When India won the fifth one-day international against Australia on January 23, the first man to run out on to the field and congratulate the two batsmen at the crease — Manish Pandey and Gurkeerat Singh Mann crease — was Virat Kohli. One would have expected the Indian captain, M.S. Dhoni, to be doing this.
This is but the latest bit of gamesmanship by Kohli to indicate to Dhoni that his time is up and that he (Kohli) should be leading India instead.
Earlier in the same game, one could see Kohli often going up to the bowlers and offering advice as though he was in charge. And there were other occasions when he spoke to Dhoni, clearly suggesting a field change, which, in most cases, was made.
Continue reading Kohli wants the captaincy, of that there’s no doubt
There were two positives for India to take away from the final one-day international against Australia, apart from the unexpected win: the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah and the batting of Manish Pandey.
Pandey will probably figure in more media reports as he was the man of the match for making an unbeaten 104 off 81 balls to see the tourists home. But Bumrah’s performance is more significant for India, given that its bowling stocks are not upto the mark.
Bumrah is not unduly tall but he seems to follow the traditional approach of the fast bowler of yore. He has an unusual action, with his right arm coming down from its maximum height just before delivery. He also is not afraid to attack the stumps and slip in the occasional yorker and does not look to merely contain the batsman.
Continue reading Two positives for India in final one-day match
India’s shock loss in the fourth one-day match against Australia was one way that the players had of sending a message: members of the team don’t want Mahendra Singh Dhoni as captain because he has lost that magic touch he once had.
Dhoni is more of a zombie and several members of the team are loath to play to their full potential and win games anymore because the captain will be able to bask in reflected glory.
The series against South Africa last year gave an indication of this: the one-day series and the Twenty20 series were both won by South Africa. Dhoni captained India in both these series. But when it came to the Test matches under Virat Kohli, India thrashed South Africa 3-0 and would have won the one drawn Test too had it not been for rain washing out most of the game.
Continue reading Dhoni, don’t outstay your welcome, please go
Indian supporters who have been barracking for their country in the five-match one-day series against Australia assume that their team wants to win.
In that they are sadly mistaken.
The series was effectively over yesterday with Australia’s third straight win; the remaining games in Canberra and Sydney are now meaningless. For India, this is all part of a financial arrangement between the cricket boards of the two countries, and the players are not really interested. Their one interest is money.
Continue reading Why India will not win a single match in Australia