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Dhoni should be automatic choice for Test captain

Dhoni is a born leader, one with qualities a captain has to have to lead the team,writesMakarand Waingankar

In the past few days, connoisseurs of cricket have begun to accept the Twenty20 concept as a significant form of the game. International cricketers too have realised Twenty20 cricket is not as simple as it was made out to be by professionals of English counties.

As we watched the World Twenty20, the tactics, improvisation and approach to the game showed that no matter what you do to this game, you can’t get rid of the basics and the team that tried to throw those basics out of the window were handed the return tickets.

After this triumph, there will be no more talk about India’s captaincy, whether it’s for the Tests or any form of the game. Dhoni is a born leader, one with qualities a captain has to have to lead the team,

Others took months to prove it and failed. Dhoni needed just two weeks to prove it — successfully.

Leadership skills

One shouldn’t be surprised if the selectors announce Dhoni’s elevation to Test captaincy as a bonus to his leadership skills. Hopefully, there will not be any talk of ‘experience versus inexperience’ when the selectors sit to pick the Indian team.

We may no longer have to watch tired legs and sore shoulders in the Indian team. With aggressive running between the wickets, pick up and throw on the run, Indians have shaken the opposition. In fact, had the selectors waited, there would have been changes in the ODI squad.

The case of Rohit Sharma

What a mess selectors have made of Rohit Sharma who, without getting a chance to play in the ODIs against England, was dropped to accommodate an additional off spinner. Rohit Sharma deserves to be in the ODI team from the first game against Australia.

Indian cricket has always been obsessed with the exploits of seniors.

The Twenty20 World Cup showed that the young Indians under Dhoni had the gumption to play strongly against a reputed team like Australia without getting distracted by off-the-field upheavals in Indian cricket.

Bench strength

The bench strength is much stronger than it looked ever before with Dhoni getting individuals to combine well.

Initially, as is generally the case, there was a resistance to change. But if at all there is a risk, it is that the batsmanship that will suffer.

The bowling is likely to be more accurate with bowlers bowling lesser quota of no-balls.

If one analyses carefully, the successful batsmen in this tournament didn’t try unconventional methods and when such methods didn’t work,

Uthappa too got back to basics and yet scored 36 of 21 balls against Australia.

There will be marked difference in the fielding standard in Indian cricket. Bad bumpy Indian outfields have usually been the excuse offered for India’s poor fielding.

Though it is, to some extent, a fact, the surface can’t be responsible for lack of agility and anticipation.

Indian cricket was gradually getting into the mode of cricket of the ’60s and ’70s when a player could be hidden on the field.

No longer will such players dream of playing the game. It was ‘a run saved is run scored’. But from now on, it will be ‘a boundary saved, a run scored’.

Heavier bats

There is a worry of young batsmen using heavier bats and thereby forgetting the basics. Selectors and coaches too would opt for mediocre bang-bang-bits-pieces all-rounders like England did in the tournament. Bat-manufacturers would work overtime producing and marketing heavy bats to suit the new avatar.

High level of skills

Eventually it’s the way one adapts to this version of the game. India and Pakistan played the least number of Twenty20 matches before this tournament, and yet they outclassed the inventors and the propagators mainly because of the high level of skills.

India and Pakistan minimised the risk factor, increased skill level, did their calculations right, and that worked wonders.

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