Has Dhoni been a Lucky Captain?
Ok, this is an extremely opinionated topic but one that can be easily substantiated with evidence from the performance of the Indian cricket team at the T20, test and One-Dayer stages. Lets see... we won the T-20 world cup which is almost like a lottery and any one guy, if its his day, can change the entire course of the game. Its like the Penalty shootout and on that day, we held our nerve against Pakistan. After that, we have mainly been up against poorer teams like Sri Lanka (who are past their prime), England (in Indian conditions), New Zealand (who are extremely mercurial) and who else? Even in all these wins, it has usually been the older people like Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Harbhajan Singh and Irfan Pathan who have shone more than the newbies. So how can it be that the new kids are being called a revelation when it is the older stalwarts who are doing all the damage??? Is Dhoni lucky to have come up against teams that are down or are we actually so good that it shows? My only reason for this post is this: During the 2003 world cup in South Africa, we were down and out after two games but then, when we (India) started winning, we looked the part. We were winning, our players were shining, everyone was chipping in and our bowlers were brilliant. You could see that the entire team was at a different level altogether. Now, it doesn't seem like that. The fielding is better, yes, but the batting lineup is not as solid as it was. The bowling is better yes, but again thats just Zaheer Khan. The rest are barely chipping in. The batting is all Yuvraj with some Sehwag & Gambhir and a little bit of Raina, Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, etc. Is this it? Is this what's winning us matches or is it the fact that we are playing weaker/unluckier opposition?
I dont think that we need to ask the question "Has Dhoni been a lucky captain?". I think we need to ask "Is the young brigade really affective?" or "Are India still dependent on Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Rahul Dravid, etc. to win matches?" Thats what we need to ask. Cricket is not entirely a team sport and one person can singlehandedly win or lose the game for a team. In such a game, A Sachin or a Harbhajan can change the face of the game with a few brilliant overs which is not beyond their capability. Whether that is happening more or less or the same, in Dhoni's captaincy, is what remains to be seen.
Let us consider this current New Zealand series itself. Do you think that India would have played as well if this had been a more settled Black Caps team? I don't think so. This was hardly a fight for the Indians and with Shane Bond, the New Zealand team has hardly looked potent as a fighting force.