No Dravid, no Ganguly – no problem. Other players are making the step up and showing the maturity that should go hand-in-hand with seniority, but so often doesn’t.
We were unsure when Mahendra Dhoni was made the captain of India’s one-day team. The extravagant crowd favourite rarely makes the best captain – or maybe it’s just that Ian Botham gave us that opinion.
Dhoni’s character’s at odds with his batting persona however. For a man who can throw the bat as if he doesn’t have a care in the world, he’s a serious, professional captain who demands concentration from his players.
He impressed during India’s Twenty20 World Cup triumph, staying unbelievably calm when the pressure mounted and having the confidence to make unexpected bowling changes with everything on the line.
In this tri-nations series, he’s impressed again. In today’s final he demanded high standards from a fielding side who are often lackadaisical, expressing his displeasure clearly but calmly when he felt someone’s concentration had wavered. But more than that, he seems pragmatic.
Maybe it’s dealing with the ludicrous expectations about his own performances that that’s made him a realist, but he seemed to be one of the few people involved in this irritating Australia-India brouhaha who didn’t see things in black and white. His comments seemed to acknowledge and embrace the greyness that so few others seemed able to find
“If you’re getting provoked then there are ways in which you can reply, so you have to be careful about it. We have youngsters in the side who will learn all these arts.”
No right and wrong there. Just a recognition that it takes two to tango and that you can only control one half of that dance.