Beer, Chips and Cricket

This is a site about drinking beer, eating chips and thinking cricket. I am not a former player, a television commentaror or a journalist; my qualification to being worthy of hearing is that I drink a lot of beer, eat a lot of chips and think a lot about cricket. The thoughts need not be politically correct and often include colourful language but there will be no deliberate bias towards any player, community or state. I don't care about popular opinion or perceptions and I speak it as I see it.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Dhoni the opener

The fun part of the 6th ODI at Jamshedpur - which we lost comprehensively to England - is that people r talking of many things ... like how special Dhoni is ... and how Sehwag / Kaif should be dropped ... and how the new ball bowlers r too raw. No one is speaking about one very interesting development that happened and that is Dhoni "opening".

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.


The Chuckster


  • At Thursday, April 13, 2006 3:53:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    In my opinion, Sehwag is a better opener than Dhoni because he has better range of strokes. But considering that more and more teams are figuring out ways to cramp Viru, and that is killing his confidence that he once oozed,it might not be a bad option to send him down the order. having said that, Pathan is also a good option at the opening slot (given how well he has batted everytime he has been sent at No. 3). In terms of strict run making sense, Dhoni is a better choice at opening, but he is a bigger gamble than Pathan is. Pathan has better chances of survival on a day when the picth is favoring the bowlers and the bowlers are using the pitch well. So it all boils down to what the team defines the second opener's role is, and what kind of gamble it wants to make.


    P.S: Came to your site thru Sporting Nirvana. Your enthu for cricket is infectious. Keep it up.

  • At Tuesday, April 18, 2006 3:36:00 PM, Blogger Filbert said…

    I guess, Dhoni might be a good option when we are batting first (as was the case in the 6th ODI). But when we chase, we need to consider the fact that he would have kept wickets for 50 overs and having him to open the batting immediately after that, his energy level might not be the same. When you are tired, you definitely can't go all for the shots you would normally do (unless he is in the same league as Gilchrist, which IMO he is not yet)

  • At Wednesday, April 26, 2006 9:22:00 AM, Blogger Sharad said…

    Dhoni has done immensely well this year. But I would like to make a caveat that people occasionally forget. Most (if not all) of his success has been on subcontinent pitches. He has yet to prove himself on bouncy tracks.
    Even here, against SA, he averaged 14.33 at a strike rate of 53.75. Of course, every player is allowed to fail in a series (some of his more illustrious seniors have been allowed to fail in seasons), so I won't hold it against him.
    Just a few things to consider.

  • At Friday, June 30, 2006 2:26:00 PM, Blogger Manish Kumar Pandey said…

    well this is certainly a very good news... and i certainly believe that there should be no more engineerings... they should stick with one line up whatever it may be otherwise they will forget the game... like they did in west indies this summer... when the world cup cricket comes up!


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