Hyderabad, India: MS Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan have been one of the most important wheels of current Indian Cricket. All the three have achieved exceptional feats in their respective fields. Yet, when it comes to T20 and specially under pressure, why do these three look not better than club-side players!!
Dhoni is representing and leading Chennais Super Kings, while Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are two of the most popular and successful international bowlers in the team of Mumbai Indians. But, after completion of their respective two matches, the question again has come on top, can these be called the best in T20 too?
Tale of Bhaji and Zaheer crumbling under Pressure
Mumbai Indians lost both their opening matches. Both their opponents plummetted run at will against them. In fact, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh gave away 26 runs in just 9 balls to gift victory to South Australia when their number 6 and 7 batsmen were batting. Under pressure, the inexperienced South Australian batsmen were expected to crumble specially when 2 famous international bowlers were bowling. But, they had the Australian grit to carry, even if they have never even played for the Australian team, whereas the two international level bowlers looked blank when they were taken to the laundry that too in the final two overs.
While against South Australia Zaheer Khan finished with 33/1 in 4 overs, Harbhahan gave 31 runs going wicketless in 3.3 overs. The last 12 runs required to win came in the first three balls of Harbhajan’s over, which was the last over of the match too.
Even against Lions, Zaheer leaked 45 runs going wicketless in 4 overs. Harbhajan went wicketless giving 22 runs in 3 overs. His captain, Tendulkar did not hesitate in not handing him ball to bowl his last over.
Teammate Malinga Shines, yet Bhaji and Zaheer fail in 2 matches
Ironically, their teammate and SL pacer Malinga showed what being international player means. Against Lions he took 3 wickets for 33 runs in 4 overs, whereas against South Australia giving just 22 runs taking 2 wickets in his 4 overs.
Zaheer and Harbhajan can blame critics again. But, there is something called self-introspection which they must do, if they feel they are the best in the T20 business too.
Has Dhoni Forgot his Flambuoyance With Bat in T20!!
Dhoni had a different tale to tell though. His failure with bat has been hidden by the 2 wins registered under his captaincy by his Chennai Super Kings. The bowlers have done their job to restrict to the 2 weakest teams in their groups to much smaller total while chasing. In fact, behind the wickets Dhoni has been very successful, except one wrong judgment of Murali’s doosra in the match against Wayamba. If his team has to win just because of his captaincy, he can be the 12th man.
Yet, with bat he has left lot to desire. He is not the same destructive Dhoni people have known in batting. Being the captain he could afford not to let him bat during the match against Central Districts, despite 6 wickets falling. The reason given was flu. The question remained, why did he play then? On the top of that, his wicketkeeping did not show any sign of flu when he took outstanding catches and did one intelligent stumping. Against Wayamba he got the opportunity to bat for 2 overs. Raina and Murali Vijay have already set an imposing total. Still, batting without any pressure of chasing or the need to accelerate the run rate he could remain not out on 10 runs after facing 9 balls, that too against the same bowling which was sent into submission by his juniors Raina and Vijay.
The question remains for Dhoni too, is he good enough with bat in T20 now?
Do Not Answer Critics, Just do Self-Introspection
It is not about answering critics too, especially for Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh. But, it is about self-introspection if they want themselves to be counted as one of the best players, even in the current lot.