Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dhoni the winner, in this political battle!!!

Disclaimer: This is purely a work of fiction.

For a change let us analyze the political storm surrounding Indian Cricket. Its intensity is so severe that it can wash away few careers or may have washed already.

Didn’t meant to exaggerate, but the nation is heavily anticipating the AXE falling on Sehwag as India take on Australia in the Super 8s of World T20. (Either ways it is mostly Sehwag or Gambir which I tried to explain logically in my earlier post).

After 8 successive defeats that included two white washes, it is still a mystery as how Dhoni continues to enjoy power in all formats of the game. Unless the Captain played it all politically correct!!!

In all the 8 test matches, at no time Dhoni failed to pick Sehwag, Gambir, Dravid, Tendulkar, Laxman or Zaheer in the playing XI whenever these players featured in the squad and available for selection. None of Laxman, Sehwag and Gambir was axed for the tour of Australia by selectors despite poor showing in England. Their places were taken by Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh both (on injury grounds) and Suresh Raina.

But, having lost the series 3-0 in Australia, where Sehwag, Dravid, Laxman, and Gambir exhibited awful form, the whole nation was urging Dhoni to revamp the side with youngsters as Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Wridhimman Saha for the final test. Still, the veterans found their way in the side. Dhoni played it politically correct. It was Dhoni’s message to selectors “Don’t pass the bug on me. If you don’t drop them, I won’t drop them too”. Not sure if the selectors got the message, but some players did. As a result we witnessed both Dravid and Laxman made a sudden exit from International Cricket.

But in the ODI leg of Down Under, Dhoni presented the theory of rotation to bench the seniors (Sehwag, Gambir and Tendulkar) to feature some youth in the side. However, the tactic largely backfired for Dhoni only because Tendulkar’s name was caught in the web. I’m sure Dhoni must have got the blessing of Tendulkar before floating any theory of that sort. Unfortunately Tendulkar is too big a figure in Indian Cricket and no Indian can stand the little master benched. And so the idea did not sell well among public too. The duo of Sehwag and Gambir quickly cashed on the opportunity, brought the dressing room dissent to open and expressed their displeasure in public. Obviously both of them were eyeing national captaincy is no surprise.

Media played its role and the overseas losses were used as an opportunity to dump Dhoni from power. But the backing Dhoni enjoyed from the Chairman of Selectors Krish Srikanth and BCCI President N. Srinivasan was little too much to outweigh him. Interestingly, any little support Sehwag enjoyed from Amarnath (the selector from North Zone and a candidate to take over as Chairman of Selectors) suddenly vanished, as Amarnath himself was found mysteriously out of the race for post of Chairman of Selectors and is now highly unlikely to retain his position even as North Zone selector.

Meanwhile, Dhoni continues to gain strength as South Zone is presenting Roger Binny (to back Dhoni), the only candidate from the zone and also the candidate to replace Srikanth as Chairman of Selectors. All the other zones have nominated multiple candidates in the warfare of zonal selectors. I won’t be surprised if Subroto Bannerjee of Jharkhand also becomes the East Zone selector to add strength to Dhoni.

In such a situation, Sehwag’s place in the XI is at stake for the Super 8s. Even this situation was carefully planned after Dhoni master minded by resting Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Ashwin in the same inconsequential game played against England. I’m sure Sehwag had no qualms this day as he found the company of Dhoni’s pets in the bench. But the twist to the drama happened only after the replacements (Harbhajan Singh, Piyush Chawla) delivered against England as Dhoni wanted. Now, the situation has arrived, where the best XI should represent India. Sehwag is unsure if he is one.

From here, Dhoni could still double bluff and field Sehwag in the XI. But that is likely to happen only at the cost of Gambir. Sehwag or Gambir it really does not matter to Dhoni as he prefers both out of the picture sooner or later. Or Sehwag and Gambir still have a choice in them by dancing to the tunes of Dhoni.

A T20 World Cup of 2007 dashed Sehwag’s dream of becoming the captain of India. A T20 World Cup of 2012 might as well be the start to the end of his career too.
Cricket Lover

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