msd’s positives

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 Jan 2018 10:20:05

THE touring Indian cricket team, no doubt has come under fire for being “poor travellers.” But there is no dearth of admirers and supporters for the team and Captain Virat Kohli even in this hour of their loss to hosts South Africa. Former Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and ace spinner Harbhajan Singh, for instance, are not willing to pass any adverse judgement on the present team on the basis of just one failure as it is the first real tour abroad for Virat Kohli as the Captain in very different conditions from home where they have emerged as world-beaters for the last two years. Instead, MSD, as is Dhoni fondly addressed by his fans, wants the fans and critics to look at the positives that have emerged from this tour and says that with these positives the team is very near to a win abroad. 

Similarly, Harbhajan Singh refuses to pass any adverse judgement, either against Virat Kohli or the team for their just one failure. He is willing to give much longer rope to the Captain and the team as a whole to resume its encore with success. Both these assuring words from the veterans for the now under fire team, should calm down the nerves in the team. Virat Kohli has been particularly under fire for dropping players like pacer Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, who seems to have found his rhythm lately, prolific and solid performer Ajinkya Rahane and even opener Shikhar Dhawan.

In fact some statistical wizard has come out with statistics to prove how Kohli has the knack of changing the playing XI at the drop of his hat. Virendra Sehwag and a few others had gone to the extent of suggesting that next time Kohli fails to score runs he should drop himself from the playing XI after Kohli’s decision to omit Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane.

But such scathing attack is not new to an Indian cricket Captain nor for the team after failure. Then accolades showered in the past for sterling performances suddenly begin to evaporate into thin air. That fickleness apart of ebb and tide of praise and denouement of fans and critics, one is willing to go along with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s assessment of the current team and Harbhajan Singh’s readiness to give more time to Virat Kohli to prove himself as equally successful leader abroad. Because one tour is too short a time to assess the merits of the leader and his team.

As rightly said by the highly experienced and much successful leader, Dhoni, the fact that Indian bowlers showed the capability to take 20 wickets in both tests, is a testimony to their talent. That has surprised even the South Africans who too found the Indian pace bowlers unplayable. They too wilted under pressure. That is the positive and a promising one at that.