Time for scrutiny - The New Indian Express

Time for scrutiny

Published: 07th Oct 2012 10:41:38 AM

Not for the first time since the England tour last year is Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s captaincy being sc­rutinised.

As calls for his ouster mo­unt following India’s ouster from the World T20, the qu­estion is: how mu­ch is his ca­ptaincy to blame?

While he made blunders — like playing three spinners and, hence, a batsman short against Australia — not all his decisions misfired. After the crushing win against England (India’s biggest-ever T20 win in terms of runs) the captain had a dilemma — whether to go in with his tried-and-tested permutation of four bowlers or the cushion of five bowlers. His strategy didn’t work out, but Shane Watson and David Warner in that form wouldn’t have spared better bowlers.

While Dhoni is blamed for tinkering with the bowling combination after India humbled England, the match against Australia was played at the same venue — R Premadasa Stadium — where, a few days later, Pakistani spinners made the same Aussie batsmen look like no­vices. Hence, Dhoni’s expl­anation that rain spoilt his plans against Australia isn’t totally hollow.

Towards the close of Ind­i­a’s innings, there was a sp­rinkling of rain, and the Indian spinners, who came on to bowl, couldn’t grip the so­aked ball. Again, against South Africa, Dhoni drew flak for employing part-ti­me spinner Rohit Sharma before R Ashwin. But Dhoni had done the sa­me against Pakistan, using Virat Kohli, and it paid off. The situation would have been different for India if things had gone the skipper’s way.

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