Who’s There ?
Misba Who ?
Misba 5 runs .
Just for a brief while yesterday, surely, an old nightmare came back to haunt a few people. A young man named Sharma ran in to bowl to a determined, possessed Pakistan batsman . Thats when the comparisons ended. That was 21 years ago. I was older then. I feel younger now .
Joginder Sharma ran in to bowl after a brief chat with his skipper (“a slower one”, presumably?) and Sreesanth settled in at 45 …
A few moments later, India was cradling cricket’s latest child. World Champions of the 1st Twenty20 World Cup.
They say that there is nothing you should fear more than people who are scared. Or wary.
Put it down to the format or the exuberance of youth or a combination of both but fear was never the main emotion on display. Right from the time of the bowl-out, to the victories over England, South Africa, Australia and back to the finals, the Unchained Melody has been the theme.
Twenty20 with an India-Pakistan final has captured a vast market. That part is unarguable. Its also true though, that the format itself leaves itself open to the cynics. Justifiably. Sixes and fours rain. Bowlers feel good with 7ish economy rates. Batsmen don’t value wickets. Building an innings is almost a sin. Almost each toss has the losing skipper saying “conditions won’t change much”. With 3 hour match durations those are understatements. Things move lightning quick. Dot balls are gold. Risk is not a four letter word.
In such a scenario, how tough is it being fearless ? And yet, M S Dhoni has been outstanding. Whether it be the simplicity of choosing the bowlers in a high pressure bowl-out (lets not talk about what thats doing in a cricket match!), or his selections or the batting orders or the belief he has shown in his men, he has barely put a foot wrong. Applauding (even miffed, though sincere) efforts in the field, keeping interaction with bowlers during overs to the minimum, having the courage with field placements in tight games, he has shown the ability to multi-task in clearly high pressure games. Remember this : prior to the World Cup India had played only one International Twenty20 game. MS Dhoni had been keeping for two and a half months of the English tour incessantly. Its been an outstanding beginning.
But, and this part is important – its only a beginning. Twenty20 is NOT the real deal. In all of Dhoni’s success are a number of gambles. And as he’ll find out, fortune does not always favour the brave. Nor does the media. We’ll leave that for later though. For now, to him and his team , a huge Well Done !
Earlier post on Dhoni here