August 21, 2014

Indian cricket

'Dhoni's captaincy not up to Test standard'

Contending that they came up "against really top- quality seam and swing bowling on the grassiest set of pitches I can remember", Mike Brearley, writing in the Telegraph, has some sympathy for India's batsmen following the 3-1 Test series defeat in England. He isn't too impressed with MS Dhoni's captaincy, though, and says it was not 'up to Test standard'.

Captaincy is the art of balancing attack and defence. In the field, usually up against it, Dhoni has been determined to keep attacking fields, even when England were miles ahead. I wonder if anyone has calculated how many runs England scored to third man at the Kia Oval; while England's total raced on, India retained three or four slips.

Poor Varun Aaron in particular, a raw but promising fast bowler, was given no protection, and, it seemed, little guidance. By Sunday morning, India were run ragged, the ball coming off every part of the bat as Joe Root and Stuart Broad played attacking shots at every ball. Did Dhoni even think of posting a third man? Or did his philosophical capacity to put the past behind him amount to a failure to learn from experience?

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.