Some questions for Mr. Dhoni after today’s brilliant performance against a mediocre West Indies.
1. Why did your Holiness deem it fit to go with just 3 frontline bowlers (one of them not 100%) after the fantastic bowling performance of the part time spinners especially the esteemed Ravindra Jadeja (Someone was whispering the theory of Jadeja being banned from IPL3 just so that he would spring one hell of a surprise in the West Indies. What a wonderful surprise for all of us!!) against the Australians just two days ago.
2. Even after going with just three frontline bowlers (one of them not 100% fit), why did you, o drinker of buffalo’s milk by the litre, elect to frigging bat after winning the toss….again!! Wouldn’t your awesome part time spinners have been a little more effective after some wear and tear of the pitch i.e. in the second inning.
3. You made Harbhajan, the only effective bowler bowl 75% of his quota in the first 5 overs. Who do you think was going to bowl in the last overs. Jadeja? Oh yes, you did think of that. He bowled so well that he conceded just 13.5 runs an over, a marked improvement over day before yesterday where he conceded 19 runs an over.
4. Speaking of Jadeja, what was the wisdom (no doubt profound) in picking him if you are going to send Harbhajan before him? Wouldn’t a Vinay Kumar or an Umesh Jadhav have been a better bet. You see, they bowl a little quick and this pitch was supporting fasties like Shashi Kapoor used to do to Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s. Must say, your support for Jadeja is unwavering. Pity, you do not reserve it for chaps like Ojha.
5. You have Chris Gayle batting like, well, Chris Gayle. He hits a skier. You run to catch it. So does Yusuf Pathan. The ball is in the air long enough for both of you to play rock, paper and scissors let alone just cry “mine” to decide who goes for it. You do not do so instead doing a perfect impression of people getting into a 8.15 Churchgate fast. No doubt, you were giving Gayle a chance to make a match of it. Pity the West Indians did not reciprocate and in effect out fielded your team, a feat so rare that they themselves must not be believing it.
6. Your batsmen are out to bat. The West Indians are bowling. It’s a bouncer. Followed by another one. And another. Then, surprise, another. You must have had a flashback of another such match. Same opponents. A year ago. In England. This same tactics was used against your eswashbuckling batsmen by the West Indies in the last T20 World Cup. Then you had the excuse of not being used to it. What now? You had a full year to prepare yourself against this same line of deliveries. You had the company of greats like SRT, VVS, Dravid. Hell, even Ganguly knows how to tackle short pitched deliveries. You had them in your dressing room. Your bloody coach was a fantastic player of hostile, short pitched deliveries. What did you do this entire year? Of course, you must have been busy finding your lost Maxx Mobile and carting the innocent namby pamby deliveries offered to you in the IPL.
7. You are batting in the company of Harbhajan. Asking rate is 16. He hits a straight drive. You insist on going for a risky second. When boundries are required, you are more hell bent on stealing an extra frigging run. Aren’t you, the only recognized remaining batsman supposed to take the responsibility of hitting boundries. That you got run out taking that stupid run just makes it worse.
I am not one who is into knee jerk reactions. Neither am I one to take a T20 tournament that seriously. What pisses me off is the sheer thoughtlessness shown today by the Indian team. I hold Dhoni personally responsible for today’s shoddy performance against a really mediocre West Indies. Why, you ask. When India won the inaugural T20 championship, he was the one lauded for extracting such a great performance from a team which did not include the holy troika. The successes that India has earned in Tests and ODIs under him have been attributed, at least partly (no doubt deservedly) to his fearless captaincy. If he gets the bouquets, so shall he get the brick bats. What is more a matter of concern is that if this same pigheadedness by Dhoni continues, India could suffer more just like it did in 2004 after the success of 03-04 got into Ganguly’s head. We do not want that. Especially with Aussies coming for a Test series in the future with revenge in their mind and a Border Gavasker trophy to win. The rot has to be treated. Now!!