THE INFO YOU NEVER SEEN BEFORE

Dhoni used resources well



Like a metallurgist extracting as much as he can from the ore in front of him, a captain must seek to get the best out of the team sheet that he possesses. Indeed, it would be fair to say that there are really two teams on match day; one that is handed over to the opposition captain and one that performs on the field. The first gives you an indicator of a team’s potential, it tells you what players can do. The second tells you what the captain managed to extract from the players.
On that count Dhoni is doing quite well. On the team sheet that he handed over to Kevin Pietersen there were four bowlers and three others who could do the job. England’s plan would therefore have been to target one of the four regular bowlers, on most days one bowler has an off day, and milk the fifth who would then have to do more than was expected of him. Yet, Dhoni has managed to extract a tremendous amount from his part-timers and in doing so, gives the team a better look than is immediately apparent.
Getting 20 overs out of Yuvraj was a fair achievement, getting 5 for 82 suggests that his instinct was right. He is also managing to get crucial overs out of Sehwag and Pathan and that means he always has a bowler in reserve. More important, for a captain he looks cool on the field and that gives the impression he still has something up his sleeve. It is more important than seems appar-ent.
Meanwhile, England seem to have got into a tangle about spin bowling. There is the odd nudge here and there but little attempt to take the spinner on. These pitches aren’t turning square, the odd ball might stop and turn but only a bit and spinners, like other bowlers, are happiest when no questions are being asked of them. And at the moment, India’s spinners are having a field day.
And England can attack because they bat deep. One of the reasons you do so is that one or two batsmen can be given a licence to go for it. England give the impression that they don’t trust the batting to follow. And so they finished about 30 short of where they might have been. Those thirty could have changed the match. Maybe the series.
It tells me that in this era of instant cricket tours, a lot of the homework needs to be done before the tour begins.

0 comments: