Friday, March 25, 2011

Munaf Patel for Captain : Let the Helicopter Fly !

Munaf and Dhoni Celebrating
Cricket is all about skills. Multiple levels of skills. Batting, Bowling, Fielding. It also involves the cerebral, like strategizing, planning and of course execution.
I don’t know what were the plans and strategies Team India had deployed when they played Australia. Most things they did went well and some things the Aussies did, did not. The luck factor too was more often with the Indians except the coin.
Virendar Sehwag’s shoulder and knee and Gautam Gambhir’s suicidal mania apart, Team India gave more or less 100%. All the 10 ‘Players’ in the team did their best. And then there was Munaf Patel. What is he doing in the team ? I have harped on this before, but let us take one more look.
Except Bangladesh defending 370, he’s never threatened to take a wicket any time.
He has gone for over 6 an over after the first match. 5 wickets for 268 in 44 overs.
Most of these wickets have come at the end of an expensive over.
Twice out of two chances to bowl at death, he has been whacked by tail-enders.
He is an Opening bowler who seldom opens the bowling these days.
Bowls no Yorker, no bouncer and can’t reverse the ball even if Dhoni were to bite it.
He is the only ‘fast bowler’ who is consistent. He consistently bowls length balls at death.
After Abey Kuruvilla, Munaf has inherited the mantle of ‘Slowest Fast Bowler’ on earth.
Ashwin and Pathan have bowled more during Power plays than Munaf.
He was taken to the cleaners by Haddin and Ponting while others toiled.
He hasn’t completed his quota of 10 overs in the last 5 matches.
He inspires confidence in Dhoni. Sachin bowled at death and did better.
Fielding has fluctuated between pathetic to comic, never threatening to improve.
His visits to the batting crease have been ‘blink and you miss’ guest appearances.
With all these ‘Qualifications’, how does he manage to continue in the team ?
Here are the possibilities…
India want to fool the opponents by creating some false sense of well being.
He is some kind of a lucky mascot for the highly superstitious Indians.
The Captain doesn’t have confidence in the available alternatives.
The Team believes he can deliver in crunch situations.
But none of these are good enough reasons to keep him in the team. Yusuf Pathan has bowled 35 overs [mostly during power plays] and gone for 167 runs at 4.77 though wickets have eluded him. So it would be a better option to go ahead with Yusuf purely as a bowler. Whatever runs he scores and all the fielding he does are all bonus.
So who should be playing against Pakistan ? Let us take a Man vs Man look at our next opponents.
Pit Munaf against Umar Gul. Oh, forget it. Pit him against rookie Wahab, still not a match. Pit him against the slower Abdul Razack and Munaf comes across as useless. If Pakistan manage to beat India at Mohali, the difference will be Munaf Patel.
So if the ‘Think Tank’ still thinks Munaf should play, please do us a favor…
Dhoni has been burdened by Captaincy. His batting has suffered and the Helicopter isn’t flying. So relieve him of Captaincy. Make Munaf Patel the Captain. He will be true to himself and as usual do nothing. The Team can take care of itself and let the Helicopter fly !
Enough is Munaf !
Govind Raj Shenoy for DieHard Cricket Fans

No comments :

Post a Comment