Colombo, Sri Lanka: The third test between India and Sri Lanka is decisive for the ICC topper India. The captain cool Dhoni is yet to lose a series, but needs a victory to avoid losing first series in his captaincy. After the flops of first two tests, everyone expected that resting bowlers will be given chance. Yet, Dhoni decided to continue with the same set of bowlers. His habit of not giving chances to other players in team reminds of Ganguly.
Ganguly was one of the best captain India ever had. Nobody can doubt it. Yet, during his last days, his captaincy turned questionable. AMong many questionable decisions, his selection of certain players over others was always a mystery for the critics and analysts. Some players got more favors from him that other deserving one who kept waiting forever in the queue. India winning or losing at times appeared secondary, his selection appeared primary objective.
Dhoni came with a magical wand creating all sorts of captaincy record for India. He was never expected to carry the same magic throughout his tenure. Defeat was knocking on the door. It has to enter his career too. Nobody would have complained. Yet, the way it happens puzzles many.
Even in the current series, Sri Lanka is sqitching its bowlers in tests even when they are contributing in taking 10 Indian wickets. On the other hand Dhoni appears to have forgotten that there are some bowlers wawiting in the 15-men squad he is leading in Sri Lanka. Probably, somebody should tell him that Munaf Patel is waiting, and even Amit Mishra is there in the team.
Fortunately, after much battering in the first two tests, Harbhajan got injured and Amit Mishra had to play. Dhoni did not have an option. Unlucky Munaf could not get entry as despite another poor show by Ishant Sharma in first two tests and not-so impressive performance by debutant Abhimanyu Mithun in first two tests, Dhoni felt no need to take a chance with any other bowlers.
Both the bowlers could not contribute in taking 10 Sri Lankan wickets on the same pitches where India was losing 10 wickets in an innings. What difference a change could have made? Probably Munaf also would not have fared any better. Still even after failure in two tests, why there is no need felt for experiment!!
Probably, only Dhoni could answer that. Still considering the current series and some past series where he has been reluctant in replacing non-perforing bowlers or batsmen with other players in the announced squad, it does appear that Dhoni is moving fastly towards the darker days of Ganguly era, emulating Ganguly’s act of sticking to unsuccessful players and overlooking bench strength which often resulted in more defeats for India than victories, away or at home.