Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Occupational Hazard

Some of the captains have turned their role an occupational hazard either for themselves or for their franchises in IPL.

Not to anybody’s surprise, Kumara Sangakara tops this chart. To finish the arsenal of Styen, Ishanth Sharma, Praghyan Ojha, Amit Mishra and Dan Christian in the bottom of half of the table in IPL 2011 is a sin in the first place. And then rewarding Sangakara the coveted job for another year in succession is a bigger crime by the management. Look at it this way, Sangakara turns up two weeks after the tournament starts, hardly has any idea of his squad and seldom puts an effort to extract the best out of the domestic talent. On the speculative note, I doubt Sanga involves himself during the Trading Window to influence any player pick or constantly touch base with the scout team during off season. On the contrary, when Gilly led Deccan, he had retired from International Cricket, dedicated more time to the franchise, instrumental in the development of domestic talents like Venugopala Rao, T Suman, Harmeet Singh, Mohnish Mishra etc., most importantly won a IPL too. After Sangakara took over reigns, it is downhill ride for Chargers. With no other potential candidate available to lead, Deccan Chargers appear buried and Sangakara is clearly an Occupational Hazard.

When there is a galaxy of stars around, I somehow feel Harbhajan Singh is losing the plot. Bhajji had same issues in 2008, but the losing streak for MI stemmed after Shaun Pollock lead the side intermediately. However, Bhajji looked entirely different captain, when he led a weak Mumbai Indians side in the Champions League (2011) or the Indian Green in the NKP Salve Challenger Trophy (2011). Having ignored from national duties, Harbhajan is presented a wonderful platform to turn it around for himself and Mumbai Indians. All the more, the whole of India would prefer Mumbai Indians to win IPL when their favorite team misses out. Only time will tell if Captaincy is Occupational Hazard for Harbhajan Singh!!!

I already wrote a speculative piece as why Dan is not the Man for RCB. Please read Losing Captain, Winning Team (click the hyperlink) as to why I perceive Daniel Vettori an Occupational Hazard for Bangalore. Until proved wrong, I wish to move forward on exploring other captaincy material available at RCB’s disposal. Though Virat is quickly climbing the leadership ladder, AB is not a bad option either. But, DeVilliers brings home some of the same challenges we already have with Sangakara. A busy international star, AB will not be able to dedicate time to his franchise for the pre/post season activities. However, with the likes of Kumble at the helm of affairs in RCB administration, the issues may not be the issues actually and AB could well be THE CAPTAIN, the Royal Challengers are looking for to win IPL rather play IPL.

Sehwag - had not been successful in leading Delhi Daredevils in the past (not in terms of winning IPL). Many times, he threw the advantage of leading a powerful outfit and willingly passed the mantle to Gautam Gambir. Though his records don’t back his captaincy, his teams always did well in the league (except 2011) and used to choke in the final stages. If history repeats, Captaincy is surely an Occupational Hazard for Sehwag and Daredevils.

One of the great Captains of India is definitely found wanting in leading his troupes in IPL. Honestly, I did not expect Sourav Ganguly to feature in this list. It may not be his fault entirely for the failure of Knight Riders. At the end of the day; he remains unsuccessful skipper in IPL. At a point when his reputation was questioned, he started proving his worth as a player more than a leader. This could probably the reason the captaincy has turned into an occupational hazard for Sourav Ganguly.

In the past, IPL is either won by a foreign skipper (Warne, Gilchrist) retired from International Cricket or by an established Indian skipper (Dhoni). If history beckons, it surely rules out Sangakara or Vettori to win IPL 2012.

Cricket Lover

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