started off with when he agreed to call the match off when India needed 86 to win of last 15 overs with 7 wickets in hand , easily achievable in 20-20 days and make a statement of being the no 1 test side in the world .He dint display the heart of Worlds best test side.The tour down under later in the year he played the same eleven which starred in Melbourne to Adelaide although india had already lost the series 3-0 prior to Adelaide .In the ODI series that followed Manoj tiwary remained on the sidelines when Raina and Rohit were falling miserably ,Dhoni was becoming the rigid captain who was afraid to gamble and make a change or two.

In the recently concluded world twenty 20 after dropping sehwag against australia to play five bowlers it was baffling to see the part timers bowl 4 overs when australia crushed india in 15 overs with India's front line bowlers having 4 overs to spare .Some may argue that the front line bowlers were getting hammered around but they were the best chance of taking a wicket .Against south africa when Dhoni knew he had to restrict South Africa to under 121 it was ridiculous to see Rohit bowl before Ashiwn and when South Africa reached the target of 121, he had three overs left from his front line bowlers his approach after the world cup 2011 of hope watch and sit back was taking India towards elimination from yet another world twenty-20 .Even the selection for the match was baffling after watching Pakistan and Australia match to pick three seamers against the team which is traditionally poor players of spin was an awkward selection.

Dhoni terming the performance of india in the tournament as satisfactory sounded hallow, on papers they won four of five which is indeed satisfactory but they had everything in their favor in the tournament .India was the only side to play all its game on one venue and the venue that suited their style of cricket Premadasa.

Bowling has never been India's strenght but in this tournament, India bowled out its opposition four out of five times but it was the batting which let India down which is it's strength .Asking Pathan to open when all the other sides wanted their best three to face as many balls as possible and put a defendable score ,Dhoni the world's best one day batsmen was not ready to move up the order and watch the others scratch around and wait for the late flourish which never arrived.

Dhonis style of play at start was more about his calmness and attitude then skills .His rise was because he was ready to do the unthinkable ,take the risk and gamble he was the aderaline team India needed.. a team which was too over dependent on ageing seniors.In sports you punt, win or lose, or play it safe and lose more often than not .In Dhonis case he's losing more often then winning now.


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