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Sight Screen

Friday, July 29, 2005

Options plus

Thanks, Abhinav, for this link to a story in the Hindu about MS Dhoni.
Dhoni wrests control of two of the variables of cricket: time and runs. He can warp cricketing time, opening up hitherto unsuspected pockets for Dravid and V.V.S. Laxman to compose their more conventional melodies. And he can maraud the quicker bowlers, hoarding runs as insurance against those pilfered by the Sri Lankan spinners.
The line that caught my eye though was this one
"I like playing spin by knocking it to long-off or long-on for singles," said Dhoni on his method of playing spin. "The pitches are slow and it's quite difficult to go for the big hit. I concentrate on working the ball around and getting the odd big one."
So the lad's thinking -- of more than which spectator to pick out as landing ground for his next heave. Neat.
Was thinking, in context of all this plus the story yesterday on Dhoni showing some good form with the ball -- imagine what a wild card he could be, used right? For instance, assume India bats first, and puts up a score that is a touch below par. Or assume that a bowler develops a niggle during his stint at the bat and is less than 100 per cent. Assume that for whatever reason, you want the comforting cushion of an extra irregular bowler.
No sweat -- give Rahul the gloves, and you've got Dhoni filling in as yet another bowler. Not, of course, suggesting that RD goes back to wicket keeping full time, merely that it's a neat little option to file away in the back of your head, for when you really need it.

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