Friday, September 21, 2007

Dhoni scores many points

Nothing succeeds like success and after the last two thoroughly enjoyable Indian wins, I'm in a revisionist mode on Dhoni as captain. I liked his relaxed demeanour in spite of losing the services of his six-shooter Yuvraj, whom he also praised to the skies to deflect the insinuations of the commentary trio of Shastri, Gavaskar and Bhogle. Then he was quick to hand the gloves to Karthick when he felt a twinge in his back, and he went back down the order to let batsmen like Rohit Sharma come ahead of him. He chose to bat first, which I felt was dicey seeing the amount of dew in the England match, but you can't argue against three wins in these conditions. He did well to keep RP Singh and Sreesanth on for three overs each, although that was the obvious thing to do with wickets falling, and his arm around Sreesanth when he was spraying a few wides was a calming gesture.
I thought Dhoni erred in using up Irfan Pathan in the middle and holding Harbhajan for the end. So when Harbhajan's first over went for 15, I thought here goes again. But Bhajji held his nerve, mixed things up and did the South Africans in with his doosras. The safer option, I still think, is to keep a couple of Pathan's overs for the end, rather than Harbhajan, who will not be unfamiliar to the Aussies. I also cannot fathom why Sehwag hasn't got an over yet, especially when Joginder looks so vulnerable. Maybe he's saving him for the Aussies, just like we saved up the obviously talented Rohit Sharma for two-and-a-half series before unleashing him on the South Africans! The main thing against the Aussies tomorrow will be to keep things simple. Half the time, teams psyche themselves out against the world champs by going for too much, as we did in the 2003 final. But whatever happens, this young team under its smiling, young leader has already won our hearts.

1 comment:

John said...

Truer word's ne'er been spoken. I won't be too disappointed if they lose tonight, though'll be ecstatic if they win.