Monday, October 8, 2012

Jaya quits, Dhoni stays...

The beauty about the World T20 is “it is not the same team again and again”. This time it is West Indies deservingly. I’m sure every cricket fan around the globe (except the Lankans) is extremely happy for West Indies to win this edition of World T20. Of course, they were the favorites; importantly they lived up to the reputation. With the title win, Darren Sammy turns into a recognized skipper in World Cricket. He proved, skippers don’t have to be charismatic, don’t have to be the highly talented player in the side, don’t have to be a cricketing acumen, but a motivated individual with common sense and loads of energy to keep his side intact until the goal is achieved. Salaam Saamy!!!

Now WI leaves a cue to England and probably the world too. If you bench your best player it is going to hurt your redemption. When you bring them back from exile, they make whole lot difference to the side.

Shifting to subcontinent saga, Mahela Jayawardene quit captaincy despite carrying his side to the finals of World T20. Sangakara quit captaincy after leading his side to the finals of World Cup in 2011. That says some individuals set the bar very high for captaincy. However, Dhoni touts he is the best to do the job even after losing 8 tests for India. Now you know where this post is directed to!!!

In my opinion, even if Jayawardene had won the title, I’m sure he would have relinquished the job from T20 format for Sri Lanka. He is 35 now. He has history of reluctance to lead Sri Lanka. He perceives himself as a stopgap measure to lead Sri Lanka until a candidate is identified. As Sri Lanka figured out the next captaincy material, Mathews had more than a year’s apprenticeship under Jayawaradene. So, Jayawaradene thinks it is the right time to handover the baton, the least in the shortest formats that will allow Mathews to mature in the role. So, Jayawardene quitting captaincy is not something intended to set the bar high. It is more a transition process and should not be used as a yardstick to evaluate Dhoni.

On the other hand, Dhoni has remained a willing personality for the leadership role. He does not think his time is up. He does not believe in shelf life for Captaincy. He still perceives he is the best, though the results portray otherwise. I’m sure no captain prefers poor records under his belt. So, all these defeats rankles him as badly as it rankles us. Either he is on a mission to rewrite the script or he understands that this is the best possible result than can be derived with this team. If the selectors & BCCI give the benefit of doubt to Dhoni, we will see drastic personnel changes (including in Test Cricket). If the selectors & BCCI give the benefit of doubt to the team, then we are likely to witness a new Captain for India in more than one format. As a follower of Indian Cricket, I would like to give the benefit of doubt to Dhoni first and allow him a free hand in selection for once. At the same time, I also wish to take away the captaincy from Dhoni in the shortest format, allowing India to groom new faces for places and power.

This CLT20 will be an ideal platform to evaluate Dhoni. If Dhoni’s Super Kings can win the CLT20 it will prove Dhoni has more to offer for Indian Cricket as skipper. Otherwise it is time to focus on transition phase for Captaincy in all formats.

Cricket Lover

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