Mahendra Singh Dhoni hits a ball from England's Graeme Swann during their one day international cricket match at the Oval cricket ground, London.
The dressing room of the Indian cricket team resembles the emergency ward of a hospital where every second a player needs a doctor to either heal his injury or sort out the mental trauma caused by one defeat after another. In just over a month’s time, the swagger of a champion team has turned into a limp and even a mound appears to be a mountain, impossible to climb.
The excuses have dried up, though our commentators are still trying their best to find an escape route which lays the entire blame on the players, while the Board is spared the scrutiny it deserves. I am not going to delve here on how right the Board was in not being in favour of the DRS and how wrong and biased is the ICC’s judgment of the officials who run Indian cricket. Let that job be performed by those who are paid to do so.
The television commentators are doing a splendid job of instilling hope in the despondent viewers by building up the Champions League as a compensation for this massive embarrassment. So what if MS Dhoni and his men failed to entertain us in England? We now have a great opportunity to watch some of these failed stars dazzle their fans in the T20 format, an off-shoot of the IPL.
Harbhajan Singh, we are told, has recovered from his stomach muscle tear and will be there, fit, fresh and raring to give his best for the Mumbai Indians. The medical bulletin on Sachin Tendulkar is not clear. We wish him well and hope he does not risk his injury to lead his team in the Champions League.
We are being repeatedly told that Dhoni’s hands and fingers are in constant pain, the reason why he drops the ball more often than catches it behind the stumps. There was a time when the India skipper, even if he wanted to, could never make a mistake.
The man who created his destiny must be wondering where and how his lucky charms have deserted him all of a sudden? Rare must be a cricketer who has done so much in so little time for his team. His face has now started to show irritation and his moves no longer convey the assurance of a man in control of himself.
The body is bruised, the mind jaded by playing more cricket than anyone else has in this India team and it is a marvel that he has still not broken down.
Time for MSD to rest
Should we allow a player of his ability to become a martyr to greed, be it of the player himself or of the Board? It is time to rest Dhoni from the Champions League, so that he re-energises himself for another round of strenuous challenges ahead.
Shouldn't the Board secretary sacrifice the interests of his IPL team for the larger interest of Indian cricket?