Sunday, December 03, 2006

Dhoni hits experience for a sixer

By John Cheeran
From 91 all out India have progressed to 200 by the time they finished their one-day series against South Africa. Chastened by the early meltdowns, India on Sunday clung on to tradition, conserving their wickets for the early part of their innings.
Well nothing can make a difference to Virender Sehwag, captaincy or no captaincy, and no rules apply to this naturalist. Sehwag continued his carefree stroke play but Shaun Pollock and company were hardly convinced by his jumpy stay at the wicket.
Sachin Tendulkar played a subdued innings, fit for the circumstances and compiled his first half-century (55 off 97 balls, in this one-day series. Tendulkar batted with responsibility in the absence of Rahul Dravid and Laxman’s first ball tragedy and though his innings will not rewrite India’s fate line in the series, it has avoided what might have been another embarrassing collapse.
Tendulkar was a shadow of his illustrious past, but even such shadows could be only solace for this battered side, bereft of bold performers.
Surprisingly (not to mine, however) at a time when everyone, led by none other than chairman of national selectors Dilip Vengsarkar and of course, Sourav Chandi Das Ganguly, bemoans the lack of experience in Indian batting, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has emerged as India’s best batsman in the current one-day series in South Africa. Through edges, nudges and electric blows Dhoni has provided the impetus to Indian innings again in Centurion. MSD’s 44 off 49 balls ( 2 sixes and 2 fours) was a tribute to the virtues of the youth in sport.
It is not experience that helps you connect the bat with the ball, it is keen vision at the crease and unflinching attitude to overcome the heavy odds.
Dhoni, who has not stopped learning since he first played for India, stood up to the South African challenge. This village boy could not deliver India victory on a platter but he has kept the wolves of experience away from the Indian dressing room in his own no-nonsense manner.
I look forward to Dhoni’s evolution as a complete batsman, not just a slam-banger in the Test series that follows.


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The Enigma said...

Exactly what I wrote on my blog. Experience counts for nothing, unless it is backed up by good form.

Love your work John.

John Cheeran at Blogged