As the Indian cricket team was slowly moving towards defeat against Australia in the World Cup semi-final, many commentators, the normally erudite Allan Border among them, were still convinced that Indian captain M.S. Dhoni would explode at some point and carry India to victory.
It looks like Border and all the others of his ilk were dreaming earlier in the summer when Dhoni called time on his Test career, indicating that he was unable to handle that job any more. He did not step down from the captaincy, he quit Tests altogether.
Quite simply, Dhoni has lost it. He is past it and his sticking on for the World Cup was a typical reaction from a cricketer in a country where the selectors do not pick people on form alone. The same applies to Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene and Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi. All are past it, yet were allowed to play on by their respective countries’ selectors, for so-called sentimental reasons.
Continue reading Myths about Dhoni shown to be just that
India has continued its incredible run in the World Cup cricket tournament, bowling another team out as it recorded a 109-run win over Bangladesh to enter the semi-finals.
But this could not have been achieved had one umpiring error not gone India’s way.
At three for 196, India looked like it would go on to make a big total at the MCG, having chosen to bat after winning the toss.
Continue reading When will India’s luck run out?
It has been said of the great West Indies cricketer Viv Richards that he should have quit the international game two years before he actually did. Richards, who made his debut in India in 1974, retired in 1991, after having been West Indies captain for about six years.
But after 1989, he was never the dominating batsman he had been over his entire career; his reflexes appeared to have slowed, and his temper sometimes got the better of him.
Something similar could be said about the three Sri Lankans — Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, and Kumar Sangakkara — who played their last game together on Wednesday, a loss to South Africa in a World Cup quarter-final. For Sangakkara it will be his last one-day game; Jayawardene has already quit Test and T20 cricket so this is his last international game.
Continue reading Sri Lanka’s big three may have stayed on too long