08/10/2008

What makes Dhoni inviolable?

It is a well-known fact that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an unproven talent in Tests. So much so, Manoj Prabhakar puts him on par with Yuvraj Singh and cites them as failures in Tests.
This is an interesting and a valid association and it makes one wonder, why Dhoni is inviolable.
Let us take their Test cricket statistics. Yuvraj averages 32.81 in Tests whereas Dhoni averages 33.76 in Tests He has also scored 3 centuries in 23 Test matches to Dhoni’s paltry 1 in 29 Test matches.
Mere glance at these anaemic statistics is enough to show when it comes to Tests, Yuvraj is on par with Dhoni as a batsman. Nonetheless, Yuvraj never had a consistent run in Tests and relentlessly lampooned for his inability to translate his success in the shorter version of the game to the longer version.
In sharp contrast, Dhoni has escaped censure and has enjoyed an uninterrupted run in Test matches. In fact, there are former cricketers who have expounded the theory that Dhoni, ranked 44 th among Test batsmen, would have made the difference in the just concluded Sri Lankan Test series.
Leaving aside comparisons with Yuvraj Singh, if we are to consider Dhoni as a wicket keeper there is not much to separate him from others. For example, Karthik has an average of 29.30 with 1 century in 21 Tests and Parthiv Patel averages 29.69 in 20 Tests. (Personally, this blogger judges that skill wise Karthik is a much better wicket keeper than the other two.)
Despite these compelling facts, it is puzzling to see Dhoni going from strength to strength. His stature is such that there are informed cricket lovers who project him as the right man to replace Anil Kumble.
What is it that makes Dhoni inviolable? Is it his commercial lure or his man- management skills or the unflustered persona he displays on the field?Cricket News Online Live
(Image by  Mareen Fischinger)
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15 Comments:

Blogger Q said...

I don't think u can compare Yuvraj and Dhoni in tests. Dhoni is a keeper while Yuvraj is a specialist batsman.

A 30+ average for a keeper in tests I believe is very good. While the same for a top order batsman is under par.

Dhoni bats at 7 in tests and not in the top 6 the way he does in ODIs. He gives himself more opportunities to score in ODIs - leading the chase or the setting of a target.

Whereas in tests Dhoni usually comes into bat when there has been a top order collapse or when the top order has piled up too many runs and all Dhoni has to do is attack.

As for the captaincy of the test side - yep there aint no one better than him. Not because of his keeping or batting skills but because of his man management ones and also his unflustered attitude.

I wouldnt say his commercial lure has much to do with that. His success in cricket resulted in his commercial lure and not the other way round.

08/10/2008, 12:37  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Q,

Thank for the detailed response.

I agree with you that "A 30+ average for a keeper in tests I believe is very good" . In that case Karthik averages the same with 1 century.

08/10/2008, 12:55  
Blogger Naked Cricket said...

This is well worth a ponder. And we might be at it for a while, into the next few years even.

Don't you feel, that some of the changes in Indian cricket (Dada's exit, the added pressure on seniors, MSD-Lanka tests) have been possible because of an alternative power base other than the seniors? Here too, MSD has alligned with SRT all along.

imo if Indian cricket is about politics, then it takes a political player to call the Board's bluff.

Concur with Q.

This debate will rage on, see you later OTT.

08/10/2008, 13:48  
Blogger Ottayan said...

NC,

"if Indian cricket is about politics, then it takes a political player to call the Board's bluff."

I see that you also believe that Dhoni has got in through the back door.

08/10/2008, 13:51  
Blogger Naked Cricket said...

In MSD's case, political Player can be translated a straight talking political player . almost a contradiction but then so is MSD.

For the longest time, I've seen MSD as The Lalu Prasad of Indian Cricket.

08/10/2008, 13:52  
Blogger Straight Point said...

though dk avg more or less same as dhoni...his wicket keeping skills are questionable...

08/10/2008, 13:55  
Blogger Ottayan said...

NC,

You are so right.MSD is the Lalu Prasad of Indian Cricket minus the buffoonery.

Expect Harvard Univ to send over people to study MSD's success.

08/10/2008, 13:55  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Pan,

I disagree. I think you are influenced by DK's non-performance in Sri-Lanka.

DK is a more complete wicket keeper.

The only thing in Dhoni's favor is his ability to remain calm.

08/10/2008, 15:33  
Blogger Straight Point said...

may be...but i have always felt that dk is better batsman and dhoni is better keeper...

08/10/2008, 15:39  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Pan,

You have taken the wind out of my sails. :)

08/10/2008, 15:51  
Blogger Sumit said...

dhoni won a world championship in his first outing as captain. the famous five have done nothing of the sort in 20 years of international cricket. that makes msd special.

08/10/2008, 17:43  
Blogger Ottayan said...

Well Sumit that is true. But how do you evaluate his Test career?

08/10/2008, 18:30  
Blogger Ravindran said...

As of now nobody looks capable of replacing Dhoni.TINA factor at work here. IF it was so he would not have dared to skip the srilanka test series a la Sachin.Karthik was touted as a contender but he had to compete with the captain himself. THen it was Raina who I think is getting sidelined for no fault of his..They will start scraching their heads only if we begin to lose matches under Dhoni.

09/10/2008, 06:59  
Blogger Ottayan said...

R,

Agree. However, I am befuddled how he has become indispensable despite his poor Test record.

09/10/2008, 09:46  
Anonymous scorpicity said...

Good discussion... I say by far he is the best keeper now... sadly turned better than Karthik or Parthiv... we will have to chew on that and hence gets his vote into the team.

10/10/2008, 20:22  

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