Would I do it?

Yesterday’s world cup match and the last over given to Nehra by Dhoni.

Personally I am disappointed at what happened yesterday. Lot of us would say the last over should have been given to Bhajji because:

1.He a tried and tested bowler.
2.He is the in bowler in form with wickets in the match.

Let me think for Dhoni (obviously speculating here.):

1.As a leader he thinks differently and wants to back his team players. He did give Jakati a chance in World Cup T20 finals who came out with flying colours.

2.Does not mind losing the battle (match) to win the war(World Cup). He wanted to try out his option and willing to take a chance. Imagine Nehra coming out with flying colours we could have had a strike bowler at death for the Super8 stage.

3. Give your struggling team member a chance and bet on him to do it for you.Really believing in him. In my arrogant opinion I don’t think he is stupid. 🙂

The question that comes to my mind is “As a leader would I be able to take a chance than play safe?”

Full disclosure :

I do have a personal bias to Dhoni as a person I like him for the following reasons:

1.He came up in cricket without god fathers. He used to ask his room mates to drop him at Ranji stadium for matches as he did not have a bike. He was working as a train ticket examiner at that time.

2.He will take his 2000 CC bike for a spin early in the morning (his passion bikes )and not wake his body gaurds as he did not want to disturb their sleep for his personal wishes.

3.He does a victory huddle with team ( Chennai Super kings lost in finals to Rajasthan Royals ) after “losing” to celebrate the team efforts.

4.Plays music  on DVD for marriage no fan fare whereas he could have had stars performing live bands – Humility.


  1. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said March 13, 2011, 9:38 am:

    Good one Kumaran. After your post I do recall the T20 finals and at the time the over started we all did think it was an error. But it turned out to be a good decision. Let us hope this Nehra decision doesn’t cost us the world cup.

  2. Quote
    Dishit D said March 13, 2011, 10:27 am:

    Interesting take on it! Never thought about this perspective.

  3. Quote

    Nice one. If Nehra have won this match for us, everyone would have spoken abt Dhoni’s brilliance. Who knows, even Bhajji’s over might have been hit for runs!

    Dhoni is a very cool captain and I’m sure he will bring many accolades to Team India.

  4. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 12:46 pm:

    Thanks Sukumar. Yes I do hope the same.

  5. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 12:47 pm:

    Even though I would have thought of this.Personally I would not have the guts to take this decision based on so many people watching and their expectations.

    If that over turned out with 2 wickets people would be talking what “Thought leader” Dhoni is. 🙂

  6. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 12:47 pm:

    Thanks Dishit for the kind words.

  7. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 12:48 pm:


    Thanks for the comments and yes I believe he will do changes.

  8. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 12:59 pm:

    Also in my tweets I have fun of the events but that is to look at the whole thing with a sense of humour. At the end of day nobody died its a game. 🙂 Just enjoy it.

    We should learn to look at humour of things going wrong. Did we ever laugh at comedian getting it right? Humour shines when things go wrong.

  9. Quote

    Completely right. He said something bigger which Gavaskar pointed out rightly – don’t play for the crowd, play for the team. Unfortunately all the folks were playing as if in hurry – Dhoni is more than capable of big hitting, he has just toned it down. Had he got more chance – he would got more runs and we would not be having this conversation.

    WRT nehra – It is no big deal. Nehra himself will remember this for long time as Dhoni could have given it to senior person like Bhajji. Maybe Nehra will learn – bowling extra fast is not imp – but like steyn – controlling the pace, direction is. His both deliveries were less than his even worst ones.

    Dhoni is superb captain – he believes and has actually saved Virender/Bhajji/Tendulkar – who were all mostly done to death under chappell era. http://digs.by/g7Xx87. Who knows even Dada could have been playing.

    So if he chooses and stands behind chawla/rohit/nehra it is a good thing. It is upto chosen people to give back. It is ok – if they try and fail.

    So completely support your pov.

  10. Quote

    Dhoni was pathetic yesterday. He screwed the run total by letting tail Enders bat. That is chickening out man! True leader should protect his tail Enders and should take styen head on. He ran singles expecting tail Enders to score? There itself india lost the match. Just imagine 10-15 runs more in the last 1.5 overs. Hope he will be sensible in WI match.

  11. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 5:52 pm:


    Thanks for the comments.

    I partially agree. He should have exposed the tail enders less.
    But the problem with that wud have been we played all overs with less runs.
    It was actually catch 22. He chickening that I could not agree.

    After all it is the tail enders in SA who hit the last runs. I don’t think it is unrealistic for a captain to expect them play a few balls literally and get a single. Remember Peterson was a tail ender who hit our friend Nehra for a 6 & 4. Zaheer and Nehra have played decent knocks on the past.

  12. Quote

    Interesting thoughts… In my opinion, it is time to save Zaheer for the last over. Bhajji or any spinner bowling the last over is not a safe option – it is almost always fast bowlers who bowl the last over. Last time Munaf bowled the last over and gave away runs to tie with England. This time it is Nehra. So, next time it should be Zaheer and he – in his form should do the job.

  13. Quote
    Kumaran said March 13, 2011, 9:21 pm:


    Yes I think hopefully they should get it right. I guess one thing is clear as you say no Munaf / Neha for last over. Plan should be in place to Zaheer fo last over.

    What is sad is that Cricket has a rich ecosystem in India next to media still we can’t get a fast bowler who can bowl a bouncer or yorker at will. 🙁

  14. Quote
    Krishna kumar (subscribed) said March 13, 2011, 10:55 pm:

    Nice perspective. Whatever said and done, Dhoni is truly unconventional and he will be that way no matter what. A true hero. Can we forget his cool attitude in the decider IPL match against kolkota knight riders? What a knock in the last 10 balls?

  15. Quote

    I would have gone for Nehra too. Think that a pace bowler is always better in the last few overs than a spinner. Only thing I would have done is have Nehra bowl the 49th over and then Zaheer do the last one. Maybe, in that case the game would have been over in the 49th over :).

    And Dhoni is a v.v.good captain all said and done. Records speak for itself. Anyway, no big damage done. And hopefully we learn how (not) to play during the batting power play. And we should try Ashwin before quarter finals begin.

  16. Quote

    And oh I also think we should have fineleg and 3rd man play very very fine during the last few overs. We repetitively see fours via chinese and french cut.

  17. Quote
    Martin Johnson said March 13, 2011, 11:59 pm:

    Here are the reasons why he should not have had Nehra bowling:

    1. It was a case of close out on the match which was in India’s bag not look at delivering a miracle over. So you needed someone who would just come in and deliver 6 average balls. Even with 10 an over you would still have won.
    2. We already have 2 death bowlers in Zaheer and Bhajji. If anything you need a Ashwin to come good. BTW Nehra was having a very average match till then so what was he expecting suddenly to happen. He is not a Praveen Kumar who can vary his pace n all.
    3. If he was going to take a gamble he should have got Pathan to bowl. Taking pace off the ball was a good option with Peterson.
    4. Now that the so called gamble has failed to come off you go all over the media and call it a mistake – that I am sure did wonders for Nehra’s confidence. Now we have 2 bowlers sulking Nehra & Sreesanth.

    Sometimes leadership is not in trying to be this cool sauve dude but closing out things in the conventional ways – nothing wrong in that. I get a feeling that he is always trying to prove someone wrong, this is not good for a leader vying to be number 1 in the game. Well if it is about humor get sreesanth back!!! 🙂

  18. Quote
    Shivram (subscribed) said March 14, 2011, 7:17 am:

    I believe that it is a gamble taken to bowl Nehra. And it is better to make the 2 mistakes – poor batting in power play and last over bowling now rather than in last 3 matches !!!
    I agree with you that it is important to take risks as a leader and a loss here will probably help to reflect, which can help!!!

  19. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 10:08 am:

    Thanks Shivram for the comments .

  20. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 10:26 am:

    Thanks Krishna for the comments.

  21. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 10:27 am:


    Thanks for the comments. I think it.is high time we brought in Ashwin to give us more options.

  22. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 11:01 am:


    Thanks for the interesting comments. I do agree that leadership is not about being the cool guy.

    Sometimes it the old boring thing which gives you success.

    I partially agree that MSD is trying to prove something but I think it is not to the gallery but himself.
    Pushing his own limits.

    One common thought is we do need another good bowler and hopefully Ashwin steps into that role.

  23. Quote

    Interesting post. Dhoni has been bashed left, right & center for the past few days for his decision. He sure can use a few supporters.

    The bigger problem plaguing India – and why India may not win the world cup – is its pathetic bowling line-up. 4 bowlers & 7 batsmen?! Why is it we don’t have a decent bowler other than Zaheer Khan? Whom do we blame for putting together such a team?

    Here’s an excerpt from an article written by Dean Jones, the veteran Australian cricketer, on why India will not win the world cup.

  24. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 4:27 pm:


    Thanks for comments.

    I agree bowling is our problem. We are 1 bowler short and part blame is with MSD on picking up Chawla and lesser bowler in the larger time.

    Emotion aside we are not that champion side yet.

  25. Quote
    Gopalakrishnan (subscribed) said March 14, 2011, 4:39 pm:

    In any match, we have only one bowler who bows with an economy rate of around 4. All others have around 6. Dhoni alone can’t do anything with this team. 296 could have been defended as the pitch was slowing down, but our bowlers did their part to boost SA confidence after their drubbing against England.

    But in the match with SA, just because Bhajji did well till his 9th over, he should have been given the ball. If Dhoni had to try Nehra, he shud have done that by giving more than one over between 45 and 48. That would have made him assess whether Nehra can be given the last over. He didn’t bowl for 25 overs, so obviosuly would not have warmed up enough to bowl that crucial over.

  26. Quote

    I hope Dhoni doesn’t try anything dangerous in the knock-out stages of the match. Its OK to defy common sense in a game with low stakes.

  27. Quote

    Hmm. Where do I begin? Right. My two bits. Kum, your personal opinions are yours. Hence a comment on that would be pretty dumb. Humility does not score high in my book. Whereas, thinking about the other person, re: his security personnel, now that was thoughtful and the right thing to do. I like MS Dhoni, the man. He is the kind of guy, whom I would like to have a drink with.

    However, his decision to go with Nehra was a blunder on par with Chetan Sharma lobbing that full toss in the 87 match in New Delhi. He might be a guy with a long term view, but a win would a done the team a whole lot of good. Personally, I expected him to think out of the box and give the over to Sachin. Both the batsmen would not of played Sachin ever. 13 runs to be scored. I reckon Sachin would have contained them.

  28. Quote

    Full disclosure: I don’t know anything about cricket

    My take on your post: I think one of the things it takes to be a leader is to be able to make bold decisions. Some decisions may and will go bad and that’s the nature of the beast. Fans and media response to Dhoni giving last over to Nehra is emotional more than anything else (based on the outcome of the match). Even if it really was a bad decision, it is incorrect to chastise him based on a single instance.

    I agree with the main message you have conveyed. But your full disclosure makes me think people (including yourself in this case) often heavily cloud their judgement of other people, based on irrelevant factors. For example, except your point #3 and first part of point #1, everything else is irrelevant to his cricket.

  29. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 7:30 pm:

    Thanks Gopalakrishnan for the comments. He could have tried him earlier.

  30. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 7:30 pm:


    I also hope the same.

  31. Quote
    Kumaran said March 14, 2011, 7:34 pm:


    Thanks for your comments. It is good for someone like you without cricketing bias hence emotion to comment on it. 🙂

    Thanks for pointing out my bias. That is one reason I had posted as I did want my bias in there. The only reason I had put it there was that he is personally not a control freak or attention seeker. He does things not for fame ( to an extent but primarily for it ) but to see it works best. But I take your point the other points are quite irrelevant for the scenario above.

  32. Quote

    Good thoughts…second you…
    But a correction “He did give Jakati a chance in World Cup T20 finals who came out with flying colours.”
    It was not Jakari, it was Joginder Sharma who bowled the final over of India’s T-20 winning campaign

  33. Quote
    Kumaran said March 15, 2011, 6:48 am:


    Thanks for the link and comments.

  34. Quote
    Kumaran said March 15, 2011, 6:52 am:


    Thanks for the comments and you are correct it is Joginder Sharma. Ironically it was 13 runs in the final over and a 6 had gone off the 2nd ball.

  35. Quote
    Kumaran said March 15, 2011, 6:55 am:


    Thanks for comments.

    Even I had a fleeting thought of Sachin bowling. But I think Sachin has not practiced bowling in a long time. I guess he should try that option as well.

  36. Quote
    Kumaran said April 3, 2011, 12:42 am:

    MSD you did. Facts talk for themselves. PERIOD. 🙂

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