Dhoni the opener
See, I know it is his home town and all that but I don't think Dravid / Chappell r those kind of romatics at heart ... sure, they wanted to send him up the order but that is coz he could give them a flyer and not coz the crowd loves him.
We knew Dhoni has had a nice time coming at 3 now and then ... but this time it was opening and remember, they had Uthappa standing in the reserves while Dhoni opened. This means specifically that they have this option in their mind - is Dhoni the man to be opener at the world cup?
I have already committed myself on my blog here - according to me, Sehwag should not be opening in the world cup (though I believe he should be in the team ... lower down). SRT has no other place - if he is not injured - except at the top. Hence one opening spot up for grabs and a couple of posts back, I was wondering if Pathan would be the one.
Yes, Pathan could do it and I am sure his average won't be too different from Sehwag's career average of 30 odd in ODIs ... but after Dhoni's innings yesterday, suddenly he looks a more possible bet at the top than Pathan.
Dhoni dazzles us with his power packed strokeplay ... sometimes we don't consider that he has much more in him than hoicks over mid-wicket. If hitting the cover off the ball is the requirement, Dhoni can do it as well as anyone else can. If short pitch bowling is the sore point for Sehwag, for Dhoni it really isn't a bother coz he has quite a decent (but ugly looking, as all his shots r) pull shot. Like Sehwag, he has that amazing confidence and arrogance about his shotmaking. He has also showed now in more than one innings that come the situation, he can buckle down and run his singles too.
We might argue that Dhoni would be the same as Sehwag or he might be worse ... but from what he showed in the only chance he got, he deserves some more attention. If we had a great opening combo standing around, Dhoni would have had to look elsewhere ... but when we r searching for a partner for SRT - and there is none in sight - it seems a good gamble to give Dhoni some good games and evaluate this strategy to its end. Definitely, IMO, this strategy has had a good beginning.
Read Krish Srikant's column today morning where he says "though Dhoni batted very well ... blah blah ... he is not a regular opener ... blah blah ... we should look for specialist openers ... blah blah". Krish, hope u r not trying out for the coach's job in the near future???
Cheers guys ... long three-day weekend for me.