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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bedi says Captain Cool MSD requires Yoga ~ Bangladesh fans lose cool - behave foolishly

On the longest day of the year — the summer solstice, June 21 — International Yoga Day celebrations swept nearly 200 countries, as those in the Northern Hemisphere greeted the first day of summer.The day also represented a spirit of peace and good will, our Prime Minster NarendraModi said to a crowd of more than 35,000, before taking to his mat and joining what's been billed as the largest yoga demonstration in history.Modiji also mentioned the health benefits of the ancient Indian practice. Studies have shown it eases conditions such as chronic pain and high blood pressure. “Practicing yoga helps combat stress and chronic conditions.” Modi said.  Yogis flowed in Times Square, meditated under the Eiffel Tower, Madrid's Colon Square -  to locations in Afghanistan, South Korea, China and Kazakhstan. But no gathering was larger than the one in India’s capital New Delhi — a massive affair led by none other than Prime Minister, whose brainchild International Yoga Day was.

With 35,985 participants, the New Delhi event has been declared the largest yoga demonstration at a single venue, beating out the previous record of just under 30,000 set by Indian school students in 2005.

Near lies Kotla ground, different ~ mostly no music to bowlers – reportedly smaller where batsmen make merry.   India has exhibited its weakness to left-arm pace.  England's John Lever had a memorable debut at the Kotla in 1976, when he notched up a half-century and had match figures of 10 for 70.  That Series was marred by the ‘vaseline incident’ of John Lever.  At Chepauk, in the 3rd Test too, Lever was fiery.  The England attack  of Willis, Lever, Old, Greig and Underwood bundled out Indians for 83 chasing 284. 

Now in Bangladesh, stung by their first-ever series defeat against Bangladesh, undefireIndia  is looking to salvage some pride and prevent the hosts from registering a rare clean sweep.  At the centre is another tall left arm bowler - Mustafizur Rahman, who has taken 11 wickets in just 2 matches.  At the time of posting this, Bangladesh are 210/7 chasing 318.  Fifties from Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni set India up for their best batting performance of the ODI series; Dhawan stroked a 73-ball 75 and Dhoni, batting at No. 4 for the second match running, made a 77-ball 69 that saw India through the middle overs. Together, they laid the platform for the lower middle order, led by Suresh Raina, to smash 50 off the last five overs.

Captain cool is a cliché often used to describe MS Dhoni. MSD had tasted success in all formats of the game.  The transformation of MSD, from a long-haired pinch-hitter to a suave captain was as  dramatic as his exit  recently from Tests.  Now there is criticism that Dhoni has lost his cool in this Series – here is an interesting AmulAd !

RavichandranAshwin who answered the press conference, mounted a strong defence of MS Dhoni's leadership saying he would "die on the field" if his captain asked him to. Dhoniearlier  brushed aside the criticism of his captaincy but sarcastically quipped that if he was the source of everything that was wrong with Indian cricket, he would gladly step aside.Ashwin added that challenge starts for Mustafizur from here.  Before Mustafizur Rahman, there was AjanthaMendis. Much like Mendis did in his debut Test series in 2008, but subsequently found tough to live up to that reputation.   India's plans for tackling Mustafizur have been widely sought after, and when the inevitable question popped up, Ashwin said: "If there isn't a counter as such, I mean what can we do? Can we kidnap him? No, we have to come out there and play some good and solid cricket and try and make sure we nullify him. He does bowl a good cutter, which is something we have to watch out for.

In this Series, apart from Bangladesh romping home  a 79-run win over India in the first ODI at Dhaka , the talking point has been the Dhoni-Rahman incident that took place in the 25th over of India's run chase.Off the second ball of the 25th over, Dhoni drove a Rahman delivery to mid-off and set off for a quick single but mid-way through the run, he barged into the bowler who seemed to feel the force and had to leave the field injured.  Later Dhoniwas  fined 75 percent of his match fees and Rahman 50 percent of his match fees.While Dhoni has been criticised for deliberately shoving Rahman, it must be noted that it was clearly accidental and the incident has judged far too hardly by some.

Times of India report  tried to give it a different tinge stating that given Dhoni's stature in international cricket, it was a very unsporting act, something the Indian captain has never been accused of in his illustrious career. But, replays clearly showed that Dhoni played it soft and with mid off fielder inside the circle, he had to take off quickly.  Streaming in at a good pace, there was Rahman in the middle who could see Dhoni charging – still ambled across without ever trying to get out of the way.  He was not even preparing to collect the ball – but stood on the way – and there was a possible run out – Dhoni ran straight, barged into Rahman and nearly knocked him off his feet.   After the collision, Dhoni seemingly said sorry to the bowler, though he was unhappy with the bowler coming his way, went to check whether Rahman was okay.   Earlier in 5th over the same bowler had blocked Rohit Sharma too.

BishanBedi once asked the Indian team to jump into Ocean and now says that MSD is no longer Captain Cool and yoga sessions can help him overcome the tough phase !Bedi feels Dhoni is certainly ruffled by the recent losses.“Ye pehlidafahaikiwohbehkibehkibaateinkarrahahai (It’s the first time he is not making sense). And that is a clear indication that he is not ‘Captain Cool’ anymore. He looks ruffled. Having said that I still don’t blame any individual but the team,” Bedi said in an interview.“There is no shame in defeat but there has to be some concern in defeat. The killer instinct, which is part of a professional sportsperson’s character, was missing from Team India. Bangladesh were more committed in batting, bowling and fielding front.Bedi, 68, also questioned the think-tank’s decision to drop Ajinkya Rahane in the second game.

Man to man India were a better side on paper, but games are played on the ground. Bangladesh has played better Cricket – India should avoid the washout – then there will always chances to undo all the damage.  Off the field, it was Bangladesh who displayed their poor spirit …. In a shocking revelation, Indian cricket's superfan Sudhir Gautam has claimed that the Bangladeshi fans wanted to kill him to avenge their team's quarter-final loss against India in the ICC World Cup 2015.  Gautam as all fans know,  is seen at all  India's matches with his body painted in tri-colour. He is always spotted in the stands waving the Indian flag with number 10 on his body (Tendulkar's ODI jersey number). He had even  travelled to Australia and New Zealand for World Cup 2015. Sudhir was manhandled by the Bangladeshi fans post India's humiliating series defeat against Bangladesh after the second ODI.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th June 2015.

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