Monday, December 17, 2012

Competence can be found but what about loyalty?



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I would like to see Dhoni given a chance to run his own team. A team wherein he is the undisputed decision maker. A team where he does not have to worry about the legends who inadvertently command more respect and influence on decisions than he does. 

It is one thing to be captain. Quite another to be a Sachin Tendulkar or a Rahul Dravid.

I think he will do well if he is the undisputed leader of the team. 

He was man enough to lead a side wherein almost everyone was his senior, either in age or length of career. Even Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virendra Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh had played a good 5-6 years of cricket for India when Dhoni was made captain.

While he initially enjoyed the fruits of superlative individuals  in his team, once the IPL started encroaching on national interests and priorities got jumbled up, none of the seniors stood up to support him. They had their own money making ideas over the fate of the national team.

Sachin Tendulkar and co. were more interested in negotiating with the BCCI a deal wherein they will get compensated if they were to miss the IPL while playing for India, than to discuss with the BCCI how to protect the National team's interest. 

That became only Mahendra Singh Dhoni's problem.

Team India's culture that allows leadership shy cricketers to play 'just as a player' means the team has many leaders who demand a share in its success but only one that can be held accountable for failures. 

Its fine to assume and say that Sachin Tendulkar is a great influence on the team. Its fine to assume and say that the 'dressing room benefits from his vast experience'. How does one measure the effectiveness of these contributions. How much of India's recent poor performances can be attributed to Sachin not doing his job as a mentor? 

Its tough and probably harsh on SachinTendulkar to be asked the question. 

But that is precisely the problem with having so many non performing seniors in the team, who are held to no accountability when the times are bad.

India's lamentable record warrants changes. Also warrants a hard look at Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

But India's problems are not problems of competency. Its an issue of attitude, priorities and loyalty to national interests. 

Ever since Lala Amarnath scored a 100 on debut against Douglas Jardine's English team, there haven't been many periods where India have been without great batting talent. India may feel that replacing Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar will be impossible, but neither is such talent a prerequisite for winning nor is it prudent to believe that there is no talent waiting to be found. 

Talent will be found. Both batting and bowling.

What we need a solution for is how to balance the IPL with national interests. A problem Sachin and other seniors have become a part of.

No captain can lead India again with honor and distinction unless the national game is given priority. Its not the losing that hurts its the mortgaging of India's national team to the IPL by the seniors that rankles. 

To hold Mahendra Singh Dhoni alone responsible for that and expect that somehow Virat Kohli can fix that is delusional.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yeah, MS Dhoni is not part of the money making ideas. He is not part of IPL. He is not making money from ad contracts. He is not looking to maximise his contracts and money - his agency does not look after the interests of, coincidentally, M Vijay, Harbhajan and Piyush Chawla, all of whom get unexpected call-backs to the team. Dhoni's nexus with N Srinivasan is not hurting the Indian team. Dhoni is using that nexus not to promote his interests but the interest of 1.3 billion Indians. What a man!

Yeah, Greedy Sachin. Greedy Rahul. Greedy Saurav. Greedy Laxman. Altruistic Dhoni. Munificient Dhoni. Self-sacrificing Dhoni. Generous Dhoni. "Nirupa Roy" Dhoni. Selfless Dhoni. N Srinivasan's pet Dhoni. Oops, the last one. We don't talk about it, do we?

Dinesh said...

When Smith was handled SA captaincy, he was man enough to lead a lot of seniors in the side.

When Ponting took over reign, he was younger than few other cricketers in the side.

The point is, even the seniors understand the idea when captaincy is handed to a junior. They understand it was a move forward and cooperate. But Seniors will have issues when they are overlooked for Captaincy if the power is handed over to a player of same generation. This is the problem Sehwag and even Yuvraj had when the selectors handed over the power to Dhoni, rather Sehwag. It was a perenial problem between the duo which has now rubbed on to Gambir too.

It is unfair that we are not even willing to try a youngster in power, even in the shortest format of the game. Kohli should have started T20 Captaincy right from World T20.

Dinesh said...

The beauty of cricket is - it exists in different formats. It give us an advantage develop new players. Unfortuntely, India is unwilling to exploit the advantage of various formats.


Uday said...

Agreed. Dhoni has been hamstrung by having a bunch of underperforming seniors, none of whom appear willing to take on the responsibility of being senior players. But he has couple of other problems.

Firstly, he doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who leads by words or man management, but rather by example. Not having the stature as a batsman in Tests as he does in limited overs cricket probably does not allow him to lead in the way he is best suited.

Secondly, his predicament is similar to Pontings. The Indian team has gone from riches to rags in such a short time that it probably requires a drastically different style of captaincy, an adjustment which must be hard to make midway.

That said, I feel he is the right person to lead India for another few years, and to guide a young team forward. But that young team has to come sooner rather than later

Golandaaz said...

Dinesh,

Thanks for your comments.

When Smith was made captain, only one ex captain Pollock was in the side. That too he was fired.

Ponting never captained any ex-catain. Waugh had retired.

Dhoni at one point led, Saurav, Sachin and Dravid. Of which both Dravid and Sachin simply walked away from captaicy to focus on their individual career

Never having been fired from their jobs they presumably had influence over the team and Dhoni I felt had little room to adopt a new style.

Golandaaz said...

Uday, I agree.

We need to see who the real Dhoni is without any of the seniors in the team. Tha is now only Sachin.

If Sachin were to play under Kohli, it would be bad for the team. Don't need another captain under his shadow.

I am okay if Kohli is tried as a drastic step and to send a message to future captains on the consequences of losing so often but not while Sachin is still in the team.

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Anonymous said...

completely agree with 1st comment

G said...

Golandaaz,
so why did Dhoni continues to cling onto captaincy if he is not getting the support ? Dravid walked away not because he wanted to concentrate on batting, he walked away because he did not get the support he needed from selectors and the board and he has clearly mentioned that in his recent interviews.
All said and done , Dhoni could have always walked out of T-20 captaincy at least allowing Kohli to be groomed ( if he is our captain) but of course he is not as secure as Dravid to do that.

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Pay per head said...

well competence you can find it easily and everywhere; on the other hand, loyalty is rare to find these days unfortunately, you gotta be very careful and only actions show the real loyalty

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