Batting with Attitude

With Australia out of the way and England yet to offer themselves up for humiliation (although they got most of the way there yesterday), the obvious thing might be to write a valedictory piece about Sourav Ganguly. I'm not going to do that, although, like everybody, I recognize the contribution which he made to Indian cricket over more than a decade. I saw his debut century at Lord's in 1996 and always enjoyed watching him, with a representative memory being the sight of him in one-day mode, taking a couple of steps down the pitch and one back before thrashing a seamer high over the offside. That was the essence of Ganguly; aggression, attitude, and plenty of style.

No, I'll write about Dhoni. The Dhoni who, when he came to England with India for the first time last year, had acquired a reputation as an unsophisticated if dangerous hitter but who showed straight away that he could do more, much more, and has shown since, most recently in Nagpur last weekend, that he can play with patience and selectivity when necessary while never losing touch with the fact that bad balls are there to be dispatched. Throw in serviceable keeping, which will improve, and his astute captaincy, and you have a really impressive figure who looks at the moment like just the man to guide his team through the choppy waters which are bound to accompany its inevitable reshaping. Indeed, Dhoni's apparently effortless ability to hit the right tone was encapsulated in his decision to allow Ganguly to captain the side for the last few overs of his final game. He didn't have to do it, but he did, and it looked and felt absolutely right.

India's future is firmly based around Dhoni as batsman, as wicket-keeper and as captain.

And it's bright.

1 comment:

Rob said...

It seems we still had some humiliation left in the tank.

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