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Scrutiny
 
INDIAN CRICKET TEAM: SUCCESSION PLANNING
Who Should be The Next Captain?
In these Good Times, nothing seems Wrong with The Indian Cricket Team. But one thing that cannot be Ignored is selecting and preparing The Next Rung, Particularly The Captain of the team
Issue Date - 12/05/2011
 
For the first time in Indian cricket’s recent history, if the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar were to announce his retirement tomorrow, apart from the general calls for postponing the retirement, there’ll be no sleepless nights for any fan.

However, the team has played a lot of cricket continuously since the last ten months, which has become a major reason for some senior players asking for permission to be rested for the West Indies tour, including Dhoni. Who could, then, take up Dhoni’s mantle in the future? We present our extremely radical top choices in reverse priority; that is, the last one is our topmost choice (and all, assuming Dhoni has gone on a paid vacation to Honolulu):

Yuvraj Singh: Frankly, the changed Yuvraj Singh has the captaincy on a platter and can lose it only if he throws it away (or if Virender Sehwag refuses to play under him). Despite being the Man of the Series in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj’s performance in the current IPL tourney as a captain hasn’t been that impressive. Maybe one could attribute that more to the lack of quality within the team than on Yuvraj himself. Strengths; changed calmer attitude, supreme commitment to stay there and win the game, and seniority. Weaknesses; borderline case of self-belief; that is, it could all crash the day he has a string of bad scores. Yuvi is our third choice for captain.

Gautam Gambhir: The Delhi born lefty is undoubtedly our second choice. His biggest pluses are his relative youth, ‘in-it-to-win-it’ killer attitude (he said it first), individual passionate commitment, and of course, his ability to single-handedly win a match with his batting. His negative traits are his lack of patience (he’s gotten out quite inanely in the past), uncontrollable anger, ergo, lack of team handling skills in critical situations (shouts at fellow team members; no can do). One should remember that Gambhir led India to a successful New Zealand tour where India won by 5-0 last year.

Virat Kohli: If the BCCI wishes to radically do what South Africa did in 2003 (when it made Graeme Smith the captain when he was just 22), then it should make the 22 year old Virat Kohli the captain and go off to Honolulu and join up with Dhoni for a while – given the acrimonious debate that will arise post the appointment. Virat became famous when he played for Delhi against Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy on the day of his father’s death (shows his unquestionable resolve towards cricket).

He was eulogized when the Indian team won the 2008 U/19 Cricket World Cup held in Malaysia, where he led the team. Strengths; super energetic 24x7, never-say-die attitude, personal commitment and involvement in trying to win, better composure than Gauti by miles, better self-belief than Yuvi, no past controversies. astounding team management skills (he’s supremely loved by the team). Weaknesses; lack of overall experience in managing a team full of seniors. But if Graeme could, then so could Kohli. He is our top choice for captain. And if BCCI makes him the captain one day, remember to send us our free Honolulu tickets; and yes, book the hotel rooms too please.

 

Akram Hoque           

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