Wednesday, 5 September, 2012

Why Dhoni's value to the team is unparalleled in history of Indian cricket


Indian cricket has never had a wicket-keeper who could double up as a genuine batsman in the manner of MS Dhoni. Add the phenomenal captaincy numbers to the equation and we have a gift to cherish, the like of which the nation has never seen before 


To put this in perspective let us look at Dhoni compared with the regular wicket-keepers of the past.

Wicketkeeper

Tests

Runs

Ave

100s

50s

MS Dhoni
69
3692
38.45
5
26
SMH Kirmani
88
2759
27.04
2
12
FM Engineer
46
2611
31.08
2
16
NR Mongia
44
1442
24.03
1
6
KS More
49
1285
25.7
0
7
BK Kunderan
18
981
32.70
2
3


Leading from the front

One struggles to understand the thought process behind the claims. The entire case against Dhoni is built on his failure in the two tours, and the logic collapses spectacularly when we look at the figures of the suggested replacements.

England and Australia tours 2011-12 – Tales of woe

Name

M

Runs

Avge

100s

50s

R Dravid
8
655
46.78
3
1
V Kohli
4
300
37.50
1
1
SR Tendulkar
8
560
35.00
0
4
MS Dhoni
7
322
26.83
0
3
VVS Laxman
8
337
21.06
0
3
G Gambhir
7
283
20.21
0
1
V Sehwag
6
239
19.91
0
2

If we open our windows wider than the last two tours and look at his entire captaincy period, the following two tables give an indication of how Dhoni has led from the front. As in the tale of woes aboveduring his entire tenure at the helm, he enters groups dominated by formidable batsmen while continuing to don the gloves of a wicket-keeper.

Top 5 batting averages as Indian Test captain

Captain

Tests

Runs

Avge

100s

50s

SR Tendulkar
25
2054
51.35
7
7
SM Gavaskar
47
3449
50.72
11
14
R Dravid
25
1736
44.51
4
10
M Azharuddin
47
2856
43.93
9
9
MS Dhoni
39
2270
42.83
4
17

Indian captains who average over 50 in wins

Captain

Tests

Runs

Average

100s

50s

M Azharuddin
14
1071
63.00
4
3
MS Dhoni
19
1286
61.23
3
9
R Dravid
8
637
57.90
1
4
SM Gavaskar
9
795
53.00
3
3

And as in the case of such quiet performers, his absence will be felt once he departs from the scene. Till then, the country can count the blessings as long as the ice-cool man goes out to toss the coin, to perch behind the wicket, and to add substance to the batting order.

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