Should Dhoni give up his gloves?

Should Dhoni give up his gloves – at least in the ODI format? Dhoni is such an important batsman for India and his batting in the last few one day games has been so matured – he has curbed his natural attacking instinct and played very very sensibly. His scores in the tri-nation tournament has been – 37, 88*, 17*, 31, 37 and 50*. May not sound like a lot, but he rescued India against SL in the rain affected game, played a supporting role with Rohit Sharma against Australia and if he had not been run out against Australia, India could have well won the game. He proved his worth again today with another measured innings that basically won the game for India after they messed up the run chase yet another time. Who would have thought that someone like Dhoni can score a fifty without a single boundary!

Now, a bit about the game.

India got the team right, I think. Bringing in Praveen Kumar instead of Sreesanth was a good move. Sreesanth is a strike bowler, and a better bowler than Praveen Kumar. But Kumar brings in his batting into the equation and without Sehwag, the extra depth in the batting is always a good thing. It is another thing that Kumar didn’t do much with the bat today. Having said that, I am sure India will bring Sreesanth back for other games in the tournament.

The five bowler formula works well for India and it once again kept the score to a very gettable target. The Indian batting continued to be a bit wobbly. Thankfully, Yuvraj Singh found his form and rescued the team with an excellent 76 of 70 balls, when the scoring rate was slow and India was struggling a bit. Even after Yuvraj got out, India seemed to be cruising with a very good partnership between Dhoni and Pathan. With less than 25 runs to win, Pathan went for a wild swish to lose his stump and  brought Sri Lanka back into the game. In the end it was a tense finish and only a cool head from Dhoni won the game for India. Based on the current standing in the Points table (Australia 17, India 12 and Sri Lanka 6), it is very unlikely (not impossible, though) that Sri Lanka will make it to the finals.

Dhoni’s batting is vital to India’s success and  should we be protecting him? He has been struggling a bit with his fitness of late and after keeping wickets and captaining the team for 50 overs, he has been cramping when he is batting.

We can always argue that guys like Gilchrist keep wickets and also open the innings. For SL, Sangakarra comes in at one drop and he is their best batsman (as he proved that once again today). So, why should Dhoni give up his gloves in the one day format to focus on his batting? The answer to that question is, as I said earlier – his fitness.

There is always Karthik who can keep wickets and come in place of Uthappa and this does not have to be a permanent change. Once he gets fully fit again, there can be rethink of this issue.

Your thoughts?


13 responses to “Should Dhoni give up his gloves?

  1. An interesting idea & I would say if you wanted to make all the other teams happy then go for it.

    Dhoni, I would say is the leading bat in the CB series on numbers. Six digs for three outs , only two by the bowlers,average high. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

    He can bat the way hi does because of the workload not despite it, If you take away his keeping then you throw more pressure on his batting. Compare Haddin’s results as a wk/batter and just as a batter.

    You talk of “protecting” him. Why. He’s an international cricketer with proven form. He doesn’t need protecting. What is this obsession with protecting player. Youvrav was “protected” at the cost of Dravid and see how that worked out.

    Tendulkar wasn’t protected and look where he is.

    You would weaken the team. His replacement
    would not be a better keeper yet he would effectively take a batsmans place whilst not being good enough to play as a specialist batsman.

    If you want five bowlers you can’t stop Dhoni from keeping.

    How can Dhoni not be fit after a test series against Pakistan & Aust?

    If he is injured then rest him. I don’t think he is injured.

    When I watched the Sunday game my opinion was that he had cramp not an injury. Your post would indicate you agree. If so then why did he call for a runner. Cramp is not an injury.

  2. While I think it is good to have a pool of players who can be rotated in an out of the team, I think in the current setup of the team, M. S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Irfan Pathan are crucial to the team composition and balance. I’d have added Sachin Tendulkar too to the above list, but frankly, I think in this phase, it would be ok to leave Tendulkar out for a game or two! But in my view, Dhoni, Pathan and Yuvraj Singh form a vital hub around which the rest of the ODI Team India of the future is going to be constructed.

    So, a short answer to your question, Mahesh, is no. If Dhoni is injured, however, he should just sit out a game and we get what we get from the replacement.

    This is, to me at least, an exciting re-building phase for ODI Team India…

  3. You would be mad to get Dhoni out of the gloves, at the moment in any form of the game, but especially in ODI. Cricket, in general is more and more becoming a game of all-round ability, you can really no longer afford to have a bowler that can’t hold a bat correctly, let alone score runs or at a minimum defend his wicket. Look at players like (sorry Australians) Lee- 1st class strike bowler, possibly the best outfielder in the game and capable of scoring quickly. Symmonds- quick scoring, capable of bowling both off-spin and Medium pace and excellent midfielder. The point is you take the gloves off Dhoni, where does he go? Ground fielding is a different thing to keeping and not nescessarily something Dhoni would excel at like he does keeping. Then you have to bring in someone else, all keepers must bat, so if your next keeper starts to excel with the bat as Dhoni is now, what do you do? In the meantime you have lost a spot in the team that could be taken by a specialist bowler or an all-rounder who gives you greater felxibility, by bringing Dhoni in as a batsman, you have reduced your teams ability to respond with the bat or ball (depending on who you bring in with him). Get Dhoni working on his fitness and Rejoice in the depth he brings to the team!!!

  4. chris hutchinson

    C’mon mate! Dhoni is going fine with gloves, skippering well and is making good runs.

    Short memories have forgotten that he couldnt get it off the square in the test series.

    Why bring in another keeper who you think can bat when you have one doing more than his bit.

    Simple solution! Tell Yuvraj to grow up and lose the big head and keep rolling out the runs – especially under pressure.


  5. I am with Mahesh on this one, albeit in a qualified manner.

    MS is on record saying that he wants a core group of players to have 80-100 ODIs under their belt by the time the next WC (World cup, not Water Closet) rolls around.

    I take this to include 80-100 ODIs under all kinds of circumstances including sweaty palm thrillers such as Tuesday. That plan seems to be under implementation of sorts with Irfan, Gambhir and Uthappa batting in various positions, and the likes of Praveen being given their wings.

    Does this core group include Dinesh Karthik? If yes, then he should be part of a rotation plan to relieve MS reasonably frequently.

    If no, then what’s the succession plan for if and when MS gets hit by a bus?

  6. 10yearslate, if Dhoni gets hit by a bus, the bus driver and the bus company will be in urgent need for succession plans 🙂

    More seriously, this is a good point that you have raised.

    However, I think that unless this team settles around M. S. Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag and Irfan Pathan, we will see these 3-4 core guys play every match. And that is fair enough in my view.

  7. Without an iota of doubt, MSD is a control freak and the management will go along with what he wants–as long as he has 60 to 75 % success rate.
    From getting rid of most of the seniors from ODIs to batting order selection to telling the players not to talk to the TV reporter waiting at the gate at the end of a game has MSD thumb print on them.

    Last week, he signalled Rohit not to talk to the reporter–young gun didn’t listen while MSD walked off the field. Yesterday–again–when the TV reporter approached, MSD waved his finger vigorously and kept walking with I Sharma in tow!!!–Johny Walker style!!! Just two incidents that I have observed in the past week. If this is repeated, there would certainly be “diplomatic” talks from channel Nine commentators/ producers!!
    Mark Taylor compared some of the unorthodox shots of MSD to that of Miandad–which I have been telling my family for the best part of pat 12 months. The only difference is , Miandad had more technically correct shots, liked a street fight while MSD is a confident smiling assassin!!!!

  8. The only redeeming feature of Govinda Iyer’s posts is that he makes Sampath Kumar look good!

  9. @chris hutchinson – I am not complaining about Dhoni’s keeping, batting or captaincy – on the other hand I am quite impressed with how he has been going in all three. I am merely suggesting that he give up his keeping (at least temporarily) to concentrate on the other two and keep his fitness intact.

    @mohank – I am not talking about relieving Dhoni completely from his WK role. Multi -skilled players whether it is Pathan or Dhoni who can be slotted in more than one role are important for the success of the one day team. But rather than resting them completely, it may not be bad idea to rest them partially – it could at least work in Dhoni’s case if he gives up his WK role for a few games, while he remains in the team as captain and batsman

    BTW – Let us not forget that Uthappa also used to be a WK. So, if he is going to be part of the “core” team, then maybe he could fill in the WK role for a few games…

  10. Pingback: Series for the ‘keepers « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  11. looks like Dhoni has had to give up at least one set of gloves.. compromise?? lol

  12. looks like the umps have done it for him

    shame for blatently defying the laws of the game,

    some would call that cheating

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