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Come again, what did MS Dhoni say about crowd and country?

by Gaurav Sethi

I ditched Nirula’s stink, seeking lunch at Anapurna. Obscured by the mithai station, two guys were talking about how Bhajji should have bowled. Is there anyone on earth, other than MSD and Bhajji who thinks Bhajji should not have bowled?

I snacked and slammed MSD, you gotta get it out somewhere. I’m gonna tell you what I told them – MSD and Bhajji collectively chickened out. This is not the first time, over the last year or so, it’s always the other specialist spinner (if there is one) who bowls the powerplays – I have seen Amit Mishra and Ashwin bowl in the power plays, hardly Bhajji. Bhajji has been shielded through both bad form and the power plays. In the meantime, Ojha and Mishra have been eliminated, now Chawla, and soon Ashwin.

That last over could have cost Bhajji – instead of a ‘I hate Ashish Nehra” facebook page, it could have been ‘I hate Bhajji’ page. That is what decided the last over. Nehra is expendable, Bhajji is Indian cricket’s expense account.

Yes he bats, I'll give him that gladly. But the only reason Bhajji’s 5 were in the bank till the 40th were that he was gonna bowl out till the death – the 49th or 50th over, and he was not ripped into either, why didn’t you bowl Bhajji, MS? Good luck with the answer, be easier opening Dravid’s mouth on the Chappell years.

Post-match what MS did say was “You don’t play for the crowd, you play for country” – Screw the grey areas here, and let’s be as Black & White as MS is. Who are the players, given their approach and mindset, more prone to play for country –

I know we’re bordering on the ridiculous here, but the way I break this statement down is, who are the hitters or luppe wallahs, and who are the guys who can hold back and taste the moment – from whatever I’ve seen, Sachin, Gambhir, Kohli, and to a lesser extent, Dhoni are the guys who can play in different gears, they can, and have, more often than the others, not been sucked in by the crowds.

Yet, what does MS do – after Gambhir, it’s Yusuf, Yuvraj, MSD and then Kohli. MS, you fucked up bigtime, get off your political high horse, and let the guys play cricket.

In hindsight, 296 should have been a lot easier to chase. But much as I’ve stuck it into MS here, he was captain enough to somehow push it to the 50th. In spite of this match, he’s still the best guy to captain India now, and it’s not all luck. It’s politics, and that can be a positive at times. But just wasn’t this time. Both he and Bhajji need to grow up, there’s a home advantage, and it’s not going anywhere.


deekay said...

wat really irked me was Dhoni taking a single and giving strike to Nehra to play Stein!! and The Hindu reports that Dhoni was left alone without any support at the other end....painting a picture of a warrior fighting a lonely battle...:x....on a lighter vein...there is an sms joke being circulated here (kerala) about Sree's mom special puja's are the reason behind dhoni's crazy selections sticking with chawla to give him confidence and may be giving last over to nehra also was influenced by that.......:P

Govind Raj said...

Here is Bhajji singing to Dhoni,

Mujh ko dekhoge jahaan tak,
Mujhko paaoge wahaan tak.
Raaston se Caravan tak,
Iss zameen se aasmaan tak...
Mai hi mai hoon mai hi mai hoon
"Doosra" koi nahin !

Simply Un-expendable !

Gaurav Sethi said...

deekay, MS had a brain freeze too, was quite happy not to face himself.

Wah Govind, wah!

saingr said...

"to a lesser extent, Dhoni"
Um, have you watched any Indian cricket recently? Dhoni is far more comfortable with pushing singles than hitting sixes.

I also like how suddenly Kohli has a better head than Yuvraj.

Dhoni's captaincy in this game hasn't been given near the credit it should. He rotated the bowlers, set attacking fields, tried to stop singles. Bhajji too bowled quite well.