Predictably, Dhoni has been named the captain. Ajit Agarkar and Munaf get the chop and there are no surprises there. Rohit Sharma should probably consider himself unlucky for being dropped despite doing nothing wrong (or right) – it is possible he may yet get another chance in the ODIs against Australia as the team has been picked for the first 3 games alone. Vengsarkar has said that Sehwag will also get a look in. Meanwhile Pathan, Sreesanth and Bhajji have been re-called into the ODI squad. When the playing XI is selected, it will be an interesting toss up between Bhajji (who has been doing well in T20) and Ramesh Powar (who did well in the ODIs in England)
I wonder if Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary will also be rotated into the team for the subsequent games. They are both fully fit and are currently in the India A team picked to play South Africa A. It will also be interesting to see if anyone from the India A team (like Badrinath or Chopra) make the test squad for the Pakistan tour.
Here is the team:
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt) ,Yuvraj Singh (vice-captain), Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Dinesh Karthik, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Piyush Chawla, RP Singh, Zaheer Khan, Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh
Tagged Agarkar, Australia, Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Dravid, Gambhir, Ganguly, Harbhajan, India, Munaf, Piyush Chawla, Powar, Raina, Rohit Sharma, RP Singh, Sehwag, Sreesanth, Tendulkar, Uthappa, Yuvraj, Zaheer
While the names of Dhoni, Tendulkar and Ganguly are thrown up has leading candidates for the captaincy, I am surprised that Kumble’s name hasn’t popped up for the Test captaincy – at least I haven’t come across in the media.
We have seen how the batting of the ‘big-three’ have been affected by captaincy. Why shouldn’t we think out-of-the box and appoint a bowler as the Test captain.
Kumble brings to the table unmatched experience, skill, work ethic and match winning ability. Agreed that his leadership qualities are unproven as also the ability to handle the professional (read ECB, CA) with the juvenile (read BCCI, Indian press) with equal suave. But so is the case with Dhoni who cannot claim to have the same qualities of Kumble just yet.
In my opinion Dhoni needs more tests (at least away tours) backed by performance under his belt while Sehwag needs to re-establish himself to be considered.
Perhaps there is a perception that Kumble his past his use-by day as a captain owing to his age. Kumble possibly has two years left and as a captain he can leave his mark on Indian cricket if he can bring in some of the aggression and the yearning for perfection that marks him out. Dhoni can be his understudy until he can pick up the reins when Kumble leaves.
Ian Chappell has said that leading India for two years is equivalent to leading Australia for four years while Dravid has said that Indian captaincy has a definite shelf-life and in his case, two years; and lets face it, two years is a long time in Indian cricket. So why rush Dhoni or fall back on Tendulkar or Ganguly who have both left their imprints already? Let us look forward for fresher ideas. Vote for Kumble!
Test Captain – Kumble; Test Vice captain – Dhoni
ODI Captain – Dhoni; ODI Vice captain – Karthik
Twenty20 Captain – Dhoni