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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Is Dhoni-bashing the new fashion in town?

Yes, MS Dhoni-led Indian team lost another match in Australia. Yes, the team is trailing 0-2 Down Under. This does not mean  that the media goes to town bashing the captain stating that he is the worst captain and that his predecessors did great. One of the recent posts did just that and I had enough.

I started looking at Cricinfo on the Indian performances from 2000 to 2010 and compared it to the same during 2010 until today. The results were what I expected them to be.

The performances from 2000 are

The performances from 2010 are as follows:

What it turns out to be is the following:
  1. The Indian team benefited by the regular tours to Zimbabwe during the earlier decade where they won 3 test matches. Now, there is an embargo on test matches and hence only ODI's can be played. Even there, the Indian team lost one match (it hurts even now!)
  2. Similarly, the Indian team visited Pakistan and won two while losing two matches. There is a BCCI embargo in place today. Hence, there are no test matches being played there. 
  3. Sri Lanka has also not had many matches recently - just three in the last four years. The Indian team would benefit by playing more in pitches similar to its own, especially when  the team is forming.
  4. If you remove the matches played against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Pakistan from the previous decade, the W/L ratio comes down heavily. 
  5. Yes, the performance against the better teams like England, Australia and South Africa is better but that happened after the Fab Four (Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Ganguly) came into existence. 
With this analysis, it is time the Indian team is given time to perform. The last Aussie tour still had the Fab Four (except Ganguly) in the team - this is the first tour for the new Vintage (as MSD calls them). Hopefully, the next tours to England, South Africa and Australia will be better.
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