Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Dropped in a match, becomes captain one match later...

Welcome to the Great Indian Cricket circus. 

Dreams do become reality.

Never give up – No matter what!

{Add your own one-liners about comebacks here. It will all mean the same}

Ajinkya Rahane has had one explosive week of witnessing the "yin and yang" of an Indian Cricketers life. He was dropped by the current Indian captain MS Dhoni for the 2nd and 3rd ODI under the pretext that Rahane does not rotate the strike on sub-continent pitches. While I find the argument highly debatable, I trust the decision made by a captain who has helped India achieve success in all formats in his captaincy tenure. And now, for the Zimbabwe series, Indian selectors have decided to rest all ODI regulars and have decided to reward Ajinkya Rahane with a captaincy role. His team will comprise of a “second string” ODI team that involves popular T20, domestic ODI players and one experienced bowler (in Bhajji) who are trying their best to push for a place in the Indian team. Quite a turnaround, I must admit! 

Ajinkya Rahane being picked for the Zimbabwe series makes a lot of sense. For one, Rahane is a top batsman who is destined to have a great career in Cricket. He is dedicated to the core and hates losing / non-performance. Also, if Dhoni’s analysis is to be believed, Rahane will thrive in the conditions on offer in Zimbabwe. The series, notwithstanding the defeat Team India has had at the hands of Bangladesh, will help him regain his touch and composure again for the long season that will follow. It will also help cement his position as a top player in the Indian team setup, if that has not happened already!

But is he captaincy material? That’s a big doubt going into the series. As per stats, Rahane has hardly had any opportunity to captain a team, either domestic or international. This could well be a case of a top player being rewarded with a captaincy role, something that we Indians are well accustomed to. Although statistics provide information on what has happened in the past, it gives no indication on the future. So, another way to look at this stat is that Rahane never got an opportunity to show his leadership skill and this series could be that opportunity. I, personally, would like to believe the second argument. But this doubt will remain till the end of the Zimbabwe series and maybe, even afterwards. I don’t foresee Rahane taking over the reins after Dhoni decides to hang up his boots even if he scores a hundred in each of the 3 ODIs. For Rahane, this series is only to access if he is capable of handling pressure of captaincy at international level.

Either ways, I must admit this is a great opportunity for Ajinkya Rahane to make it count and thereby throw his hat in the proverbial “future captain of India post Dhoni battle”. Virat Kohli is leading that race with no one in 2nd position and seems destined to take Dhoni’s captaincy place in the near future. But there’s no harm in having more options, right? For Team India, it’s always better if Virat Kohli is considered as the best option among other suitable candidates rather than Kohli being the only viable option in the team to replace Dhoni. Any form of constructive competition within the team, either for a spot in the playing 11 or a leadership role, will only help the team in the long run. 

So, Ajinkya. The ball is in your court now. Or, in cricketing terms, it's a half-volley for the taking!


  1. Dhoni was never a captain before he led team India too, Binu... Look where he took us.

    And regarding not believing Dhoni about Rahane's ability to rotate the strike on sub-continental pitches, maybe stats will throw some more light... Until then, we should take the word of a captain whom he has been playing under, shouldn't we?

    1. Vishal, I never said Rahane will not succeed. I said, its a risk (as it was with Dhoni)..

      Regarding Dhoni's decision to drop Rahane, this is what I wrote in my post - "I trust the decision made by a captain who has helped India achieve success in all formats in his captaincy tenure". This explains your 2nd query..


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