Dhoni mustn't let snub affect his team's focus
Easier said than done, but India captain MS Dhoni must leave behind — for the time being — the so-called injustice meted out to him and his team in the Ravindra Jadeja-James Anderson fracas and get on with the job on hand.
The job on hand is to change the 1-1 scoreline in his favour.
Feeling let down
Dhoni has reason to be livid and probably feel terribly let down by the rulers of the sport. After all, he is now made to look as if he was not charitable with the truth when he supported Jadeja to the hilt in the controversy.
He must tell his team that there is nothing to gain in falling into a valley of self-pity.
Let’s give you an example of how moving on in the real sense of the term works: In the 1972 Ashes series, England and Australia went into the fourth Test at Leeds with a win each. To their surprise, the Australians discovered they would have to play on a bald pitch that was supposedly been infected by a fungus called fusarium and England recalled their left-arm spinner Derek Underwood to exploit this pitch.
The Australians lost the Test by nine wickets inside three days with Underwood claiming 10 wickets for 82.
In his post-Test team talk, Australia’s captain Ian Chappell emphasised that though they were “duded” no one from his team would, “whingeing about it to anyone, least of all the Press.” This was Chappell’s way of making his team more determined for the final Test at the Oval where they went on to win and square the series. That win was the turning point of Australian cricket in the 1970s.
Dhoni would do well to take cue. The big defeat in Southampton notwithstanding, his young men are capable of doing a Lord’s encore if there are no more fitness issues after Ishant Sharma’s breakdown.
There’s still so much to play and fight for in the series.