Monday, 11 July 2011

3rd Test: No. 1 but can't make 86 off 90

New Delhi: MS Dhoni can sense an opening and he instinctively pounces on it. But at the Windsor Park on Sunday, he chose not to crouch and attack his prey. Instead, he let West Indies run away with a draw when a win was all but on a platter for India.
Only 86 runs to get in 15 overs with seven wickets in hand! Any team would have risked that for a Test win. Ironically, the No. 1 Test team chose not to, more out of fear than sanity.

A run-rate of less than six runs per over, albeit in a Test, can be swallowed by hitters like Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli and captain Dhoni himself. And Rahul Dravid is still eager to play the IPL. So why didn't they go for it?
It goes without saying that Virender Sehwag's presence would have made a difference. But it was still doable, even without Sehwag's roller-coaster start. Probably, it was the fear of drawing a series that prevailed over the sanity of winning it 2-0. And Dhoni was honest enough to admit it.
"Not disappointed about stopping the run-chase. We were risking a series win going after the target," said captain cool in the post-match conference.
Though a honest admission, it sounded like the old cliche 'better safe than sorry'. But that's not how you keep your Test No. 1 status intact, by withdrawing when you should have attacked. One doesn't associate such tactics with a team that sits on top of Test rankings, and is incidentally also the ODI champion.

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