Dhoni Strengthens Hold Over Team Selection

DhoniDinesh Karthik’s exit from the ODI was on the cards. The big three Rahul Dravid, Ganguly and VVS Laxman are unlikely to play ODI again for India. Sachin is injured and Harbhajan is serving his sentence. The injured Sreesanth has just been replaced by the impressive Goni. With this, India’s team for the Kitply Cup extends Dhoni’s virtually complete control over the team selection. He initiated the changes he desired on the Australian tour and refined it further on this tour. If Dhoni can continue to show results like he has done so far, the transition to a strong established ODI and T20 leadership will soon be complete.

Rahul Dravid once lamented that he did not get the team he wanted. Dhoni has done well to achieve precisely that in a very short time. Hats off to the young man! In a country where there is so much of “push and pull” it is commendable that a small town player who was barely known a few years back, and hardly ever captained a side has had such a meteoric rise not just to prominence but to one of power. What is interesting is that despite his relative lack of experience he can’t seem to do any wrong! His recent T20 leadership in the IPL league was commendable as was his performance Down Under. Without a doubt, Dhoni has led from the front, made bold decisions (like dumping the seniors) and extracted the best from the youngsters.

The only remaining relative old timer is Virender Sehwag and based on the talent available these days (Uthappa, Gambhir, Yusuf, Asnodhkar), he could be the next one to be axed. After the infamous slap-gate its hard to imagine everything being hunky-dory between India’s two hot heads — Bhajji and Sreesanth. In all likelihood, one of them is likely to be phased out and all hands point to Sreesanth given the competition he is faced with and Dhoni’s recent comments on the issue which appear to lean Harbhajan’s way.

While Bangladesh continues to disappoint, India-Pakistan matches should still be of interest. India would do well to rely on form and this means picking Yusuf Pathan, Goni and Suresh Raina in the playing eleven. The team for the match against Pakistan will be as follows (likely):

Yusuf Pathan, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Praveen Kumar, Goni, Ishant Sharma.

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2 Responses to Dhoni Strengthens Hold Over Team Selection

  1. C K Jaidev says:

    Think about it, the IPL could have some implications for Indian Cricket which were unintended but which will be welcome. For one, Indian cricket has always been hostage to the whims of coaches and selectors. This meant that genuinely deserving candidates fell off the radar-screen at various stages – starting from school level to the national team selection stage. In IPL, with money playing a big role, results count and count very critically for the team sponsors. This means that the IPL system will start throwing up those names that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. The first edition of the IPL threw up some such names – Swapnil Asnodkar, Manpreet Goni, Neeraj Patel, Ashok Dinda etc. Soon you can expect that monetary incentives and a pure meritocracy may engender a generation of Indian cricketers that is world class. There will hopefully be depth/bench-strength to the Indian team in years to come.

  2. pkurup says:

    No question, IPL is great for Indian cricket as long as commercial considerations don’t remove the cap on foreign players in each playing 11. Indian cricket is going to hopefully going to unearth more talent.

    Btw, IPL will soon have competition from similar leagues in WI, Australia etc.

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