28 October, 2020

A Straight, Oiled Bat

All cylinders at full blast, Team India now needs to do it for Dhoni

A Straight, Oiled Bat

Before the start of India’s quarterfinal against Bangladesh, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was asked where he felt the team needed to improve. Dhoni, never shy of handing out criticism where it is due—on recent tours he has put his finger on the fielding and the medium pace bowling—was circumspect. Perhaps not willing to jinx it by saying there were no weaknesses, thank you very much, he chose to speak of hard work, planning and all those wonderful cliches that bring such conversations alive.

For Indian cricket, that is a good sign. The captain is feeling good about himself and his team. The camera also caught him smiling; vie­wers had forgotten what a charming smile he has. Unlike in 2011, when pla­yers, fans, media spoke about win­ning it for Sachin Tendulkar, there is no such clamour now. But if India need a focal point, Dhoni is the obvious candidate. He has been India’s Mr Cricket and one of the greats in the shorter game. And it is difficult to see Dhoni play the 2019 World Cup, although he will be only 38...



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