Dhoni's stubborn captaincy's latest victim- R Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin became the fastest Indian bowler to take 50 wickets for India in Tests. I remember seeing him as a T20 bowler in the first season of the IPL. He impressed one and all with his skills with the ball and also with his intelligent cricketing mind. His ability to back himself in crunch situations earned him huge respect; from there, he came into the spotlight and started performing consistently for India.
As an Ashwin fan, the second Test match between India and England was a big setback for me and I have reasons to justify this statement. In my opinion, Ashwin was too defensive throughout the match and kept bowling to a plan which never worked.
On a rank turner, where the ball was doing everything, Ashwin kept bowling around the wicket and bowled a “middle to leg” line, expecting Pietersen and Cook to tuck one to the man at leg slip. Both KP and Cook kept sweeping Ashwin and this “middle to leg” line worked in their favour. For an attacking bowler, leg before wicket is always a better option than expecting the batsman to tuck one to leg slip.
So, was Ashwin alone responsible for this or is ‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni too cool to change his ways? Dhoni’s stubborn attitude is now becoming a thing to worry about for the Indian think-tank. People who understand Hindi must have heard Dhoni dictating instructions to the bowlers from behind the stumps and in my opinion, this is one way of restricting bowlers. Ashwin is a very intelligent cricketer and he knows what he’s doing more often than not; so why doesn’t Dhoni allow him to express himself in the he wants to? Why is Dhoni so stubborn with his field settings and also the line of attack by the bowlers?
Swann and Panesar bowled extremely well on a surface where Indian bowlers, especially Ashwin, struggled. Mr. Harsha Bhogle rightly said, “this is like an English chef preparing better butter chicken than an Indian chef.” These are the conditions where Indians back themselves to come out as the winners on 9 out of 10 occasions, but on the same conditions they were defeated comprehensively by the English side.
Mr. Mahendra Singh Dhoni saw everything with his own eyes and still didn’t learn. He saw English spinners bowling a particular line but was too stubborn to change his ways and learn from them. It would be just fair to say that Dhoni’s captaincy was one of the major reasons for this defeat and this is now a very serious matter and should be looked at with utmost seriousness or things will go from bad to worse.