Thursday, January 3, 2013

Will India Be Distracted By M.S.Dhoni's Mastery of Manipulation?

Love him or Loathe him, you cannot deny the pristine qualities that M.S.Dhoni possesses on the Cricket field. The lovely irony in this, is that arguably his greatest quality is seen off it with him being an unspoken Master in the Politics that run the game in India.

His recent act of martyrdom where he stated he does not mind becoming a "punching bag" if it saves the other players from pressure was masterful manipulation at its best. With the acid on the Indian Team intense in the wake of the England shame and first up loss to Pakistan, but with all having his brilliant innings from Chennai fresh in their minds. An innings of such supreme quality in all regards starting with the impossible position it was scored from and the brutal conditions that brought him to his knees.

Duly, an invitation from the man himself to put all the blame for India's ills on him  will only garner him greater respect and forgiveness with the distraction of every thing that innings represented. Meaning the responsibility for the current Indian malaise, that for a large part is his making will never arrive at his doorstep with others bearing its brunt.

Of the current situation, you can support individual members in a Team game being held accountable for their acts that have led to the demise of the collective on the field. Though, India's issues are admittedly huge from a playing point of view, but their state of mind as a collective as seen in an offensive lack of care and penchant to give up is the chief Cancer in its bloodstream.

On this point, M.S.Dhoni as Captain is solely to blame and should be held accountable for it with his sacking as Captain in Test Cricket.

This disturbing trend started post World Cup stripping the team of one of its most admirable qualities

The striking thing about the series in Australia was the lack of any will to fight. Even in England, when the team lost by an identical margin, one saw sincere, though feeble, attempts to do battle from more than one cricketer. (  Bala Murali Krishna )

To the fans this reality can only be accepted as offensive with these Men representing 1.2 billion devoted souls of the Indian Cricket Team- all of which would do anything for that Team. Only to bare witness to a mindset where token acceptance is always a better option than fighting or doing anything in your power to invoke a momentum change.

The sad reality under Dhoni's present tenure

With him taking charge of a Team in 2008 that was too achieve Number 1 ranking on the basis of its fight. Everyone knew that India might not be the Team with the best ability, but they had an inner toughness and steel that made any canvas they were knocked onto be like rubber with how readily the bounced back up from it to fight on.

Miraculously, he has laid this lauded quality of the Team to waste in the post World Cup period with his ultra defensive mindset revealing his dogmatic persona. He was always a Master of a Plan A in Test Cricket, but of late as that plan has been broken down he has suffered with his inability to conceive a back up plan. Previously, his saving grace was the sublime brilliance within the Team that is now greatly diminished or gracing us with their dulcet tones in the Commentary Box that salvage and redeemed any situation. 

Leaving the focus on him with a demand for charisma in his tactics only for him to fail miserably in the face of the challenge.

As players live through this it erodes their intent, desires and ambitions with them being challenged in their resolve as the Teams chief Plan is blown a way and they have to live through the aftermath. An Aftermath characterised by Dhoni going through the motions behind the Stumps with him just waiting and hoping for a change in momentum that rarely if ever comes.

Very like in the same way that Ricky Ponting and Andrew Strauss showed when their time as Test Captains had run its course and similarly now the clock is tolling for Dhoni's departure.

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