Tuesday, November 27, 2012

India vs England - The Dhoni Backfire

The dinner menu for MS Dhoni this week will be a nice large slice of humble pie.

India were back on track in 'The Revenge Series', having been drubbed in England and Australia in last year they got their home formula nicely sorted:

  • Prepare a pitch with less life than Valle de Luna
  • The batsmen smash a total of 500+
  • The spinners do the rest

I am Dhoni, hear me roar. © AFP
And there you have it, twirl the ball in the same place all day long and wait for mistakes, it worked gloriously all throughout the nineties and even Australia couldn't do anything about it. The Ganguly era was a rare time when India learned to compete overseas, but last years 8-0 saw a revert back to old school tactics to at least make sure that they could wallop teams in their playground and feel a bit better about life.

Only it wasn't enough, not for a 'frustrated' MS Dhoni. 

He wanted more. The test match dragged on until the fifth day thanks to Alistair Cook, who is the real deal. The spinners had to bowl mammoth spells, and unlike the lion hearted Kumble who used to do it without fuss, our captain was
having none of it. Apart from the usual anti-umpire rant along came a unique volley of demands.

"I want to see a lively pitch. More turn! More bounce! More spin!! How dare we get made to play for five days, I want the ball turning from ball one!".

He got his wish and England were about to get a truer taste of Indian conditions. But two crucial things were forgotten.
  • One of the best two off-spinners in the world is English, the other is not Indian.
  • A turban clad bowler all set to resurrect his career and his name isn't Harbhajan.
Yes it became the Swann and Panesar show and the match was over in less than five days, although perhaps not in the manner MSD had in mind.
"Did he just say..  more spin?" © PA Photos

The tactic backfired spectacularly on our favourite Indian skipper, his spinners flopped, his batsman succumbed, and a certain Kevin Pietersen showed everyone how to really take the bowlers, the pitch and the conditions out of the equation. That man really does bat on a different planet to the rest of them and could have been *the* batsman of our generation, too bad he's an unlikeable twit off the field. 

The Indian batsmen on the other hand are all over the show, with Sehwag having his token good innings of the series already, Kohli in his overdue form slump, Yuvraj never could play spin for peanuts anyway. 

And our beloved Sachin Tendulkar, dear oh dear. Please don't continue to ruin your aura and legacy, we don't dare criticize you for so many years of outstanding service but you're Monty's bunny now? Really enough is enough. Pujara is proving to be a find and a true class player, a long way towards being the next Dravid but at least he can dare to dream.

In a nutshell then...
  • So its 1-1 then with two tests to play, but whatever happens England applied themselves and earned a thumping test victory on Indian soil.
  • This is something India never even looked like doing in the corresponding tour last year. 
  • Mr Dhoni, be careful what you wish for son.
Contributed by : Varun Prasad
Original Post : The Cricket Musings

No comments :

Post a Comment