Cricket Today – 13 July 2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1


Left: Dhoni has suddenly
slowed down his game

Inset: Dhoni has remained
the team’s no.1 wicket-

If he is

unable to

perform his

duties for



there is


to be


Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who are concerned
about the two matches against Afghanistan and
England when Dhoni did not seem to pile on the pres-
sure but was rather stymied for runs. While fans have
reacted both ways, some supporting the idea that
Dhoni’s time is past expiry and those vilifying those in
the media for criticizing the former Indian captain,
there is a reason why the spotlight is greater on Dhoni
than it is on K.L Rahul or Kedar Jadhav.
For one, neither Rahul nor Jadhav boast of a reputa-
tion as robust as Dhoni’s. Furthermore, if the world
and not just Indian cricket fans are flummoxed about
the slow rate of batting when the game is in Dhoni’s
hand at the crease, it is because Dhoni has shown it
many times before his ability to coolly turn the screws
on the opposition in the end stages of the game and
turn an unlikely scenario into a winning story for India
and also, for his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchi-
see, the Chennai Super Kings.
The fact that Dhoni has suddenly slowed down his
game significantly, unable to push gears for a second
match, has raised eyebrows and rightly so. Dhoni has
remained the team’s no.1 wicketkeeper-batsman, to the
point where the young, rambunctious Rishabh Pant
could not even find a place in the original fifteen mem-
ber squad. Dhoni is in the team for a specific reason
and if he is unable to perform his duties for whatever
reasons, there is reason to be concerned as India move
into the knock out stage with the semi-final, a scenario
they did not have to contend with in the round robin
In a scenario where the team is carrying a few
unknown quantities despite the presence of Rohit
Sharma and Virat Kohli means India cannot afford too
many loose ends in the crucial final week of the ICC
Cricket World Cup 2019. The alarm is to unearth why
is holding Dhoni back, not with the intent to simply
push Dhoni out. n
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