April 10, 2011

Dhoni's among the great modern captains

India's captain has taken his side to the top without a great bowling attack, which makes his achievement more remarkable
  shares 145

India's emphatic victory in the World Cup has proved beyond doubt they are currently the best all-round cricket team. In the process, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's polished performance as skipper, where he pushed, prodded and cajoled his side into peaking at the right time, has shown he's not only the best leader in the game but also one of the finest of the last 30 years. His performance ranks him with the other top-class leaders of the period: Imran Khan, Mark Taylor and Arjuna Ranatunga.

Unlike their predecessors as the No. 1-ranked team, West Indies and Australia, India do not have a dominant bowling attack. Considering bowlers win matches, this makes Dhoni's captaincy performance even more meritorious. In that regard he's emulated Ranatunga in conjuring up a World Cup victory with a moderate attack. As there's no indication India are on the verge of unearthing a couple of world-class bowlers, and three of their best Test batsmen are closer to retirement than to the pinnacle of their careers, Dhoni has a serious challenge on his hands to keep India at the top of the rankings in the longer game. However, he can take comfort from the fact that none of the stronger teams look likely to surge past India in the race to be No. 1.

This is one of the reasons why the 2011 World Cup was such a fascinating tournament: all the teams were flawed. Consequently it was an extremely open World Cup. It's far more interesting when there are a number of good sides rather than one really strong one bullying a string of moderate teams. The previous three World Cup finals were dominated by Australia and the tournament badly needed the upsets and strong finale that 2011 provided.

In addition to having the best captain at World Cup 2011, India were also the most capable batting side against spinners. There's a worrying trend, which the World Cup exposed, of batsmen whose footwork is inadequate against spin bowling. This is even more of a concern when you consider that, of the three great spinners of recent times, Muttiah Muralitharan, Shane Warne and Anil Kumble, only the Sri Lankan was in attendance, and by the end of the tournament he was virtually on one leg. There seems to be a train of thought amongst batsmen from some countries that it's less dangerous to employ all manner of zany, premeditated shots than it is to counter spin bowling with sharp footwork. This kind of warped thinking is either a product of poor coaching or lazy batting, or more likely a combination of both. I'm referring here to coaching received at a young age, not once the player reaches international level. It's too late to drastically change a player's footwork once he's old enough to be competing at the highest level.

The only major flaw in the 2011 World Cup - apart from the constant confusion over the DRS - was the length of time it took to decide a winner. Consequently it's welcome news that the 2015 tournament will be shorter. However, the automatic choice of all 10 Test-playing nations as the only qualifiers for 2015 is a short-sighted decision. The World Cup is a prestigious tournament and teams should only be competing on merit. Currently neither Bangladesh nor Zimbabwe deserve automatic entry, and even West Indies need to improve dramatically to escape the ignominy of slipping into that category. At least two of those teams should have to qualify by playing in a stringent promotion/demotion tournament with the stronger Associate countries.

Whilst this was a successful (and for the most part entertaining) World Cup, the ICC should always be looking for ways to improve the tournament. The introduction of a qualifying tournament, and the distribution of a paper by Indian coaches on how young batsmen can improve their footwork against spin bowling, would be a step in the right direction.

Former Australia captain Ian Chappell is now a cricket commentator and columnist

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Sumeet.Gupta on | April 13, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    talk about dhoni's wk skills being poor is, well, absurd. for a start, go and watch the catch that he took off Sangakkara in the final. It was a thick edge, and not a thin one. And Dhoni took it right in the middle of his glove, not in the webbing. Good keepers anticipate well. Yes, in his initial years, he had some flaws. But i think over time, he's turned into a very good keeper (still not in the league of someone like, say, Healy) and certainly India's best since Nayan Mongia (remember those days of MSK Prasad, Parthiv Patel, even Karthick). His 'keeping prowess is actually overshadowed by the fact that he's such a key figure to his team. He's lucky right but one make's one's luck oneself. There's a saying in hindi "agar chachi ki mooche hoti to wo chacha hoti", roughly translated into "If aunty had a moustache, she wud have been uncle". So if's and but's are nothing but things one can say using hindsight. Let's all appreciate that dhoni is in fact a great captain and a good keeper!

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | April 13, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Needs to come out of India and win something considerable. Winning 4 away tests One each against BD, NZ, SL and one aganst SA, thats all what he has won out side his own castle of batting heavens. In a graveyard of fast bowlers you only need a few spinners and the long list of great batsmen to win every match.

  • POSTED BY happycric on | April 13, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    To say Mark Taylor was a great captain is hilarious...and comparing him with Steve Waugh, Clive Lloyd or Dhoni is an insult.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    @zahidsaltin: Imran will not be in the great captain list if he have not won the WC. Remember Hansie Cronje. He was good captain at that time. He did not had temperament like Dhoni or Steve. And he dint won WC. Else he would have been in the league of great captain. As for Imran he had best bowling attack and a good batting lineup(Even Imran who comes at 9 or 7 can play good knock). So Dhoni is as good as Imran. Steve was great captain bcoz he won a record 16 test in a trot(which was stopped by Indians by handing series defeat). And i dont think Steve is as good as Dhoni. Because he always had best in all three(Batting, Bowling and Fielding) department which was not same for Dhoni and still won WC and no single series defeat in test(till today).

  • POSTED BY Gunnar on | April 12, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin -- Going by your "IF" scenario, what IF pakistan did not have their game against England rained out in '92. They wouldn't split the point and they don't qualify for the SF. Would Imran be great then?

    What IF Donald did not run like a maniac in '99, Australia lose the SF and Waugh does not win his WC.

    What IF the pitch does not turn the way it did in '96 in the SF, India wins the SF and likely the final, Tendulkar has his second WC now.

    IF wishes were horses, beggar would ride them

  • POSTED BY aalkafi on | April 12, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    The debate about whether Dhoni is among the greatest of modern era captains can be determined when he will retire. But as of now he is the best of the pack. This is not his fault that he has got the best batting line up; infact it is harder to captain a side with stars bigger than you and everytime you go out 1.2 billion expect you to win. I think Waugh and Ponting were better captains than Ranatunga or Imran because of their consistent performance and always meeting or exceeding expectations. When no expectation from you and you overachieve you become hero. Whereas, when expectations are thru the roof and you stumble your neck is on the line. In the semis I think Pakistan lost because of lack of creativity from their full of himself captain Afridi and calm planning by Dhoni. In the final did you see the body language of Sangakara and the Srilankans while India was batting; they already lost. India despite needing many more runs looked like winners. Dhoni transpires this belief.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | April 12, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    I totally agree with the 12 team format with 2 qualifiers for next world cup in AUS/NZ. 2 groups of 6 with one qualifier each. 5 rounds in group stage with 4 days per round. Note that DAY/NIGHT matches in AUS is shown during the day in subcontinent and in the morning in UK/AFRICA. Therefore let us put the matches between 2 full members as day/night in large centers at prime time [4 matches a round] and the 2 matches a round involving one associate during the day. This means that the group stage is 20 days with 20 successive prime time day night matches with full members. 10 matches involving an associate will be played concurrently. TOP TEAM in each group goes into semi final directly. Next 2 sides play in a qualifying final. A2 v b3 and b2 v A3 and the winners progress to the Semi Finals. Winners of SF to final. If tournament starts on Friday the group stages would end on Wednesday 20 days later with qualifying finals on weekend, SFs WED/THURS and FINAL Sunday. 31 days total. 25 D/n.

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 12, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    @zahidsaltin My point is when ur captain and ur team wins the WC ,the ultimate trophy all the arguments whether captain is good , decent or great captain does not arise at all . After winning the world cup does it even matter to discuss about dhoni's captaincy?? That is my point , What more do we want from a team? All Indians wished for such a win and they have got it. And that is what matters in the end...

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 12, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain because at the end of the day what matters is the result. Dhoni is a great captain or he is a decent captain that dosent matter but he has led a team with depleted bowling resource to WC glory. That is the reason Ian has said dhoni is the greatest captain . Atleast steve waugh,ponting had Warne, Mcgrath hayden,gilly etc. , Imran had a great attack, But dhoni managed the win with just 2 good bowlers in ZAk and bhajji. that is the reason i'm saying he is the greatest captain. And add to that the media and home crowd pressure on dhoni...

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Agree with the last 2 teams in Top 10, should play pre-qualifiers with Associate member group toppers to qualify for WC-2015. How are we going to encourage Ireland/Canada to play cricket otherwise.

  • POSTED BY Sumeet.Gupta on | April 13, 2011, 7:06 GMT

    talk about dhoni's wk skills being poor is, well, absurd. for a start, go and watch the catch that he took off Sangakkara in the final. It was a thick edge, and not a thin one. And Dhoni took it right in the middle of his glove, not in the webbing. Good keepers anticipate well. Yes, in his initial years, he had some flaws. But i think over time, he's turned into a very good keeper (still not in the league of someone like, say, Healy) and certainly India's best since Nayan Mongia (remember those days of MSK Prasad, Parthiv Patel, even Karthick). His 'keeping prowess is actually overshadowed by the fact that he's such a key figure to his team. He's lucky right but one make's one's luck oneself. There's a saying in hindi "agar chachi ki mooche hoti to wo chacha hoti", roughly translated into "If aunty had a moustache, she wud have been uncle". So if's and but's are nothing but things one can say using hindsight. Let's all appreciate that dhoni is in fact a great captain and a good keeper!

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | April 13, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Needs to come out of India and win something considerable. Winning 4 away tests One each against BD, NZ, SL and one aganst SA, thats all what he has won out side his own castle of batting heavens. In a graveyard of fast bowlers you only need a few spinners and the long list of great batsmen to win every match.

  • POSTED BY happycric on | April 13, 2011, 0:46 GMT

    To say Mark Taylor was a great captain is hilarious...and comparing him with Steve Waugh, Clive Lloyd or Dhoni is an insult.

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2011, 20:34 GMT

    @zahidsaltin: Imran will not be in the great captain list if he have not won the WC. Remember Hansie Cronje. He was good captain at that time. He did not had temperament like Dhoni or Steve. And he dint won WC. Else he would have been in the league of great captain. As for Imran he had best bowling attack and a good batting lineup(Even Imran who comes at 9 or 7 can play good knock). So Dhoni is as good as Imran. Steve was great captain bcoz he won a record 16 test in a trot(which was stopped by Indians by handing series defeat). And i dont think Steve is as good as Dhoni. Because he always had best in all three(Batting, Bowling and Fielding) department which was not same for Dhoni and still won WC and no single series defeat in test(till today).

  • POSTED BY Gunnar on | April 12, 2011, 18:54 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin -- Going by your "IF" scenario, what IF pakistan did not have their game against England rained out in '92. They wouldn't split the point and they don't qualify for the SF. Would Imran be great then?

    What IF Donald did not run like a maniac in '99, Australia lose the SF and Waugh does not win his WC.

    What IF the pitch does not turn the way it did in '96 in the SF, India wins the SF and likely the final, Tendulkar has his second WC now.

    IF wishes were horses, beggar would ride them

  • POSTED BY aalkafi on | April 12, 2011, 16:47 GMT

    The debate about whether Dhoni is among the greatest of modern era captains can be determined when he will retire. But as of now he is the best of the pack. This is not his fault that he has got the best batting line up; infact it is harder to captain a side with stars bigger than you and everytime you go out 1.2 billion expect you to win. I think Waugh and Ponting were better captains than Ranatunga or Imran because of their consistent performance and always meeting or exceeding expectations. When no expectation from you and you overachieve you become hero. Whereas, when expectations are thru the roof and you stumble your neck is on the line. In the semis I think Pakistan lost because of lack of creativity from their full of himself captain Afridi and calm planning by Dhoni. In the final did you see the body language of Sangakara and the Srilankans while India was batting; they already lost. India despite needing many more runs looked like winners. Dhoni transpires this belief.

  • POSTED BY NALINWIJ on | April 12, 2011, 16:06 GMT

    I totally agree with the 12 team format with 2 qualifiers for next world cup in AUS/NZ. 2 groups of 6 with one qualifier each. 5 rounds in group stage with 4 days per round. Note that DAY/NIGHT matches in AUS is shown during the day in subcontinent and in the morning in UK/AFRICA. Therefore let us put the matches between 2 full members as day/night in large centers at prime time [4 matches a round] and the 2 matches a round involving one associate during the day. This means that the group stage is 20 days with 20 successive prime time day night matches with full members. 10 matches involving an associate will be played concurrently. TOP TEAM in each group goes into semi final directly. Next 2 sides play in a qualifying final. A2 v b3 and b2 v A3 and the winners progress to the Semi Finals. Winners of SF to final. If tournament starts on Friday the group stages would end on Wednesday 20 days later with qualifying finals on weekend, SFs WED/THURS and FINAL Sunday. 31 days total. 25 D/n.

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 12, 2011, 15:57 GMT

    @zahidsaltin My point is when ur captain and ur team wins the WC ,the ultimate trophy all the arguments whether captain is good , decent or great captain does not arise at all . After winning the world cup does it even matter to discuss about dhoni's captaincy?? That is my point , What more do we want from a team? All Indians wished for such a win and they have got it. And that is what matters in the end...

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 12, 2011, 15:48 GMT

    Dhoni is a great captain because at the end of the day what matters is the result. Dhoni is a great captain or he is a decent captain that dosent matter but he has led a team with depleted bowling resource to WC glory. That is the reason Ian has said dhoni is the greatest captain . Atleast steve waugh,ponting had Warne, Mcgrath hayden,gilly etc. , Imran had a great attack, But dhoni managed the win with just 2 good bowlers in ZAk and bhajji. that is the reason i'm saying he is the greatest captain. And add to that the media and home crowd pressure on dhoni...

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2011, 14:59 GMT

    Agree with the last 2 teams in Top 10, should play pre-qualifiers with Associate member group toppers to qualify for WC-2015. How are we going to encourage Ireland/Canada to play cricket otherwise.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | April 12, 2011, 14:48 GMT

    You don't get it. Most of the comments in reaction to my argument are given with nationalistic feelings and without even understanding my point. Dhoni is a good player and a decent captain, no doubt about that but I don't see him as an exceptionally good captain in the league of Steve Wagh, Imran Khan and Taylor. Dhoni has achieved a lot just as ponting and Clive Loyed did but we expected them to do that because of the strong teams they managed. My if's and but's ask you a question. What if Pakistan had taken som of those catches and if India was out of the wc in semifinal, would you still have rated him as one of the best captains of this era. I personally don't think so because 70% of the same comment makers were abusing him here for his captaincy when india wasn't doing so good in group stages. While naming Imran and Steve, even chappel will agree that it wasn't because of wc crowns which make them great captains.

  • POSTED BY gilly007 on | April 12, 2011, 12:03 GMT

    @ParekhHitz. Ya right. They were calls for retirement by what ??? one in hundred people... And by the way , the only reason i brought SRT into this was after reading the comments of others and actually posting an article by Chappell about Sachin. So please read the comments fully before talking. 4 hundreds in 3 yrs and averaging 38 with tours including the minnows ???? and thats ok ????

  • POSTED BY pranavmg on | April 12, 2011, 9:24 GMT

    dhoni is truly one of the greatest captains ever.....its true that our bowling attack is at best,mediocre but he's managed them efficiently......and yeah,ian's bang on in telling that bangladesh and zimbabwe dont deserve a wolrd cup spot on a platter

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 12, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    @zahidsaltin That is the speciality of Dhoni even though he is not the best player of the team he is the greatest captain for india. and that is the reason India won the WC. He dosent bank on if's and but's like pakistan does...

  • POSTED BY CharlieAlanJakeHarperFamily on | April 12, 2011, 7:52 GMT

    If a guy at age of 29 has achieved asia cup win,50 over world cup win,20 over world win,taken his nation to No 1 in tests and No 2 in Odis who has won domestic IPL and also won Champions league T20 all these well below age of 29 and he keeps wickets all days in tests odis t20s and averages 49 with bat with strike rate of 88 and averages 60 with bat as a captain and to top it is according to forbes' magazine richest cricketer with 10 million USD per year how many guys can achieve this in a short span of 6 years making ur debut can anyone answer that?

  • POSTED BY analyseabhishek on | April 12, 2011, 7:49 GMT

    The great Imran Khan himself has paid tribute to Dhoni's captaincy, hailing him as the calmest of all captains and the best when it came to handling pressure- and that was even before the tournament had begun! I also remember that Imran had predicted a win for Dhoni led CSK in last year's IPL before the semifinal stage because they had just snatched a win from the jaws of victory through some bold batting of their leading player (Dhoni himself). Imran had pointed out that when this happens at the right time, a team starts believing it can pull through any situation. However, comparing Imran himself and Dhoni after they won the WC would be quite instructive. Imran was full of himself and his dream of building a Cancer hospital and never mentioned his team mates even once during the ceremony (Of course, he was the biggest star of the team). In contrast, Dhoni quietly slid into the background and let his team mates and Tendulkar take the centre stage.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | April 12, 2011, 2:45 GMT

    But the best captain doesn't even make it to worldcupXI chosen by ICC expert panel.

  • POSTED BY frommoonman on | April 12, 2011, 2:44 GMT

    @ Zahidsaltin - while you are at it, what if you were born Indian?

  • POSTED BY on | April 12, 2011, 0:42 GMT

    Spot on! Although Your brother would take huge credit for getting Dhoni in but i think that was an more by accident than by design. Dhoni has achieved a lot with various teams and will definately be tested once he gets into the position that Aussies are in. But, if he had better bowling attack then I wonder how scary that would be for rest of the world.

  • POSTED BY DADA on | April 11, 2011, 21:59 GMT

    Dear Mr. Chappell, This is what I would do if given a chance to format the world cup. Top eight nations goes to the world cup. Eight and Nine play with the top six of the associates in qualifiers and the top four (out of eight) with go to the world cup. Now, Split the 12 team into 4 groups (3 in one group). Play 12 group stage matches. Top 2 from each group go to the next round. Split them into 2 groups of four. Each team play all the other 3 in the same group. Another 12 games. Top 2 from each group goes to the semi and then the final. Total of 12+12+2+1 = 27 matches. Let me know. P.S I am not the real Ganguly.. Just a BIG fan of the great man.

  • POSTED BY iluvtest on | April 11, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    Zahidsaltin you have a pont there but what is the point of imagining the things.The result is there for everybody to see. And when you compare with Steve waugh or Imran Khan there is one point to be noted. When they are captains these two former greats are the best players in their respective teams which is not the case with Dhoni. Both ahve much better bowling resources and decent batting and aussies are a better fieliding side. But Dhoni lacks that luxury and that makes him a better captain. And when Pakistan were winners they absolutely don't have the pressure as they were not expected to win. But Dhoni is under immense pressure as we are expexted to win. So with due respect to previous greats Dhoni definitely deserve a place in the league of great captains. No Dobut about it.

  • POSTED BY amgoldy on | April 11, 2011, 20:04 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin , I agree there are lot of factors that go behind winning a game in cricket. Just imagine what had happened if it had not rained during the Pak vs Eng match in the 92 world cup when Pak was bowled out for 75. Element of luck is needed by everyone in all walks of life. One catch taken by Gibbs would have finished Aussies in 99. I can go on and on. Fortune favours the BRAVE, dear friend go home and relax.

  • POSTED BY -VJ- on | April 11, 2011, 19:44 GMT

    @RaghuramanR - You are saying Dhoni is a hopeless wicketkeeper batsman and doesn't come as a automatic selection.....can you tell me the best wicket keeper batsman India has produced so far???? Over few decades India has been lacking a quality wicket keeper batsman (a few have been good at one dimension i.e., Keeping but no one was good at both skills) and its been fulfilled now with the arrival of Dhoni...We have been constantly changing our keepers as now one was consistent.....atlast we got one is Dhoni and you say he's rubbish....c'mon don't write things for the heck of it...

  • POSTED BY Aniruddha_K on | April 11, 2011, 19:18 GMT

    I think Dhoni is only a goodish tactician....he does make intuitive bowling changes and he is lucky in that aspect.Many of the bowling changes he makes come off.But the fact is that he makes so many such out-of-the-box bowling changes that those which don't pay off aren't noticed. Also his field placements were a serious concern in the early stages of the WC.... against England for instance when Strauss was going well and the Indian bowlers were under the pump.But more so in the test matches... he is happy to play the waiting game.....he is reluctant to set aggressive fields...But his greatest attribute is his composure.As Ian Chappell said on tv,"the guy's got one helluva temperament..."No matter how tense the situation,how badly his team is going, he never ever loses his calm. @RaghuramanR- Strongly disagree..I think Dhoni is a very good keeper.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin: Does that line not apply for Imran or Steve? Would you call steve a lesser captain if Donald had run that single? Or call imran a joker if Martin Crowe was fully fit for 92 semis???

    Cricket is not a game of "if"s and "then"s mate..

  • POSTED BY Gundus11 on | April 11, 2011, 19:10 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin- Your comment reminds me of one very strange Sidhuism- "If my uncle was a female, then he would be my aunt!!!" I don't get your point. If this had happened, if that had taken place and so on is not really an argument. Its just frustration. Going by what you say, any achievement can be made to look insignificant. If and buts have no place, its the achievement that counts.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    lol nice joke made by Raghuram.dude get your facts correct dhoni averages some 48 or something in ODIsand until last year he topped the batting charts in ODI cricket.lolz and speaking of his test record he averages 40 something.So stop cut the crap that he is useless batsmen and speaking of his keeping he might not be very elegant while keeping but he hardly misses any catches or stumpings.Seriously it seems your knowledge of indian cricket is so low

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 18:00 GMT

    @RaghuramanR: What in the world makes you think that Dhoni is a "hopeless wicketkeeper"? Can you please back your comments with some statistics or facts???

    And as far batting goes you cannot term a batsman who averages nearly 49 runs per innings over 186 matches as "replaceable"!, He is an excellent captain, not afraid to take his decisions..You also cannot term a captain who has lifted the T20 World Cup, The IPL and CL trophies and the 50-50 World Cup as a non-playing captain!!...no matter how cliche'd it might sound..but FORTUNE FAVORS THE BRAVE!!

  • POSTED BY sugumarrising on | April 11, 2011, 17:26 GMT

    @RaghuramanR i will show you his stats, he is the no.1 wicketkeeper for india in odi's, he is 5th in the list of best wicketkeepers in history of odi's, he is no.2 in tests only 25 dismissals short of kirmani, he is averaging 48.78 in odi's which is the best by an indian even above srt, he is 3rd in the list of highest average in odi history, he is averaging 40.06 in tests which is a very very good average considering his position of (no.7) in test matches, he is the only player in the history of cricket any format doing 3jobs wonderfully at a time, dhoni the captain, dhoni the batsman, dhoni the wicketkeeper, no other in the history has this great talent, you are particularly critical about dhoni's wicket keeping, even great wicketkeeper gilchrist retired suddenly during the test series against india in 2008 was due to his poor keeping(4 dropped catches), some dropped catches, or missed stempings does not make dhoni a bad wicket keeper, everybody does it, so accept DHONI's GREATNESS!

  • POSTED BY rshn on | April 11, 2011, 17:08 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin: Had Inzi had a bad day in 1992 SF against Nz, Imran wouldnt have been a good captain either. Dhoni has not just brought World Cup back to India, he also have 20/20 world cup along with Number 1 in tests. He is not a flawed captain. He is a world beater, you saw how he lead the Indians to destroy Pakistan. Well that was enough! world cup was a icing on the cake....

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin; Had Pakistan not got some stroke(s) of luck in 1992, had Donald not got run out in 1999, you wouldn't have been stating Imran and Steve Waugh in your comment. I mean, cummon, you are a man believing in the non-sense of ifs and buts. A T20 world cup victory, number 1 test match ranking, IPL championship, champions league victory, besides the 50 over World Cup victory, are not enough for you. You are being a self-assumed arm-chair critic. I agree with Chappel btw, Dhoni has been a brilliant captain. He may have been lucky to find different heroes in different situations, but its only due to his capablity to bring out the heroes in common men.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 15:36 GMT

    Typical Ian Chappell: Not one mention in the whole article of the brilliant Gary Kirsten who played such a vital part, together with Dhoni, in finally making this talented Indian team sparkle like it deserves to! Is Ian upset that his littel brother was incapable of doing that job when he had his chance, or are there still deep scars from 1970 when SA spoiled his post-Indian triumph celebrations?

  • POSTED BY Shan_Karthic on | April 11, 2011, 15:29 GMT

    zahid, if Gibbs had held on to that catch in super six, Steve would not have started his reign the way he did. If Inzy had had a off-day against NZ, Imran's cornered tigers would have been whimpering cats. As you have said, there is a very thin line between a loss and a win and that depends a lot upon many other factors than captaincy. That is true for every captain and every team. Look at Ponting and his two halves of captaincy period.

  • POSTED BY CaughtAndBowled on | April 11, 2011, 15:24 GMT

    Zahidsaltin, just give credit where it is due. Dhoni is not even 30 years old and won two world cups and India is world no.1 test team! In my eyes that is a great achievement! Now tell me what Steve and Imran achieved something which Dhoni hasn'?

  • POSTED BY inswing on | April 11, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    Dhoni is an average captain - not terrible but not great either. Same is true for Ponting. Every captain looks good when you have very talented players who are in form. Dhoni's calm appearance is the main strength, otherwise his field placements and bowling changes are very ordinary. But as usual, captains get too much credit and too much blame for team's performance.

  • POSTED BY PClementLloyd on | April 11, 2011, 14:45 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin - ok. Then, Whats ur point?

  • POSTED BY sirkar on | April 11, 2011, 14:28 GMT

    every captain makes a mistake and dhoni made a few. since he won allmost all games, he was not questioned. very defensive. dhoni is a moderate captain.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Bowling in cricket in the last three years or so has been a really seious issue! Not one team in the world has a bowling attack that can be rated as even 50% of a truly creditable world class attack! It is so poor that Daniel Vetorri, Harbhijan Singh and others batting at Nos. 8 and 9 look like No.3 batsmen. They score tons at will. Not only is the bowling department way below world class level, there is no world class batsman on the horizon. Hence, Tendulkar, Pontin and Kallis at their ripe age still stand out because there is no bowling or up-and-coming batting star to challenge them. Hence, any team that made the most runs was always going to win the world cup,which India did. In fact, there was no great matches great encounters in the world cup as we experienced in previous world cups, due to the host of mediocre players and teams that were involved. Many of the matches were interesting because all fourteen teams were almost at the same mediocre level as seen in most of the results

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | April 11, 2011, 14:15 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin. i want to reply to you. thank goodness that comments are not closed yet. i think you are still living in the imran era, things have changed drastically since then. the differences are - imran was already an eligible captain by means of qualities and qualifications before he was made a captain. steve waugh had a fantastic bunch with him already who were world beaters. luk at msd, and luk at our team. sometimes u could see more weakness, injuries and flaws than anything else but u luk at our one day and test records..check our track record and speak up before you end up with your own shameless conclusions (dont abuse the web space like this). also, one more thing - that distance between the win and loss didnt seem to be that thin like you mentioned. u watch the recording/ highlights and u will be able to see a very thick line than u imagined.

  • POSTED BY ParekhHitz on | April 11, 2011, 14:13 GMT

    @gilly007: Thr is no need to get SRT here... He is not even mentioned in this article... And more over, even during his leanest of patch which u r referring to which is 2004-06, he averaged around 38 with 4 centuries and 17 half centuries in ODI's, which is just wat an average player does... Also, do not discount the fact that there were calls for Tendulkar's retirement by all the so called cric pundits... So its the same no matter who it is, whether SRT or Ponting.... Grow up dude... Stop being regionally biased... A great player is always a great player...

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 13:48 GMT

    @Zahidsaltin

    Ranatunga and Imran Khan's sides had also come very close to losing when they were captaining their respective sides in the WCs. Had they lost....they wouldn't have been considered great captains either! Imran, Ranatunga & Dhoni are all destiny's children. Destiny chose them to lead their respective sides to glory. All these 3 captains are/were gifted in their own way. All three are lucky but as the saying goes "Fortune favours the brave". These guys have taken many bold decisions while rest of the captains were not courageous enuf. And fortunately, results turned in their favour. So, it is unfair to Dhoni to be called "just a lucky captain".

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | April 11, 2011, 13:45 GMT

    Ian's modus operandi: Exaggerate the negative and do not give credit where it's due. He disingenuously says Dhoni "conjured up a WC victory with a moderate attack." How absurd! He spins half-baked theories about "bowlers win matches" and "poor coaching or lazy batting" is attributable to "batsmen whose footwork is inadequate against spin bowling." What lazy analysis by a spin doctor! Ian, just ask Tendulkar, Dhoni and Gary Kirsten what it really takes to build and sustain a championship team! Ask Sehwag (hailed as "destroyer" by Ian) about his footwork! Ian's concept of No. 1 is mostly about "one really strong (side) bullying a string of moderate teams." He boasts of how the "previous 3 WC finals were dominated by Australia." Note his choice of words like "dominate" and "bullying." That's paranoia! Is Ian the poster boy for all that's wrong with Australian cricket? That's sad. Australia deserves better with its great heritage of this grand sport. Ian, your time is up! Go fishing!!

  • POSTED BY jay57870 on | April 11, 2011, 13:30 GMT

    Ian Chappell is in his usual state of perpetual denial: He spins selective happenings and avoids the larger truth! Yes, Dhoni is India's best captain in modern times. But Chappell, ever the shifty dodger, is disingenuous more by what/who he OMITS than by what/who he ordains as GREAT. He's afflicted with selective amnesia or, worse still, pathological insomnia. We all know how much grief he suffers daily from nightmarish visions of a demi-god called SACHIN TENDULKAR. Not a word about the world's greatest batsman. Surprised? No, because Ian is the master craftsman of perverse mirror games: Mirror, Mirror-On-The-Wall (haunted by Sachin's face!) and the Rear-View Mirror (horrified by the Aussie cricket juggernaut's dismantling!). Look at Ian's left-handed compliment for the 2011 WC as "such a fascinating tournament: all the teams were flawed." He insinuates that India is not a No. 1-ranked team like Australia and WI, because they "do not have a dominant bowling attack." How hypocritical!

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | April 11, 2011, 11:26 GMT

    Had pakistanies held on to some of the catches, or if Nera had one of the off days in semifinal, Dhoni was gonna thrown bricks on. He is no dobt a good captain but don't make him look like Steve Waugh or Imran only because India won the WC. There is a very thin line between a loss and a win and that depends a lot upon many other factors than captaincy.

  • POSTED BY shwet14 on | April 11, 2011, 11:17 GMT

    Dhoni certainly has that X factor which separates "Good"captains from "Great " captains. They have the "nous" to identify the critical moment in the match and take a decision , which more often than not gets the desired result. A case in point is the IPL final last year against Mumbai Indians. Pollard was threatening to snatch a victory against all odds. Dhoni put a straightish Mid-off- Hayden for Albie Morkel and lo behold, Pollard hit a fearcefull drive straight into Hados's hands. Match won which he could have lost. Similar such incident which comes to mind is bowling Sehwag against Ponting in Delhi test in 2008-09. Ponting was set for a ton, but Viru bowled him neck& crop with a lovely off spinner.. India went on to win that game. On a side note, It would an interesting exercise to compare the World Cup winning teams over the years...

  • POSTED BY RaghuramanR on | April 11, 2011, 11:13 GMT

    1st things 1st. Limited overs cricket is won by batsmen, NOT bowlers. No wonder India or Sri Lanka won the World Cups (not surprisingly in 'sub-continent') with mediocre bowling attack. Infact it is the strategy that has been 'crystallized' under Ganguly itself in 2003 when Dravid was accommodated in the team only because he could double up a wicket-keeper. Wicket-keeping has been compromised whether Ian says it or not. Dhoni is a hopeless wicket keeper. It is little surprising that nobody expressed surprise at India winning T-20 World Cup or 50-overs World Cup, but everyone is SHOCKED to see that India is World #1 in TESTS. Dhoni is a pathetic wicket keeper. Period. I would go to say that he does not merit a place in the side because he can be a 'non-playing captain' like we have in Davis Cup for tennis. His batting is very much 'replaceable' and his wicket-keeping is very much ordinary. So when he does not merit a place in team, how can he be captain, forget 'best', Ian?

  • POSTED BY tompuffin on | April 11, 2011, 10:49 GMT

    Bowlers win you matches

    Batters make sure you don't lose them

    Simple as that.

    You could have the best bowling attack in the world, but if your batting lineup crumble for 98 in a test match, than its not really gonna work is it?

    On the other hand, India has such as strong batting line up at the moment, as it always has had, that you basically need to take down 6 world class batsman before you can pierce the tail, and even then you'll still have problems as NZ found out with laxman and harbajan in the India tour.

    So dhoni could set crap fields, go out for a duck, drop 6 catches and India can still draw because of their batsman.

    However, admittedly he has done well in cleaning up his image and being a good role model for society, which deserves attention.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 9:51 GMT

    @gilly007 I agree with Ian but I beg to differ on your comment that SRT had a lean patch of 2-3 years.There was never an extended period in his career when he was not doing well. Both his lean patches (during 2003 and 2006) in Tests added up to only 9 and 12 innings respectively. But in 2003 he was scoring big in ODIs and averaged 57 with a strike rate of over 87

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 7:55 GMT

    nice chappeli its good starting appreciating asian players

  • POSTED BY gilly007 on | April 11, 2011, 7:17 GMT

    Come on Guys. What Chappell said in the article was true. SRT was going through a lean patch for about 2 or 3 years. It was painfull to watch....... But Indians always support SRT no matter what. Others dont get nearly enough support. Look at ponting's case. Not performing for a few months and they want him dropped. Or even Yuvi. Not performing for a few series and gets dropped on the Contract Grade. Fact is Chappell was right. If you support a player for 3 years then he will come good at the end........

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 6:59 GMT

    Dhoni's defiinitely not a perfect captain. He's made some decisions that have really pissed me off such as not taking Ashwin for most of the tournament or bringing himself and Pathan up the order unnecessarily. But, it works because he has such a cool head.

    Earlier, under a captain like Ganguly (who was definitely great as well), egos reined on the Indian team. We never quite found that winning mentality and there were occasions where the best amongst us would switch off. However, under Dhoni we're a lot calmer and fight in a way that we win or at least don't get destroyed by our opponents.

  • POSTED BY Umair_umair on | April 11, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Hi Guys, thanks for sharing Mr. Chappell's 4 year old article named "Look into that mirror, Sachin"。Chappel should bite the dust then. Let me share one more incident with you. It was a match between srilanka and India in India. Dhoni was making batting inroads then and fighting for the keeper's spot. After the innings break or match, Sajnay manjreker was talking to Javagal Srinath and Ian Chappell. He threw one question, "Is Dhoni the right answer to India's wicket keeping questions?" Chappel Replied, "Well,,, No",,followed with his bla bla remarks and reasons. Then Manjreker turned to Srinath and repeated the same questions. Srinath said catagorically, "Well, Yes, I think Dhoni IS the answer to India's wicket keeping problems". Now you all judge the wisdom. Wish we start promoting our Asian experts and former players and turst them, instead of Highly rated and hyped chappel's Tonis and Boycotts.

  • POSTED BY Muyeen on | April 11, 2011, 6:18 GMT

    I agree with @gerardpereira20 bout Dhoni being negative in New Zealand and South Africa series. But that could come from the fact that Indians haven't won too many series abroad and when the series is on level or India ahead,Dhoni (for that matter other captains as well - like for instance Dravid in England) play safe. There is all this hung-ho about Dhoni now because he won the world cup;if he hadn't he wud've been criticized for same decisions. I dont mind he taking baffling decisions as long as we win!!!

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 6:12 GMT

    lol dashgar show them up.The only thing you might finding to show up is the weak australian bowling and their brittle batting.Remember India on their last two tours of australa did reasonably well and that was the time when australia was on the top.I am talking about 2003 and 2007 when both times india toured we did reasonably welll.You guys showed up in Perth claiming to blast indians off with raw pace it showed up really with australia losing lolz.Funny comments isnt it

  • POSTED BY jrm1186 on | April 11, 2011, 5:55 GMT

    Best Captains of all times: Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan, Hensie Cronje, Ranatunga, Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni!!

    Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh were pretty good too but I think these were the best.

  • POSTED BY jrm1186 on | April 11, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    Every captain is different and Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the best captains of all time for sure!!! Kapil Dev's team wasn't even expected to make it to the semis but they won the world cup!!! Kapil's team didn't have big names like Tendulkar, Sehwag or Dhoni but they still made it and the team they had beaten is still considered as one of the strongest world cup XIs. India this year were favorites to win the cup but in 1983, they were not a strong team and still won the cup. So, I think Kapil Dev has been a much better captain than any other Indian captain. Beating the XI having Greenidge, Haynes, Richards, Lloyd, Marshall, Garner and Holding is not a joke.

  • POSTED BY jrm1186 on | April 11, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    @Dashgar, India have played on your pitches and they won the last one day series in Australia!!!! And that was under the same captain MS Dhoni!!! Australis's days are gone now, all the good asian teams Ind, Pak and SL can beat oz in oz any day!!!! India and Sri Lanka have done that recently!!!

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 4:22 GMT

    How do yu seperate a great captain from an ordinary one. There are no ready repeatable yardsticks.Admiitedly India''s batting line up has not deteriorated and has been fairly consistent for a long period which has contributed a lot to India's status now.To herd these senior players and motivate the thin bowling attack to perform and reach beyond themselves is quite unique feat. He has has a Zen like demeanour and does not get easily ruffled by situations is in itself a great quality in these days of high pressure cricket. Somebody commented on luck as the main factor for his success. Well you cannot attribute just luck for his successes for the last four years. iF

  • POSTED BY CandidIndian on | April 11, 2011, 4:08 GMT

    Ian is correct , Dhoni is certainly in league of great captains like Imran and Ranatunga,I dont agree at all with some of the people who are calling Dhoni as lucky captain .Under his leadership India won CB series in Aus and dont forget Aus were with Gilly and Hayden that time, he has won Asia cup, t20 world cup.Also under his leadership India has done well in SA where they always struggled.Above all he won a world cup.If people think all this is due to luck then i pity the cricketing knowledge of such people.There is no ifs and buts in cricket , if Pakistan had taken those catches, if SA didnt choke, if Srilanka would have batted second in final,who cares ? history will speak that India won world cup 2011 under excellent captain ship of Dhoni and thats it.Pakistan choked under pressure and dropped the catches,Srilanka made lot of tactical errors where is the luck in this? you are expected to take catches under pressure and not to make tactical errors international cricket.

  • POSTED BY Dashgar on | April 11, 2011, 3:56 GMT

    Can't wait till India tour Australia next. On our pitches we'll show them up. Imagine Munaf Patel or Ashish Nehra trying to bowl at Adelaide.

  • POSTED BY on | April 11, 2011, 3:53 GMT

    I think credit should also goto Saurav Ganguly. He was the one that brought youngsters to the team and groomed them and made Indian position strong in world cricket. Dhoni (although is a great leader) is following ganguly's footsteps.

  • POSTED BY Peter_Walters on | April 11, 2011, 3:52 GMT

    I don't think Dhoni is a great captain. He is only a street_smart good captain. He is not an attacking captain like Imran, Kapil, or Ranatunga. He is not out to take wickets. He tries to win by applying run pressure. He let Strauss, Ponting, and Jayawardana score easy fifties by spreading the field early on, that got converted to centuries. Nothing to take away from these centurions. But, Dhoni is scared to attack. So folks, do not get carried away. I like to see him winning by miles and not marginally. Also, he is not gracious in victory or defeat. He never compliments the opponents after the match.

  • POSTED BY JKate on | April 11, 2011, 2:52 GMT

    I agree with the 10 team format for the world cup but the qualifying process should have been -

    1) Test playing nations - 5-6 teams qualify based on their ICC one-day rankings as of a certain pre-decided cut-off date.

    2) Rest (remaining test teams + associate nations) play a qualifying tournamet to fill in the rest of the 4-5 slots for the world cup.

    This would have been a much fairer process and provided opptys to every team.

  • POSTED BY BillyCC on | April 11, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    I'm not convinced that Dhoni is a great captain, but he may well get there. He has been doing great things and has a great and appropriate quality in this era, which is patience. He knows he does not always have the resources to win, so tactically, he has shone above his peers. A lot of the posts have been saying he is lucky, but in captaincy, you make your own luck and he deserves these triumphs.

  • POSTED BY gerardpereira20 on | April 11, 2011, 0:19 GMT

    Rather than being a great captain I think Dhoni is a lucky captain although his courage and temperament under pressure are not in question. Dhoni made some serious mistakes during the tournament but was lucky to get away with them (Picking Nehra instead of Ashwin against Pakistan and Sreeshant instead of Ashwin in the final were serious selection errors). Again the fiasco of the toss in the final actually helped India, If Sanga had fielded instead off batting it could have been a different story. I think Dhoni for all the hype is a defensive captain, more reactive than proactive. Going back to the New Zealand series in New Zealand one could not understand why he continued to bat when he had over 450 runs on the board ultimetly costing India victory. He also let South Africa off the hook in the last test of the series missing the opportunity of registering India's first series victory in that country.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 23:59 GMT

    I am happy that some of the comments above give a balanced view. A winning Captain is not necessarily a good captain. However congratulations to MS and the Indian Team. When making comments and observations one must try to be objective and dispassionate. Although, I am a Sri Lankan, I feel that Sanga's captaincy leaves much to desired. There was a lot wrong with SL in the final. The selection of the team was inexplicable. the fielding abysmal, the bowling very ordinary. The saving grace was Mahela's century. It was one of the best WC final centuries. He did not deserve to be in the losing side. The others let him down. Cricket like life isn't necessarily fair. But it's a great game let's enjoy it, warts and all.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | April 10, 2011, 23:44 GMT

    In many ways Dhoni finished what Ganguly started. And even better, he put pay to that idea that keepers can't be good captains. Good on you!

  • POSTED BY abbose on | April 10, 2011, 23:05 GMT

    Chappell makes a big deal about footwork.....look at Virender Sehwag....he stands and delivers and challenges all those romantic copy-book dictums of how to play spinners.

  • POSTED BY kriskini on | April 10, 2011, 23:04 GMT

    I donot agree that pakistan would have won had they taken sachins catches. This is wrong. Lets asssume sachins first catch was taken and India 75-2. The whole scenarios would have been different. Yuvi would have come at a different time and how do you know he would have faced the same ball and would have been bowled. He is a capable of scoring a match winning innings. India would have scored less than 200 or more than 260. Its unpredictable.

  • POSTED BY Januka on | April 10, 2011, 21:57 GMT

    I am an ardent fan of Kumar Sangakkara for his leadership skills. Unfortunately, he does not seem to posses the sharp tactical approach that MS seems to apply in the game. I have watched MS for a long time and my first recollection of him being a very thoughtful captain goes back to the T20 world cup that they won. I think that tournament has transformed MS from an aggressive, never-getting out batsman to an unstoppable sharp tactician. Ian is spot on when it comes to comparing MS with Arjuna, a cool-headed phenomenal reader of the game. Many narrow-minded people will complain about MS's wrong decisions. However, in the end, what matters is the results that captains produce. In that sense, undoubtedly MS is the best captain around hands down!

  • POSTED BY Pradyot on | April 10, 2011, 21:13 GMT

    @Mir Ishfaq - If Dhoni's job was made easy because of great batting line up then Ponting's in last 2 world cup was made easy because of mcgrath, gillespie, warne & lee. If you go by that thinking then Australia didn't even need a coach, u cud've coached them and they would've still won the cup

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | April 10, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    @Start62: Here's another possibility - If Ghana had a cricket team and they had 11 great players in form and they didn't choke in big games, made it to the final and took all the catches offered by the Indians and batted and bowled brilliantly, India would have never won the world cup! Face it my friend - INDIA ARE THE CHAMPIONS, whether you like it.

  • POSTED BY Optimistix on | April 10, 2011, 20:14 GMT

    The last three WCs were not dominated by Aus - the last two were. In 1999, they fought back from the verge of being knocked out, reeling off 7 undefeated matches (not wins, as one was a tie) to emerge eventual winners.

    But they started very badly, and were on the brink of elimination - it is revisionist to say that they dominated the 1999 WC.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 20:00 GMT

    It is a great pleasure to hear Inn Chapell speak. However I wanted Inn to also point out some of the mistakes Dhoni committed as a captain and luckily escaped its consequences For example he read the pitch wrongly at Mohali against Pakistan but luckily still won,again giving last over to Nehra against South Africa cost him the match but luckily it did not matter as it was earlier round.

    Again Dhoni had no clue and no plan to get Straus out against England match ,he won't change bowling and bring in part time bowlers like Tendulkar or kohli Also Inn did not expose the poor standard of umpiring in the tournament without udr I think result of tournament could have been different

    Again Inn was bit too harsh on Ponting who was not that bad as all made out of him.For one day games I still consider Ponting to be better than Dhoni as a captain

  • POSTED BY hulk777 on | April 10, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    i think 2011 is the best format. But instead of 14 teams, it could be 12 teams with 4 teams selected from a competition with minnows. If India/Pak/SL were performing badly and they are ranked below 8 and needed to compete with minnows to Qualify, so be it. How many times we have seen a BIG team not able to qualify for a soccer worldcup. Even in soccer worldcup we can see one sided matches. Because that game is shorter, we dont realise it. Only way a minnow can improve is by playing with slighly better team consistently. Its a learning curve, you cant expect a 14th ranked team o beat 1st. But 14th can beat 12th, 12th can beat 10th, 10th can be 8th. So it is a gradual progress. ICC should find a way how this 14th ranked team play frequently with 10th-13th ranked ones. They should have a tier system, where every year, teams from one tier should play 2 series with 2 higher tier teams, 2 series from 2 same tier and 2 series from 2 lower tier. By this way its a competion between equals.

  • POSTED BY KANDURI on | April 10, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    YES, Mr. Ian Chappel is correctly said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's is polished pe skipper, No other captain has brought India into top three formats. because of Dhoni's leadership india got into the top. Is there any doubt?, also siad that Dhoni " has shown he's not only the best leader in the game but also one of the finest of the last 30 years. His performance ranks him with the other top-class leaders of the period: Imran Khan, Mark Taylor and Arjuna Ranatunga."

    Every one in the entire world is praising him because of his leadership forget about about in batting. Even in political field, being a illirate, Mr. Kamaraj Nadar was in the top of indian politics.

    Leadership is most important in any field. All critics should not of it.

  • POSTED BY AsherCA on | April 10, 2011, 19:46 GMT

    I do not understand this comment about the Indian bowling being weak. We have Zak, arguably the best opening bowler in the game, also capable of better reverse swing than almost all contemporaries. Bhajji is also a known master... and Yuvi has got wickets ! How many sides in the world have more than 3 wicket taking bowlers ? Remember - the success of the Indian bowling is not on account of, but in spite of the fielding support they have. Lee / Tait & Steyn / Morkel have fantastic fielding helping them to build pressure. Yui, Munaf, Nehra, Zak & Bhajji have lousy fielding that more often than not releases the pressure they create on opposition batting. Yes - Zak does not terrorize opposition batting like Lee / Steyn / Morkel do, but he still gets them out .... and according to me, that's what counts. I don't think any bowler carse how comfortable a batsman feels facing his ball, if the end result is the batsman getting out !

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 19:36 GMT

    I have a simple suggestion for improving the 2015 WC without affecting the number of teams or matches: Play a plate tournament with the lowest two ranked test playing nations (let's say BD and Zim), and the top two associates (however the ICC wants to decide the top two associates is acceptable). The winners and runners of that tournament, progress to the WC.

    Ireland will have no grounds for complaint.

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | April 10, 2011, 19:29 GMT

    Seriously ZIM and BANG do not deserve automatic enty and IRELAND does not deserve a cold shoulder. Solution is to have a good series between these sides along with some strong associate sides like the Dutch, Afgans etc. This is a must. Else its congrats to India for winning the last real world cup of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 19:06 GMT

    Mediocre article. You're appreciating things for the sake of it, try not to make it a bit too obvious pal.

  • POSTED BY NP_NY on | April 10, 2011, 19:02 GMT

    "Currently neither Bangladesh nor Zimbabwe deserve automatic entry". I am glad you said it Ian. Because if I said it, some Bangladeshi fan will question my motive and ask me "are you still angry that Bangladesh beat India in 2007?". And for people who feel that Dhoni wasn't tested enough in this world cup, maybe you'll want him to play blind-folded in the next world cup! It's hilarious to see people argue that India won only because other teams weren't good enough. Isn't that how ANY team wins a world cup?!

  • POSTED BY Natesan333 on | April 10, 2011, 18:32 GMT

    @Stark62 sorry pal shouldn't play this ifs and buts game. In that case SA would have lost to India IF Nehra would have bowled better at the last over. BTW the dropped catches by Pakistan is off of a single player, and you saw in the final that India still won with out him or Sewag.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Without doubt dhoni is one of the best captains in recent history. His biggest quality is he believes so the rest believe.

  • POSTED BY Venugopala on | April 10, 2011, 17:29 GMT

    @Stark62,

    Finals with Srilanka...India might won anyways whatever the bowler they bring...Even, Murali didnt get a wicket...

    In Pak Match,....Pak bowling was superb and the "IF" factor is not allowed in any case; like if they held the catches, they might have won...this cant be acceptable. it is pak mistake (I can even tell, if Sehwag is not out....the score would be 330+ without any doubt and Pak would never chase that)... The same apply to SA as they dont have the ability to withstand the pressure in any big tournoment (even they lost to England with a very low score in the tournament). In the match between Ind and SA (the only match Ind lose), the death over score rate was less in Indian innigs and even though they plugged the scoring rate of SA, they cannot win due to Nehra:s last over...These kind of things are mistakes from the Indian side and they have to pay for it (Ind Lost)...

    Considering all those, IND is the best team and Dhoni is the better captain without doubt.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 17:22 GMT

    There he come promoting 2015 cup for Australia. The timeline for 2011 was apt as far as number of teams, format, countries which hosted the cup, money involved & cricket lovers are concern. Its ICC's decision to have a top running tournament after 2007 financial fiasco. Other point I'd like to mentions is having a shorter format & no surprise factor (associate cricket teams) in a tour will make it a dead goose story.

  • POSTED BY maddy20 on | April 10, 2011, 16:50 GMT

    @Manik SL was scared that the strong Indian batting line-up will massacre the spinners and had gone for an extra seamer. If not for Kulasekara and Perera, SL would have got to 225 at most. India would have won either ways. I love the fact that the SriLankans are not able to digest that their heavily over-hyped team was beaten handsomely by a team they were expected to steamroll!

  • POSTED BY S.S.Sagar on | April 10, 2011, 16:40 GMT

    Of Course, Dhoni Is The Best In These Days. Yes, He's Gonna Be A Legend. (I Think He Is Already!) And About Associates, Zim Should Be Replaced By Ireland.

  • POSTED BY rohitkossery on | April 10, 2011, 16:28 GMT

    For all critics of Dhoni who believe he isnt a great captain or is untested, please consider the fact that he has only been at the helm for less than 4 years. In this time he led a depleted Indian team to victory in the first ever T20 World Cup, took Australia on in Australia, took India to number 1 test ranking, won the asia cup, and won the world cup. All of this with the expectation of a billion cricket-crazy behind him, who can turn on him at a moment's notice. No other captain has to shoulder such a burden. Only the Pakistan captain comes close.

    His international captaincy aside, Dhoni captained the Chennai Super Kings into 3 consecutive semi-finals, an IPL title and a champions Trophy title. All without a star-studded line-up, sometimes against superior opponents like Mumbai Indians or Delhi Daredevils.

    In less than 4 years he has transformed Indian cricket and has won almost every title worth holding. If that isn't greatness, what is?

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 16:19 GMT

    Agree with you sir. Sooner rather than later, Dhoni will be widely regarded as one the greatest captains ever, up there with Frank Worrell, Benaud, Chappelli sir & co..

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 16:02 GMT

    The 2015 World Cup won't be shorter, since it is a Round Robin involving 10 teams, and would go through 48 matches. Further, if Zimbabwe, Bangaldesh and West Indies do not drastically improve their standards by then, we are still going to have about 24 "boring" matches, which is comparable to what we had this time. But then, we know that ICC has no common sense, so I suppose we cannot complain about them making the issue worse.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 15:38 GMT

    A very lucidly written piece. We should really balance the need to popularize cricket among the non-playing nations, with a desire to shorten the duration of the world cup. Surely a qualifying round among the minnows will satisfy all.

  • POSTED BY fanfromcanada on | April 10, 2011, 15:35 GMT

    Completely shutting out Associates is not the best thing for the game. As someone suggested, the last two full members and top four associates should play a knock-out tournament and the two best out of the six qualify for the WC. Also, full members should hold bilateral series (1 first class, 3 ODIs, 1 T20) between their A teams to Associates on a regular basis (eg. two Associate series per year - one home and one away) that will help the Associates' players experience top class cricket in different formats against good opponents. The end goal is to be able to have top class competitive cricket in the WC, and only the best teams should be able to participate in it. Lastly, a performance metric and a development plan should be given to all Associate countries for their eventual elevation to full ICC member status (eg. win 70% games against other associates, and 40% against A teams for a promotion)

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 15:26 GMT

    There he come promoting 2015 cup for Australia. The timeline for 2011 was apt as far as number of teams, format, countries which hosted the cup, money involved & cricket lovers are concern. Its ICC's decision to have a top running tournament after 2007 financial fiasco. Other point I'd like to mentions is having a shorter format & no surprise factor (associate cricket teams) in a tour will make it a dead goose story.

  • POSTED BY Stark62 on | April 10, 2011, 15:25 GMT

    He is indeed a brilliant captain!

    But, Ind would have never won the WC if, Pak had held their catches and if, SA had gotten into the final.

    People, may not this realise but SL rely heavily on their spin bowlers rather, then their pace attack. They have always had one world class seam bowler but nobody backing him up hence, why they lost in the final but SA would have won the trophy (if they didn't choke) or Pak (if they had held their catches).

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 15:10 GMT

    Having a qualifier for the last 2 or 4 spots is very welcome; however requiring the last placed teams from the previous world cup to play the qualifiers would be incorrect. If that's the case, India and Pakistan would have been playing the 2011 qualifiers and if by accident, they had lost to Ireland, they would have been out of the world cup.. that doesn't make sense as these teams performed great in 2011. There could be a system (like D/L) which gives weightage to allthe previous world cup performances; with the weights decreasing exponentially. So Pakistan having won the 1992 WCs, would have some weightage, but maybe not as much as Sri Lanka who won in 1996. We then force the bottom 2 to play qualifiers. (In finance, professionals use a similar method to compute volatility.. GARCH)

  • POSTED BY Horn.OK.Please on | April 10, 2011, 15:06 GMT

    @Rahul Shanbhogue...Well, thanks for the link. It's fascinating to see so many commenters having backed him even when Sachin was at the worst phase of his career. For others who backed Chappel in his call for retirement, well don't you find their ilk on a daily basis. Just that they have either muted or stayed away from commenting in the past two years...

  • POSTED BY deegowd on | April 10, 2011, 14:57 GMT

    I still believe that associates dilute the quality of cricket in the WC, maybe barring Ireland to an extent. Ireland were fantastic, but look at the results (minus the KOB innings against England which single-handedly turned the match), they were not even able to beat Bangla. They might be better units when playing T20. However, if ICC is really serious about spreading the game, then it should incentivize touring the associate nations, for the test teams. I'd think it is not a bad idea for the ICC to mandate that the top-6 ranked ODI teams should tour atleast 2 of the top-4 associate nations between world-cups, in such a manner that the top-4 associates have atleast 1 tour every year with a top team.

  • POSTED BY Silloh on | April 10, 2011, 14:42 GMT

    Captain Dhoni is the current best effective cricket captain. As a spectator, I have never seen his negative emotions transcend to his players. Even in the face of adversity, he seem to have the tremendous ability to rally his entire team to convert mistakes on the field of play into opportunities. No one seemingly is left behind.

  • POSTED BY nths on | April 10, 2011, 14:26 GMT

    Indeed, a brilliant article.A point to note with regards to West Indies,i totally agree with Ian Chappel,West Indies should be part of the minnows.Also,India have one of the weakest bowling attacks in the world,how they won the world cup is really remarkable.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 14:25 GMT

    What makes this article meritorious is the fact that it was written by none other than Ian Chappell himself :-)

  • POSTED BY Hindh on | April 10, 2011, 14:17 GMT

    Dhoni is the best current captain simply because he has won the world cup with a set of limited skilled but highly hard working bowlers. he has made them become winners on the field by his sheer presence. Hats off to u dhoni India has achieved this greatness because of u. and when he said "I wouldnt mind repeating all the wins", there was a champion... Chak de india.....

  • POSTED BY Aussasinator on | April 10, 2011, 14:08 GMT

    Good piece. I fully agree with Ian that Dhoni is among the greatest captains of all time along with Imran, Mark Taylor & Arjuna Ranatunga. I had spoken about Taylor & Ranatunga in many of my contributions before in this context and maybe we can add Mike Brearley also to the list to make the 5 best captains of all time.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 13:54 GMT

    Its a shame that we Indian fans have such short memory. Everybody is singing Ian's tunes becoz he is praising MSD. There are also some guys here who are taking pot shots at Ian for writing the infamous article on Sachin retiring 4 yrs ago. However, I'd like to remind those very fans of Sachin to please check the "comments" that were passed on that article. More than 70 percent of Sachin's so called fans had agreed to Chappell's comments and wanted Sachin to retire. If you don't believe me, please check this link: http://blogs.espncricinfo.com/cricinfoselect/archives/2007/03/look_into_that_mirror_sachin.php Tomorrow, if Dhoni's leadership starts to fall, these very fans will call for his head. Our love for our stars has always been fickle and superficial! Shame on Indian fans.

  • POSTED BY KP_84 on | April 10, 2011, 13:46 GMT

    You could probably add New Zealand to that list of teams that do not deserve automatic entry into World Cups (I'm sure South Africa would have found a way to lose to West Indies in the quarter final as well - NZL reaching the final four was a fluke). Based on this tournament, Ireland and Nederlands deserve the chance to play against the top teams once in a while. The reality is, they don't want to risk Bangladesh not qualifying because of the large TV audience they bring, and secondly, ZIM has a special relationship with the BCCI. Hope they at least play two groups of five rather than a ten team round robin - that'll mean the tournament's nearly as long as the 2011 version (of which the first round went on for one week long to sustain my interest).

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 13:17 GMT

    excluding the associate nations is a joke, it should be renamed to test nation cup rather than a wc...i think the test nations should push for them to be included including my own country pakistna and india and srilanka cz these three countries have apparantly have a lot of say in matters in the icc (more india than anyone else)

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    This was a brilliant article, but to my disapointment it was written by Ian Chappell. A bit of a spoil :P

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 11:15 GMT

    yes,,absoluteliiii.......all agreessss n hv to agreeeeee......

  • POSTED BY bala-chala on | April 10, 2011, 11:10 GMT

    clear, concise and to the point. I just love Chappeli's cooments be it on air or in print

  • POSTED BY SrikanthReddi on | April 10, 2011, 10:56 GMT

    The same Mirror man will slam Dhoni once he under performs. What do you have to do with Indian cricket? Guru Chappell has ruined the Indian cricket asking bowlers to bowl 120 KMPH, juggling batsmen all around, affecting the captaincy of the WALL. Better you both brothers stay off the Indian affairs. Good or bad we will face it ourselves. BTW what does your mirror tell you..not to retire yet. Thank you Cricinfo

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | April 10, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    People will hate me for this. In a few years time, Dhoni will become a greater legend than Tendulkar.

  • POSTED BY CricketPissek on | April 10, 2011, 10:52 GMT

    Dhoni is someone you have to (at least reluctantly) admire. His captaincy CV reads as

    Current Positions Held ==============

    World Cup Winners - India #1 Ranked Test Team - India Asia Cup Winners - India Indian Premier League Winners - Chennai Champions League Winner - Chennai

    Previous Position ===========

    2007 World Twenty20 Champtions - India

  • POSTED BY sugumarrising on | April 10, 2011, 10:46 GMT

    @Manik De Silva Wijeyeratne "dhoni hasn't been tested " the joke of 2011, how many times you guys are getting beaten by us but still you are telling dhoni hasn't been tested, in 5 ODI series in srilanka against srilanka india have won 4 series (including ASIA CUP) one Stats which i read sad that no team has ever beaten srilanka in srilanka in ODI's as we did, Check stats from 2008 to 2011 we have won 19 and lost 13 ODI's, Cricket in your country is going towards a bad phase first see your back afterwards you can question INDIA, Do you know dhoni has achieved lots of records in his tenure as captain, but the one record of him which will be difficult to be broken is Dhoni is the only captain to have won all the championships in all forms of the game, T20 world cup, No.1 ranking in test cricket (till now one & half years as leaders), "THE CUP THAT COUNTS" the biggest prize ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP )50 overs, srilanka has managed to win only 50 overs, So first achieve them afterwards speak!

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 10:38 GMT

    without a shadow of doubt dhoni is by far the best captain (leader)in the world today .his ability to have faith in his players and himself when everyone seems to be questioning his tactics is his greatest quality..hail dhoni !!!!!1

  • POSTED BY rohitkossery on | April 10, 2011, 10:37 GMT

    Well written article Ian. I agree that while the decision to play on 10 teams is welcome, it should not be an automatic appointment. Perhaps the top 6 test playing nations can qualify automatically while the other 4 places are contested for. Associate nations should be given a chance to enter the tournament, in order for cricket to flourish as a competitive sport there. I believe teams like Canada and Ireland can improve in the future given more chances. I hope ICC reviews its decision and base its decisions in favour of the spirit of cricket.

    @varun sharma: to say a team lost the match themselves is incorrect. Teams don't throw them away. It is about holding nerve in a tense situation and beating the opposition in the battle of the mind that matches are won. Some teams showed a lot of grit out there, fighting back from positions of disadvantage to turn the tables on the opponents. Please don't take the credit of victory away from them

  • POSTED BY Cricketian on | April 10, 2011, 10:33 GMT

    Fantastic article..Chappelli is without doubt the best commentator/writer/critic on any broadcaster anywhere in the world. His analysis on the game; especially captaincy related stuff is just exemplary. Dhoni is without doubt an asute, smart, tough as nails skipper that world cricket has seen since Steve Waugh. But then, the Iceman had an outstanding bowling line-up to support him and a devastating batting top 3 as well. If a captain can actually get the best out of the likes of Munaf, Nehra,Sreesanth(who may struggle to make it to most Aussie First class teams), he should be lauded. Dhoni is just 29 and is already no 1 test team, WC winner, TW20 WC winner, IPL, ICL, VB Series and the list go on. He is knocking on legendary status. What will put him on the greatest list is making India a consistent no.1 team in years to come. Consistency - how Indian captains in the past have struggled with that!

  • POSTED BY Razor88 on | April 10, 2011, 10:25 GMT

    Manik - You should Put it this way - there was no one Good enough to Test him yet.Especially his Counter - Part Mr.Sanga :P...............Mir Ishfaq........... Come to Reality,India Won the Worldcup. And SL and Pak Lost to India and So Did Australia Who also Lost in their Own Back Yard against India.If you rem Perfectly Australia Started to fall after India's Victory (Tri series Against Aus and SL) Over Aus IN Aus.And I think India Held Their Own against SA in SA.But You'll have to wait a lil Bit We will Tour England and Australia This Year.I hope You will Shut ur mouth after than.Sheeeeeeesh If other Team Wins one Series they are a Force But when India Win's the worldcup lot of Bugs Coming to Justify their place.

  • POSTED BY carnage2 on | April 10, 2011, 10:21 GMT

    Its understandable that Sri Lankans like Manik De Silva Wijeyeratne are jealous of Dhoni, most of Sri lankans are,If there is any team which dhoni has milked time and again its Sri lanka.

    No wonder they hate Dhoni.

  • POSTED BY altaaf on | April 10, 2011, 10:14 GMT

    I have greatest respect for Dhoni, but i do not agree with Ian. Dhoni one of the best modern day captains and not in the category of great. Only three great captains according to me are Kapil Dave, Imran Khan and Arjuna Ranathunge. The reason being West Indians, England and Australia at there Fierce best, when these three captains had a very ordinary team. specially India and Srilanka at that time. Batsman were not taken serious until 96 even indian batsmen. but Could not do that, in his time it was Australia, Dhoni and India has to wait for the world cup to come to India and when rest of the teams in the world taking, a transition period with all greats retired. my Opinion.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 9:49 GMT

    Dhoni is the best and most success captain ever

  • POSTED BY ashrogue on | April 10, 2011, 9:46 GMT

    A great captain. But to mention a few as the greatest, would be blasphemy. Every team is flawed in this tournament, very true sir. This tournament exposed some strong variables in modern cricket, pressure, collapses, soft ball on a slow pitch, media brutality and fanatic Jingoism (they are here in the comments column too). Added these to the unique weaknesses that each of the teams possessed, the battle came down to those who played with calm and belief. In that department, Indians were lucky to be under the expressionless Dhoni's stare. Under him, the boys felt assurance and a sense of inevitability of the victory. Some of the other captains shown this sanguinity too, Sangakkara for example. But the other key ingredient they missed, i.e. match performers. If we take the final as example, Sangakkara could not bring a break through bowler in the second half of the chase. The likes of Malinga and Muralitharan have been made to look mundane. On the other hand, Dhoni always broke through.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    @Rahul Pandey: I think its because the list enumerates captains who won the cup with not so formidable team. Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting had a very strong team of consistently well-performing players at their disposal for winning WC.

    MS Dhoni, Imran Khan, Mark Taylor and Arjuna Ranatunga did it with above-average but cohesive teams and by using players to their full-potential. Dhoni's field setup and his decision on changing batting line-ups on the fly showed he had done his homework very well.

    I have always liked Dhoni for his character and attitude; I have more reasons to like him now :)

  • POSTED BY Munkeymomo on | April 10, 2011, 9:35 GMT

    great captain and a gentleman too. top Indian role model.

  • POSTED BY Horn.OK.Please on | April 10, 2011, 9:34 GMT

    @Chris Lee

    Very well said...For those wondering where he is coming from, check out this wonderful analysis by this expert from four years back -

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/287961.html

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 9:27 GMT

    true.... one of the greatest captains the world has ever seen ..

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 9:01 GMT

    Dhoni is cool and good captain ,but cant be compared with legends like Imran Khan or Kapil Dev....

  • POSTED BY asim900 on | April 10, 2011, 8:58 GMT

    Varun Sharma has made the best of comments for me.India were allowed by opposition mistakes in most of matches they won esp the semis..But that doesnot take the gloss out of Dhoniz captaincy.He is an astute leader and well deserve one.I strongly believe he is the soul reason that y India is at top now.He is a charismatic leader and I would love such leader to be leading Pakistan in future as well...Dhoni u r a gem.

  • POSTED BY RanjithShettyJordan on | April 10, 2011, 8:28 GMT

    @ Manik D'silva - Dhoni has been tested and still undergoing testing.He made indian team No.1 in tests and Now he will make it No.1 in ODI's.Even in the IPL ur 2 great players are not able to win their first matches.Compare them with Dhoni's performence.He affected one superlative runout and 3 stumping made 29 runns and won the match from nowhere.No need srilankans advice for our captain.Please advice sanga and mahela not to resign from their responsibilities and continue to guide young players.Please takes some guts from ganguly.After losing in the final also he faced billion people.Because of that today we are world champions.Your captains can't face 20 million.

  • POSTED BY wambling_future on | April 10, 2011, 8:11 GMT

    @Manik De Silva: Dhoni hasn't been tested? Get a life brother. India has always been a batting powerhouse. But has always been average in the other 2 aspects of the game namely bowling and fielding. With limited talent in these two department he utilized the team to their maximum potential, accepted the fact that this cannot be improved overnight and still managed to win the WC is a sign of a captain who not only knows his team very well, but accepts the short comings and get the best out of his players. This is indeed a sign of great captain. FYI: All the cricketing pundits considered Sri Lanka has the best bowling attack in those conditions.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Where is Steve Waugh in the list of great skippers?

  • POSTED BY Sowndar.mage on | April 10, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    Yes Ian u r absolutely wright,dhoni is great captian in the modern cricket everyone should accept this, the real world cup winner is dhoni,and india must be want to concentrate bowling dept now.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 7:47 GMT

    Dhoni's job was made easy by the presence of great batting line up and the extremely spinning tracks of subcontinent.2011 world cup unearthed another sour reality ie while subcontinent batsmen have to some extent adjusted to the fast and seaming tracks of Australia,SouthAfrica ,NewZealand and England,the non subcontinent players miserably failed to play spin here.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 7:14 GMT

    Dhoni deserve his place among the Imrans and Taylors :)...very rightly said...Congratzzz India and Dhoni :)

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    Credit must also be given to the spinners. Bowlers like Ashwin, Balaji Rao and Tahir made use of the conditions well.(Dunno how Afridi ended up at the top of the wicket taker's list). The pitch offered very little to the spinners. The bowlers used the slowness and the bounce in the track to their advantage. About the MS's captaincy - He is a gifted person. He has an amazing temperament and sound cricketing knowledge. The fact that he's willing to learn after committing a mistake is a clear indicator of his approach to the game.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I am sure the Indian team has already unearthed replacements for the greats who might retire in the next year. Pujara, Raina, Ashwin and Yuvraj will definitely make the Test lineup consistently. Also we have Rohit Sharma, Badreenath and Murali Vijay for the shorter version of the game. Bowling is a concern and Ishanth and Sreesanth should sieze their opportunities else a star will come out of no where and they might not get chances again. I also feel SA will move in the right direction by appointing AB as the captain and finding suitable replacements for Smith and Kallis.

  • POSTED BY rustyryan on | April 10, 2011, 6:44 GMT

    @Shravan - Is Ohja a world class spinner.. ? I guess you must be joking... Harbhajan and Ashwin are lot better than ohja.. Once yuvi gets the place in test squad, for sure either Ashwin or Ishanth will replace Ohja in the team..

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    dhoni d great.he izz d maaan who led india to wc glory

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    ur brother has destroyed n gary rebuilt...i strongly wish supremely talented rohit shld click in dis team...he gt all quailities of a gr8 player except temperament....

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | April 10, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Well Ian, I agree with you on most of your comments and as a commentator you are not so biased as others, but i do differ with your comment that India does not have a good bowling unit. As you know it is a team game where batsmen and bowlers are equally important and give enough and equally contribute towards a team victory.Atleast for the last few years we have had a fairly decent bowling unit. May be we do not have awe inspiring bowlers the way we have batsmen but never the less they have been effective, productive and destructive and they have stepped up whenever needed, Example Zaheer Khan the joint best bowler in the recently concluded world cup, he has been performing in all 3 formats with consistency and not just flash in the pan, and other bowlers have rallied around him very well and the results are here to see for every one whether in tests or ODI;s or T20's. FYI Zaheer touched the 145kph mark, shreeshant touched 149kph,Munaf bowled 146kph,nehra 144kph is that enough proof

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | April 10, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    India play the West Indies England both home and away in Tests and limited over formats and the Australia later. All in a span of about eight months.I think Sehwag,Tendulka,Dravid,Laxman will be around for all the Test matches.So I think there may not be any immediate problems in regard to batting.This apart,there are some very worthy players on the bench like Pujara,Kohli,Mukund and Rahane who could go on to form part of a strong future batting line up.In bowling Zaheer I think,should be available over this period.Both Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan are on the mend and would definitely be part of a fairly good bowling attack.On the bench they have bowlers like Varun Aaron,Srikant Wagh and some exciting spin prospects in Barghav Bhatt and Shabaaz Nadeem.While it is true that Dhoni is indeed a great captain, one important aspect to captaincy is to have the good fortune for furture stars to rise during the tenure of one's position at the helm. Time will tell us if Dhoni has that as well

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Look into that mirror Mr.Chappell. If you're writing your crappy columns and doing commentary to eek out a career, you should retire immediately. If Chappell had found an honest mirror three years ago and asked the question; "Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the worst cricket expert of all?" It would've answered; "Ian Chappell". If he asked that same mirror right now; "Mirror, mirror on the wall should I retire?" The answer would be; "Yes."

    After your brilliant column, Sachin went on to become the #1 test batsman again, scored 200* in a ODI and just fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning the world cup in his hometown. I personally think you should be a little more humble Mr.Chappell.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    You may be right, but primarily because the competition has been so poor. If you take the WC, tell me which team had a better bowling attack than the Indians for sub continent conditions. Probably the Pakistanis. The Indians have the best batting side. No real injury worries. No match fixers, who were banned. In the Semi's the little master gave 4 regulation chances in his 85. Please get a copy of 'the drunkards walk' and read it. It's a primer on the role of chance on the outcome of any endeavour. In the Final, why do you think the Indian's won? I expected better from you, Mr. Chappell. Is your article, a case of he who pays the piper, gets to call the tune! The bottom line. Dhoni has not been tested!

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Agree with You Ian, though for a change and for the first time.

  • POSTED BY Bytheway on | April 10, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    All the talk of where Dhoni stands in the annals of history is mere fodder for the masses. The only importance of this article is the last two paragraphs where Ian concedes that there should be a qualifying tournament for two spots to make up the ten. If Ian had said twelve instead of ten it would have been an even better article. Nevertheless, Ian, now that you have suggested this, what are you going to do about it? Leadership is required here. How about putting some of that famous Chappell fighting spirit to good use.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    i was waiting for this article from Ian Chappell since the final. Dhoni's captaincy is the major cause of this victory. But everyone should consider that the match in quaters against AUS was the only one in which IND played like champions. In every other match against test nations, opposite team lost the matches itself rather than india won them.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Absolutely correct Mr. Chappell. Yes we are the world champions but the job will just get tougher for one of the finest captains with an unmatched tactical acumen, with stalwarts like dravid, laxman and you know who nearing the end of their careers. We need to find an able replacement for these guys and a couple of good consistent fast bowlers and a world class attacking spinner( which we have--not harbhajan, but Pragyan Ojha)

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 4:43 GMT

    Absolutely correct Mr. Chappell. Yes we are the world champions but the job will just get tougher for one of the finest captains with an unmatched tactical acumen, with stalwarts like dravid, laxman and you know who nearing the end of their careers. We need to find an able replacement for these guys and a couple of good consistent fast bowlers and a world class attacking spinner( which we have--not harbhajan, but Pragyan Ojha)

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:08 GMT

    i was waiting for this article from Ian Chappell since the final. Dhoni's captaincy is the major cause of this victory. But everyone should consider that the match in quaters against AUS was the only one in which IND played like champions. In every other match against test nations, opposite team lost the matches itself rather than india won them.

  • POSTED BY Bytheway on | April 10, 2011, 5:14 GMT

    All the talk of where Dhoni stands in the annals of history is mere fodder for the masses. The only importance of this article is the last two paragraphs where Ian concedes that there should be a qualifying tournament for two spots to make up the ten. If Ian had said twelve instead of ten it would have been an even better article. Nevertheless, Ian, now that you have suggested this, what are you going to do about it? Leadership is required here. How about putting some of that famous Chappell fighting spirit to good use.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:24 GMT

    Agree with You Ian, though for a change and for the first time.

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:45 GMT

    You may be right, but primarily because the competition has been so poor. If you take the WC, tell me which team had a better bowling attack than the Indians for sub continent conditions. Probably the Pakistanis. The Indians have the best batting side. No real injury worries. No match fixers, who were banned. In the Semi's the little master gave 4 regulation chances in his 85. Please get a copy of 'the drunkards walk' and read it. It's a primer on the role of chance on the outcome of any endeavour. In the Final, why do you think the Indian's won? I expected better from you, Mr. Chappell. Is your article, a case of he who pays the piper, gets to call the tune! The bottom line. Dhoni has not been tested!

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 5:51 GMT

    Look into that mirror Mr.Chappell. If you're writing your crappy columns and doing commentary to eek out a career, you should retire immediately. If Chappell had found an honest mirror three years ago and asked the question; "Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the worst cricket expert of all?" It would've answered; "Ian Chappell". If he asked that same mirror right now; "Mirror, mirror on the wall should I retire?" The answer would be; "Yes."

    After your brilliant column, Sachin went on to become the #1 test batsman again, scored 200* in a ODI and just fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning the world cup in his hometown. I personally think you should be a little more humble Mr.Chappell.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | April 10, 2011, 6:04 GMT

    India play the West Indies England both home and away in Tests and limited over formats and the Australia later. All in a span of about eight months.I think Sehwag,Tendulka,Dravid,Laxman will be around for all the Test matches.So I think there may not be any immediate problems in regard to batting.This apart,there are some very worthy players on the bench like Pujara,Kohli,Mukund and Rahane who could go on to form part of a strong future batting line up.In bowling Zaheer I think,should be available over this period.Both Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan are on the mend and would definitely be part of a fairly good bowling attack.On the bench they have bowlers like Varun Aaron,Srikant Wagh and some exciting spin prospects in Barghav Bhatt and Shabaaz Nadeem.While it is true that Dhoni is indeed a great captain, one important aspect to captaincy is to have the good fortune for furture stars to rise during the tenure of one's position at the helm. Time will tell us if Dhoni has that as well

  • POSTED BY US_Indian on | April 10, 2011, 6:06 GMT

    Well Ian, I agree with you on most of your comments and as a commentator you are not so biased as others, but i do differ with your comment that India does not have a good bowling unit. As you know it is a team game where batsmen and bowlers are equally important and give enough and equally contribute towards a team victory.Atleast for the last few years we have had a fairly decent bowling unit. May be we do not have awe inspiring bowlers the way we have batsmen but never the less they have been effective, productive and destructive and they have stepped up whenever needed, Example Zaheer Khan the joint best bowler in the recently concluded world cup, he has been performing in all 3 formats with consistency and not just flash in the pan, and other bowlers have rallied around him very well and the results are here to see for every one whether in tests or ODI;s or T20's. FYI Zaheer touched the 145kph mark, shreeshant touched 149kph,Munaf bowled 146kph,nehra 144kph is that enough proof

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:25 GMT

    ur brother has destroyed n gary rebuilt...i strongly wish supremely talented rohit shld click in dis team...he gt all quailities of a gr8 player except temperament....

  • POSTED BY on | April 10, 2011, 6:31 GMT

    dhoni d great.he izz d maaan who led india to wc glory