India, a land of billion opportunities and a trillion expectations. A land where people anticipate a massive score of 1800 in 300 deliveries. A land where every boy grows up holding a cricket bat. The board examinations often take a backseat when India is playing International Cricket. And amidst all, we have a special human being called Mahendra Singh Dhoni who is constantly applying wits to see India through. He is one man who is answerable to almost a billion people everytime there is an outing. Right from selecting the squad to selecting the batsman next in to the bowler to deliver a pressure over, he has to see it all by himself and be fully accountable for the same. The momentum that Ganguly built over the years of his captaincy has certainly gained pace under Dhoni and god willing the team shall march on with accelerated pace and direction.
What we saw after the ODI between India and South Africa was not surprising. He had to urge the team members to stop giving into the public demand. There is no ONCE MORE once you have been sent back to the pavillion. And thus, it is all the more important to keep your nerves and bag whatever you can on the quota of 50 overs. There are less captains across the world who would be straight enough as him. What he means is pure business. The business of winning matched and retaining the Rankings as well. He admits that the Team fielding needs improvement but also expresses that It is Not going to Improve. Funny but he said that on air. Whatever MSD does, there is a definite degree of transparency and clarity around his moves and words. It is stunning to have witnessed such a blunt approach by any Team’s captain. He has a natural instinct of experimenting. He brings to the field, what others could just imagine and wonder, thats the confidence that MSD has on himself and his decision making. Sending Yousuf was criticised by one and many, only because of the result that it had. Had Yousuf been there for 5 overs or so, the same bunch of critics woud have advocated his promotion to a regular No. 3 or No. 4. And same case with letting Nehra bowl that pressure over or replacing Ashwin over Piyush, it has been walking the tightrope for MSD. What has let India down, has been the over dependence on the batting line-up and blissful ignorance to a strong bowling fleet. MSD is all but settled when it comes to taking or making decisions. But that is what comes as a part when you are captaining the Men in Blue. My appeal to Indian media is to let these guys play to their capabilities and not pseudo expectations. We have just advanced to the quarter finals and that is exactly what it is. Whether we have come there with great challenges or Ease is not a fact. It is an assumption. But we have to play Australia on Thursday is the only fact derived out of the Round 1.
MSD and his team have done well against the Australia in the recent past and unless something miraculous happens, we should be able to put up a fight strong enough to let us through. Further, MSD has had this habit of doing strange set of things which are as surprising to the opposition as they are to us. And Ricky Ponting knows that. He has been on the receiving end when it comes to playing against India in India. But MSD has a lot of choices to make and some calculated risks have to be taken. MSD in his own limitations, has almost perfected the Art and Science of making things happen, he doesn’t wait for things to change the course of the game. Recent past, bringing back Zaheer against Indies and in the same match, throwing the bowl to Raina had been perfect examples. Saving Zaheer’s eight overs was a planned move which worked. So far so good, and I hope MSD’s experiments with truth will fall in place and Sachin might lift the CUP THAT MATTERS