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May 01 2008

Is Rahul Dravid unlucky or a bad captain?

Chennai Super Kins – Played: 4 Won: 4 Lost: 0 Tied: 0
Bangalore Royal Challengers – Played: 5 Won: 1 Lost: 4 Tied: 0

The team record above speaks a million words about the gap between the league-topper and league-bottomer ;-)The worst irritation of the entire record is that BRC is led by the supremely-talented ‘Rahul Dravid’ and the CSK is led by the supremely-lucky Mahindra Singh Dhoni. BRC by former captain and CSK by his successor. Do you see what I see?! Dravid has been losing ground ever since he lost his captaincy to Dhoni!

RAHUL & His Captaincy

Some say, he volunteered to step down; Some others say, he was forced to volunteer; Well I say, he did a good job, whether forced or otherwise. Dravid was not being a good captain. I, a mere gully-cricket-cheer-leader (yes, cricket is not game), was able to find so many mistakes in his fielding positions and his bowling changes. I distinctly remember a game between Sri Lanka and India (of course). Vaas enters the arena for batting and Zaheer has just scalped Jayawardhane. Zaheer runs in. OMG!!! There is no slip! I was surprised. Zaheer is swinging the ball like a pendulum and Vaas is seeing the red-cherry for the 1st time today. The most most obvious of the steps to do is to put a slip! Elementary my dear Watson! And, guess what happened?! The ball takes the edge and runs past the slip cordon (which was empty) to boundary! Most obvious. And, I could not believe my when I saw Dravid placing himself in the slip position for the next ball!! I was in serious disbelief! Did he actually expect Vaas to repeat the mistake?! Holy Christ! Can somebody send in some cricketing sense to him? He is wonderful player but as a leader! Where is he? Where is the fighter Dravid we have enjoyed watching? Where is the tough guy whom the opposition feared? His temperament as a player is great but as a captain is bad. He emotes too often and too much. Watch his reaction when his team falters?! And, somebody said Ganguly emotes more? I say, Ganguly was better controlled and a better captain. He did not show is tension, unless required!!

Dravid has been making some horrendous mistakes while captaining. No doubt, he is the best player India has produced. Technically correct. Clinical Perfection. Stylish. Dependable. Reliable. Performer. THE WALL. But, he cannot captain for nuts.

DHONI, a surprise!!

Dhoni has been a surprise for me. Well when he took over as a captain, he was definitely not the best of the lot. In fact, he was not even in the thick of runs when he took over. But, look at him now, he suddenly appears like a saviour of the Indian Cricketing Fraternity from elimination. Oh, yeah, I mean it. The way we performed under Dravid’s able-guidance, I was wondering if cricket in India is becoming like cricket in Zimbabwe. Recollect Zimbabwe in 1999 and Zimbabwe in 2008. In 1996, they gave Azhar’s India a run for money by their fierce competition and unyielding attitude. But, right now, they are not even able to perform against Kenya, the next worst team. So, Dhoni’s entry as a captain was a breath of fresh air to the Indian cricket. But, what surprised me was that ‘he was successful!!‘ I mean, think about this. We were destined to win the T20-WC but did not deserve it! Misbah-ul-Haq (not Pakistan though) deserved the victory! We won by luck, I say. No way, Dhoni could have stopped Misbah-ul-Haq from winning the game. Only Lady Luck and Misbah could have and, its nobody’s guess, whether they did or not. So, I say, Dhoni did not get T20-WC for us but Misbah did!! Dhoni did not get us the Tri-series cup from Aus but media-pressure on Ponting did!!

Apart from Ishant Sharma, there are no new players in Dhoni’s team who were not playing while Dravid was captaining. But, suddenly this team has becoming a winning team! How? The big question is – What Dhoni has that Dravid does not have? I would say :
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp- ‘confidence’ in his decisions
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp- ‘pro-active’ and ‘not reactive’
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp- ‘aggressive’
&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp&nbsp- ‘victory crowns’
Take each one of them, he does not mind dropping seniors of a match and does not fear coming out in open and declaring the same to the media. Also, He does not alter his decision to give the ball to Sreesanth because the batsmen is scoring easy runs and hence he does not have reaction-based-fielding-setup. He is aggressive in his approach, he always want to be on top of the opposition. Finally, he has victories to feel proud of.

Bangalore Royal Challengers

All said and done, what is happening to Dravid’s BRC?! They are losing every game and they are losing it badly! No fight! No match, it is slop-sided. The team is the 2nd costliest team. The team boast of very very good class players – Kallis, Mark Boucher, Praveen Kumar, Nathan Bracken, Misbah-ul-Haq, Ross Taylor, Virat Kohli (of U-19 fame) and Rahul Dravid himself. To come to think of this is not a enviable T20 team but then, damn, each of them are legends in their own way. But they have been losing like a bunch of street-cricketers. They are not show-casing their international class. They are buckling under pressure. During the match against Dhoni’s CSK, Boucher wanted to get out at any cost. When CSK was generous enough to miss a catch, Boucher was not happy and he gave another chance. And this time he chose a better fielder! Ah! I was pissed off the way Boucher played!! He played to lose. If BRC is gonna continue playing this way then I am sure this Rahul’s team is gonna have the same outing as the Rahul’s team did during World Cup. Such a formidable team and no performance is unaccepted. Boucher and Kallis’s performance is dismal to say the least. Boucher, for starters, is capable of handling the opposition and pressure & high-run rate as if he is handling a small kitten. He is that capable but of all the players of BRC, he has been the worst. Unless he performs I do not see victory for BRC. Ever.

So, is RAHUL DRAVID UNLUCKY or A BAD CAPTAIN?

About the author

Praveen

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