It’s Monday morning and as I tuned into cricinfo I realize that IPL 2.0 actually over, boy it would take me some time now to get out of this IPL hangover. Let me just cool off myself by taking a look how captains have fared in this IPL. Not long before the second edition of IPL started Buchannan proposed his unsuccessful multiple captain theory of having different captains for each game; but it ended up being a Ganguly ousting theory. Let’s spend some time on looking at IPL 2.0 from a captaincy perspective.
Cricket is a team game and Jumbo has shown what inspirational captaincy can do to a dull n dying team. A lot has talked about Warne’s captaincy much so because of the glamor he adds. One just can’t stop admiring Gentleman Kumble and his captaincy skills, took RCB from ashes where KP had left and almost struck gold but for drunken batting from their middle order. Kumble’s captaincy doesn’t have the glamor and poise that Warne possess, but it is simple and straight thinking coupled with bold decisions. He has shown what it means by taking the attack to opposition and leading from the front. His tactical move to bowl himself the first over against Gilly was truly sensational. As the saying “It’s all in the mind” and Kumble played with Gilly’s mind; this one among a few decisions that was a hallmark of his captaincy.
Dhoni can actually outplay QuickSort in finding a pivot player in a team and divide the team into young and old; this time blaming young players for their inability to throw the ball from the deep. He can always find a scapegoat but never would take a responsibility for the teams defeat. If Kumble had a depleted team Dhoni a bunch of match winners much like Ponting of Australia, all he had do was put them in order. But Dhoni’s ego coupled with poor team selection cost Super Kings the semis. Only Dhoni can answer why Raina didn’t bat at number three when he has been the best in that spot for the whole tournament, that why Ntini didn’t get a single game when CSK weakest link had been their bowling. And the idea of stuffing team with all-rounder looks too cliched when things don’t work out. Bad news is that he is going to screw up T20 WC because of his ego.
Attack is the best form of defense and this is what Gilly’s used to inspire his team; especially against Delhi in the semis. He tore Nannes apart by scoring 21 run in the first over and within 6 over the match was over atleast psychologically. And being the second highest scorer helped the cause. A year of no cricket had really charged up Gilly this time around, his team selection especially the phoren babas was a balanced one, 2 batsmen, all-rounder and a bowler. His selection of a genuine quick bowler (Edwards / Harris) to compliment RP’s swing saw spot on. With Gibbs, Symonds and Rohit fielding allowed him to use even his part-timers along with Ojha and Rohit to attack the batsman.
Peter Roebuck theory of T20 having no auto-pilots was definitely true this IPL as the Pilots were definitely in control.