Now we yearn for “The Dhoni of Old”… Duh!


Forget the present. Forget the future.

It seems Indians want to continue to live in the past!

Chairman of selectors, Kris Srikkanth, pronounced that we had seen “the old MS Dhoni” after India beat Australia by 99 runs in the 2nd ODI at Nagpur last night.

In the recent past, we have had many a report suggesting that the “Tendulkar of Old” was there or thereabouts. Every time the great champion batsman scores a century, we hear talk of the “Tendulkar of Old”.

As I keep saying to a lot of my friends, if you want to see the “Tendulkar of Old”, buy a DVD! If you want to see the “Dhoni of Old”, buy yourself a DVD!

In the meanwhile, rejoice the present and plan for the future! Duh! Surely that can’t be too hard!

Even Cricinfo’s Siddharth Monga seems to suggest he has a bit of a yearning for the “Dhoni of Old”! Monga writes, “And back the old Dhoni was. Walking down and hitting Shane Watson, heaving and slapping Mitchell Johnson, hitting three bottom-handed sixes in two overs, he scored 54 runs in his last 27 balls, putting it past Australia…”. There is nothing wrong with the current Dhoni. As Monga himself writes, “India need both the Dhonis, but there are other batsmen who can compensate for the old Dhoni, and more often than not it’s the new Dhoni that nobody else evokes. Dhoni, more than anybody else, knows that.”

India needs players who perform consistently in the role that they (a) are able to perform, (b) are best at performing, (c) have been given (or taken on for themselves).

Meanwhile, I do hope the sales of the DVD of Dhoni’s 183 skyrocket for those of us who want to see the “Dhoni of old”. If we do not rejoice the “Dhoni of Now” or the “Tendulkar of Now”, a few years from now, we will yearn for the “Dhoni of the immediate past” and forget that we had just watched but not understood nor relished that phase of a cricketers’ evolving career!

The match last night was a fascinating and clinical performance by India. The manner in which Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir re-built the innings and stabilised it suggested that both batsmen had a plan and knew exactly what was needed and how to get there. They were calm, unflustered, purposeful and measured in their approach. Perhaps Gambhir got out at the wrong time — just before the ball would be changed and probably just before the Batting Powerplay would have been taken (had Gambhir been there). However, his departure meant that Suresh Raina and Dhoni, together, turned on an intelligent and power-packed partnerships in which audacious shots were mixed with sharp running and clever placements. And once the foot reached the pedal, in a very Australian manner, the two of them kept their foot on the pedal to take India to an unassailable total.

The bowling was impressive too. I was particularly impressed with Praveen Kumar’s line-and-length discipline. And it was certainly refreshing to see Ishant Sharma reach the 140-145 kmph mark regularly. He seems to have worked out his problems. He was running in more confidently and with greater purpose.

I will be surprised if India change the team for the next ODI in Delhi (Sunday). Meanwhile, Australia have a few more problems. Wicketkeeper Tim Paine is flying back to Australia with a broken finger!

Meanwhile, the “Adjective Watch” department of i3j3 has woken up from its long slumber! After all, Australia is playing India!

Richard Earle has labelled Harbhajan Singh “infamous”. No. No. Hang on there. Not “rude” or “ugly” or “foul mouthed” or “loutish” or “obnoxious”. This is different: Infamous. In a wonderful piece of exquisite prose in The Daily Telegraph, this celebrated writer, Richard Earle has used the following choice adjectives in his description of Harbhajan Singh: Infamous, wily wind-up merchant, fearless tailender

Apparently in Harbhajan Singh’s 31-ball 49 at Vadodhra “saw the Turbanator trading verbal blows with the Australians.”

And what were the Australians doing when said verbal blows were being traded? Oh! They were knitting, as every good, honest, God-fearing, mother-loving, saintly and pristine Australian cricketer would do. Of course!

The article starts off with a screaming byline “INFAMOUS Indian off-spinner Harbhajan Singh has ignited the showdown for the world one-day crown by predicting India can demolish Australia and snatch the No.1 ranking.”

Phew!

What did the fiesty, wily wind-up merchant and infamous obnoxious weed of an off-spinner actually say?

Harbhajan Singh, the great Indian off-spinner said, “I believe if we play to our potential we will win 5-2,” Harbhajan told The Daily Telegraph. “I am looking forward to the next six matches. It is very important for me to do well, I am most happy when the situation demands that I perform well for my country.”

I read humility. I read dignity. I read respect for the opposition. I also read an element of self-doubt.

Then again, who am I?

I am not an Australian reporter with hatred in my eyes, a chip on my shoulder and an axe to grind.

— Mohan

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7 responses to “Now we yearn for “The Dhoni of Old”… Duh!

  1. madhu sudhan rao

    I enjoyed watching Ishant Sharma–of old!

  2. Nice one Madhu Sudhan Rao… 🙂

  3. India has been performing with 10 Men for a while.It is hightime Sachin thinks about his ODI Place.I have a feeling he shdn’t open the Innings as his only problem is “the Inswinger”which he misreads all the time!That means he doen’t see the Outswinger as well!Better try your luck as 2 down..Let Shewag and Ghambir give a great start!
    Sachin,after,age is catching up!Be practical!
    Thatway Indian team wd be more formidable!

  4. Is ir just a coincidence that we see more of “Ishant Sharma of the old” when the team does not have a bowling coach any longer?

  5. Sorry this is nothing to do with the ODI series. First it was Sadagopan Ramesh whose career was nipped very early because he fell out of favour with TNCA and now it seems Badri is going the same way in spite of being a quality player – he has not been appointed as the captain of the Tamil Nadu team and BCCI has announced that Rohit Sharma will captain the Board presidents team against the Lankans. This is exactly how we kill talented batsmen.

  6. madhu sudhan rao

    “Infamous” and “Infamy” translate to notorious or very bad reputation or great wickedness or an infamous act.
    Bhaji Bhai has proven acts of slap-gate, monkey-gate, ma ki-gate and recently Hummer-gate

    It is not merely Aussie journalists that call him names. TOI and Cricinfo reporters also refer to the troubled child as “controversial” or “disgraced” etc.

    It is a fact of life that 99% of good deeds will be forgotten when history is recorded and THAT 1% will be enshrined in the minds of one and all.

  7. Why is that – How many batting records are made against India ?

    Highest partnership or even more embarrassing is the night watchman scoring a century etc.

    In contrast, bowling records are made against Bangladesh.

    On a different topic, Sachin MUST correct one of his batting records – His highest should not be against good cricketing nation not Bangladesh.

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