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Sight Screen

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Dhoni factor

S Dinakar, in the latest issue of Sportstar, does an appreciation of MS Dhoni -- and drives towards the point that the keeper-batsman did not one fine day burst full blown on the system, but has worked his way through the ranks.
The writer also tangentially examines Dhoni's claims to a Test berth:
For instance, he could face a barrage of short-pitched deliveries if he makes it to the Test eleven. How Dhoni will cope with such tactics in the longer version of the game remains to be seen. The selectors have a tough call to make when they pick the side for the first Test against the islanders in December. Dhoni has the wind and the momentum behind him, while Dinesh Kaarthick has not performed badly at all.
Kaarthick is an improving wicket-keeper and a compact little batsman who has fared well in tough situations. He was named one of the Emerging Players in the ICC's list of annual awards. It would be harsh to dump him straightaway. A better idea would be to accommodate Dhoni as the second keeper and a reserve batsman, if the need arises. This way justice could be done to both the youngsters. Dhoni too could get a feel of Test cricket from beyond the boundary before actually stepping in — in case Kaarthick stumbles.


  • Dhoni is the TEST keeper for SL series...if he fails miserably, it has to be re-considered. At this point, Dhoni will be the Test keeper.
    Dinesh Karthik has wasted too many opportunities...he should have grabbed those. But he did not.

    By Blogger FineLeg, at 11:55  

  • Prem,
    Can you comment on above? Is it not fairly clear that selectors will have to give a chance to Dhoni as the primary keeper for SL series. Think he has deserved it.

    By Blogger FineLeg, at 11:59  

  • fineleg: I had in fact commented on the question earlier. Basically, I think it would be an interesting move to try Dhoni in the SL Tests (oh, and by then, he would have been tested by the quicker pace and bounce of the SA bowlers in the one day forum).
    My reason is simple. Karthick has done little wrong, and it is in a sense unfair if he lost out. But that is *not* the point. If you look at it purely from a team balance point of view, it would be brilliant to have, walking in at number six or seven, a batsman who can in the space of an hour tear the opposition apart. Such a player, when he fires, could well make the difference between an okay total, and a winning one -- plus, the speed at which these runs come give the bowlers the gift of time.
    All this considered, what I would want to do is try MSD in the Test series versus SL -- after, like I said, having gotten a read of how he plays quicker bowlers than he has faced thus far. I'd as the selection committee want to keep a close eye on his keeping *and* batting in that series, and then make a call on whether he should get the job in the long run. And it would be only fair that ahead of all this, the committee would/should call Karthick, and explain to him clearly where he stands, and what his future is, so he doesn't get disspirited.

    By Blogger Prem Panicker, at 12:13  

  • I am really happy someone has put it on paper exactly like what I had in my mind. Now the whole country is in favour of Dhoni, it is not fair to dump DK right away.

    I agree Dhoni should be in the test team as batsmen and DK as Keeper. Now if selectors do their part by including both in the team will they both be part of final eleven is a bigger question.

    By Blogger Gopi, at 12:21  

  • Gopi,
    There are 11 spots with intense competition for Test Squad, and you want Dhoni and DK...Now, nothing wrong with the idea, but very impractical, and will not happen - just cos we cannot afford two keepers in the team. Why do you think MSD keeping skills is weaker than DK?
    Also, if it is not weaker, why would we just carry an extra keeper? Dude, where do we have that luxury spot among the 11 spots to carry extra?

    By Blogger FineLeg, at 12:47  

  • In the end, who gives you a better chance to win? Dhoni has to be tested - against fast bowlers and outside the subcontinent and if it doesn't work out (find out why though), give it back to DK.
    The key thing is to actually talk to them and explain their roles (and reading what GC had to say, hopefully that will happen).

    By Blogger Main Prem Ka Deewana Hoon, at 12:48  

  • Fineleg,

    Looks like you missed the point here. You don't have to treat Dhoni as a keeper here. He can be in the team as a batsmen.

    Tell me why do you think DK should not be selected?

    By Blogger Gopi, at 13:48  

  • Who do you want to drop in this Test Squad gopi:
    1. V.Sehwag
    2. Gambhir
    3. Dravid
    4. Sachin
    5. VVS Laxman
    6. Kaif
    These are the 6 batsmen +
    7. Keeper (Dhoni)
    and then 4 bowlers.

    I GUESS YOU WILL SAY, DROP KAIF and bring in DHONI and then DK as keeper.
    I dont agree

    By Blogger FineLeg, at 14:28  

  • I am fed ip of this approach.. "A player has not done anything wrong.. How can we dump him?"..

    Common guys.. its not charity.. The one who give a better chance to the team to win, will be selected. If we are winning, the one who makes the wins "thumping".. will be selected.. If we are thumping others, the one who finsih the matches with out wins in 2 days itself.. will be selected..

    Now if we come to the case of DK.. He hsnt done much wrong.. but he hasnt done much right either.. other than one knock out of 16 innings, he played, he sucked as a bat.. Such high level of inconsistency as a bat, does make a little liability in the team..

    As fas as keeping is concerned, I feel Dhoni ias as gooas him if not better.. so Karthik has no plus points there either..

    For me at a scale of 10, Karthik is at 3 right now.. while Dhoni at 7..

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 14:32  

  • All the guys.. who are talking of Dhoni being tested with "Fast Bowling.. and all..

    Can you tell me whether.. DK is a tested material on any front?

    By Blogger Thanks Chappel, at 14:34  

  • MSD would be the correct choice on two counts:one his batting form, two his experience against the srilankan bowling attack.

    From what I saw MSD was picking up the doosra from murali without difficulty,not many batsman do that...most of our batsmen were picking it from the wicket.What about the team morale of having Dhoni in,it affects the srilankans too.

    By Blogger creativeannihilation, at 15:31  

  • Main Prem Ka Deewana,
    I have a qustion for you regarding your comment "Dhoni has to be tested - against fast bowlers and outside the subcontinent and if it doesn't work out (find out why though), give it back to DK".

    Why so? Before that, don't you think DK also should be tested out under the same conditions? Why on earth only Dhoni needs to be tested outside the subcontinent and against the quicker bowlers? What you are suggesting is try out Dhoni under tough conditions. If he fails, bring back DK and obviously DK gets to play in little easier conditions. That's not fair.

    By Blogger Jai, at 15:41  

  • Why should Dhoni have to succeed against the "barrage of short pitched deliveries"? This seems absurd when comparing Dhoni to D Kaarthik, as the latter has hardly faced any shortpitched balls nor done so well in batting. As I see it, Dhoni is a safe keeper but this should be tested further by preparing spinning tracks for the SA ODIs. Dhoni is ready to go (he does not need be an understudy to a novice!!), as and when Greg and the selectors feel Dhoni's keeping is good enough.

    By Blogger IssaicN, at 15:47  

  • jai,
    I guess my implicit assumption here is that Dhoni is more talented than the incumbent and if so, give the better player a chance to find out if the assumption is true. That Dhoni can play very well at home has been proven, let us see whether his technique can hold up outside.
    I want the better person playing for us - the one who can give us more of a chance to win.

    I do want to add that I haven't seen DK bat at all - so my comments are based on reports and comments from others.

    By Blogger Main Prem Ka Deewana Hoon, at 15:57  

  • Well looks like still every one is having their mind set if one is labeled as a keeper he should be treated as keeper for ever.

    I would say Dhoni & Parthiv need to be tried as batsmen too. I agree Parthiv needs improvement on keeping but where did he go wrong in bating. Look at his performance with bat at both domestic and international matches for past 2 years.

    Fineleg, DK should be keeper and Dhoin should be in for Lakshman. Why do you have VVS on the playing 11? For his 2001 heroics?

    By Blogger Gopi, at 18:57  

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