Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Prince and the General

Two men, one a little more than the other perhaps, deserve a mention for the historic events that unfolded yesterday. And there are observations to be made about them.

Firstly, this team we see today is the finished product of what was started by Sourav Ganguly. Dada lover or Dada hater, you've got to accept that several key members of this squad were Dada's findings.

Harbhajan Singh(who scalped Dilshan, and Akmal in the Semis) was just a mediocre off-spinner till the Australia series under Dada.
Gautam Gambhir began his career in the Indian squad under Dada, who like him was a south-paw off side

Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra too were Dada's findings. Zak and Ashish were two of the reasons in the run to the Finals in 2003.

If there is one man who owes a lot more to Dada than those above, it is Yuvraj Singh. Fresh from winning the under-19 World Cup, Yuvi most certainly grew into the player he is today, due to the start he got under Dada. Surely, one of Dada's greatest finds.

The other man worth a mention is also a Dada find. Apparently he had been on the cards for a while and in his very first ODI, ran himself out of his very first ball. Quite a long way has come Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

There is something about cool heads and sports. The best around always seem to be the ones who are calm and composed. Never betray to the opposition, their emotions. These are the toughest nuts around. Such is the nature of Dhoni. Add to this the real Midas touch and you have a great leader in the making.
Everything this man has touched has turned into pure success. It began with the T20 world cup in South Africa. The Jharkhandi carried his success into Chennai and for three back to back seasons, the CSK finished amongst the top, winning the last season. He topped it with a win in the Champions League as well. He led the ODI squad to the tri-series win in Australia and as Test captain, he is on an unbeaten series run for a while now. And under him, two talents of modern Indian cricket have blossomed. Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin, CSK teammates and surely future India regulars. His success probably lies in keeping his team in their comfort zone. And in having a very accurate set of intestines which provide him with such a good feel.

Dhoni has always risen to the occasion in each of those tournaments. His knock against Punjab in Dharamshala was one of anger, anger at leaving qualification till the last match. His knock yesterday was to answer himself.

Six of the current squad were under Ganguly in the 2003 world cup. I hope all fifteen of them are under Dhoni in the next world cup, down under.


PS- I know it is too optimistic for Sachin to play!
And Sreesanth, don't really care.

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