Thursday, 3 December 2009

Why ‘keepers should not be skippers

It is like opening a hair salon in a locality where the Yul Brynners jostle for space with the Bruce Willises, Michael Jordons, Ben Kingsleys and Syed Kirmanis.

Or like stacking the racks with long gowns and then expecting a clientele that includes prominent minimalists like Kim Kardashian, Jordan, Pamela Anderson and Rihanna.

How else can you explain the plight of MS Dhoni's country-cousins-in-gloves?

Truth is the Parthiv Patels, Dinesh Karthiks and Wriddhiman Sahas have hit their cricketing cul de sac.

There is just one vacancy at the top and Dhoni has sealed it for good. Now where does that leave the Parthivs, Karthiks and Sahas?

Every day, they get up in a trance, shove their fists in those roomy gloves and hit the nets. Balls after balls thud onto their palms till they are numb and fingers sore.

But at the end of the day – even at the start of the day, for that matter – they know they are going nowhere.

Well, not exactly. Karthik is going places, but only literally.

Karthik spends most of his time in airports, clocking up frequent flyer's miles as Dhoni's cover. Pathiv is apparently contemplating a Dhokla joint near Royal Albert Hall in London. Saha says his IPL riches allows for a modest Telebhaja counter near Sealdah station.

The desperation has had some worrying effects on Karthik's sensitive psyche.

Already he has started chasing the umpire, tried his hands at bowling and did some crazy captaining – declaring Tamil Nadu's first innings only to see Himachal Pradesh overtake them!

All in his bid to reinvent himself and make him relevant.

I'm afraid, this career stagnation can lead to stranger things.

For instance, spiking Dhoni's drink with a steroid at the first available opportunity and fix him for good.

Or praying that cricket’s loss becomes Bhojpuri film industry's gain.

Or making a career switch altogether.

The point I'm driving at – 'keepers should not be made skippers. It can stamp out an entire generation of stumpers.

Sangakkara used to keep. Now he keeps it to himself, while PJ keeps to others.

High time BCCI took a leaf out of the Lankan book.

20 comments:

Satrajit said...

Do you really think there is room for anther wicket keeper to be tucked in to the team? And in that case do we sacrifice a batsman? I dont think any of the names u have mentioned are close enough in being better batsmen than anyone in the current Indian lineup. I think we don't need to imitate Lanka on that. What say Som?

Aditya said...

the point you have made is valid but india can't afford to do that as we are still struggling to find the right combination in ODI's ( it was evidently clear from the ODI series against Australia) and in the test matches we have a packed batting line up and Dhoni himself isn't a good test batsman atleast he isn't as good as Sangakkara.

Unless India produce a wicketkeeper who is worth enough to be in the as a batsman they can share teh duties this is for one days or in dead rubbers they can play karthik and Dhoni can play purely as a batsman or in games against bangladesh or so but not as a regular thing.
The present batting line up has weak links hence sanga can afford to play as a batsman in his early days they had arjuna,arvinda,sanath in teh team so he had to keep to get int the team.

Som said...

Satrajit, I don't think either Karthik or Parthiv can be smuggled into the ODI side, forget Test. I tried to sound funny with the subject but seriously speaking, my fear is not too many people would take up 'keeping since they already know that MSD is here to stay. Once MSD quits, I just hope we don't find ourselves in a situation where we don't have quality stumpers.

Som said...

Aditya, welcome to Doosra. Appreciate your thoughts.

I'm afraid even if you overnight discover a sensational keeping talent who is equally good with the bat, you cannot accommodate him behind the wicket.

The captain's is the first name that selectors pencil in and with Dhoni around, no stumper stands any chance.

My fear is it may deter youngsters to take up keeping.

Aditya said...

Yes that is likely to happen. Then I guess their only hope is to pray that Dhoni becomes as good a test batsman as Sangakkara or Dhoni keeps and bats so pathetically that he is thrown out of the team ( i seriously hope the latter doesn't happen EVER!) on the other hand it might inspire youngsters to emulate Dhoni thereby having a better pool of multi-utility keepers to choose from in the future.

Gilchrist had started this trend before Dhoni. He was the Vice-Captain for long and gave no hope to the other Aussie hopefuls for the keeper spot!

Som said...

Aditya, Gilchrist is an interesting point. Indeed when you have such a legendary stumper-bat, you'd no bother to look out for another. Gilly surely have ruined a number of careers:)

But MSD is not Gilly. Neither as a keeper, nor as a bat. But then MSD is the skipper, which Gilly was not!

Aditya said...

Isn't MSD more valuable to India as Gilly was to Australia in the ODI's ?
MSD isn't too bad behind the stumps as well.

And let's face it India doesn't have a better captain than him at present.We all know about Yuvraj and Sehwag's captaincy skills.

But its a different matter for test cricket. If he weren't the Captain would he be the keeper or would Dinesh Karthik made a comeback or even a W Saha brought in or Parthiv given another chance. He has to prove himself as a batsman in Test cricket.Its fair to say no other keeper in India is too far ahead in the keeping wickets department (of the above mentioned 3).

Ratnadeep said...

Many are questioning Dhoni's test batting. But do you think Karthik, Patel are Saha better batsman than Dhoni?

Last year Karthik was selected for the SL tour when Dhoni opted out. But he failed miserably and then for the third test, Patel was roped in and his performance too was affected.

Now coming to Gilly. You are saying Dhoni is nowhere near Gilly. Even I also agree with this that Gilly was far better batsman. But considering Dhoni with other Indian keepers, I feel Dhoni is the best batsman. Hence other keepers have no chance to comeback till Dhoni is in his form.

Also if you feel Dhoni is spoiling the future of other Indian keepers, then why don't you say Viru and Gautam are spoiling the futures of Jaffer and Murali Vijay?

Som said...

Aditya, I hope I didn't give the impression that MSD isn't good as batsman or stumper. While he is just average as a stumper, he's clearly the best willow-wielder among the glovesman. Besides, he's the best captain you can have. So no question about replacing him.

MSD behind the stumps suit the team best and the argument rests there.

Som said...

Ratnadeep, welcome to Doosra.

In Tests, Dinesh Karthik can swing his bat to good effect and can even open at times which is a bonus.


The problem with MSD as skipper is that even when he is not in form, he would continue because that's how it should be. You have to show more patience with the skipper, especially a winning skipper. And it's not Dhoni's fault, mind you.

I have no issues if someone seals a place for good because of his form. But form is bound to dip at some point of time -- even if we or the player concerned don't want -- and you would always have peer pressure. It helps you to raise your game as well.

I have nothing against MSD and it was just a hypothetical issue.

Satrajit said...

see how you have irked the MSD lovers of India, Som :)

Now on a serious note, it will really be sad if we dont find good stumpers after Dhoni. And the point you made here is absolutely apt as India has a history of not finding good stumpers after an established one had retired. There were several stumpers who came between Mongia and Dhoni. And there were several who came between Kirmani and More...

And i think the problem is with the Indian system, where emphasis is not been given to the bench strength. More than Lanka we might imitate the Oz who managed to find out a Haddin after Gilly and still have able keepers on the bench.

Som said...

BTW, I think time is ripe to issue a statutory warning in this blog that it SHOULD NOT be taken seriously:)

Soulberry said...

A bit of Shivalkar, Doshi and Goel thrown in what?

Social Darwinism keeps poking itself into context.

Som said...

Soulberry, that takes me back to an era I have read so much about. No fault of the Bedis/Chandras/Pras/Venkats or Dhonis but a food for thought nonetheless.

live cricket said...

Yes that is likely to happen. Then I guess their only hope is to pray that Dhoni becomes as good a test batsman as Sangakkara or Dhoni keeps and bats so pathetically that he is thrown out of the team ( i seriously hope the latter doesn't happen EVER!) on the other hand it might inspire youngsters to emulate Dhoni thereby having a better pool of multi-utility keepers to choose from in the future......

Som said...

Live cricket, welcome to Doosra. I'm not worried about Karthik. Patel or Saha. Whatever I have seen of them, Dhoni is miles ahead and deserves to stay on. All I wanted to say hope is since MSD would remain in the team, whatever his form, hope it doesn't work as deterrent to other aspiring stumpers.

Anonymous said...

Great minds think alike........................................

Som said...

Anony...feeling elevated:)

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