January 27, 2010

Indian Factionalism League ...

January 27, 2010 Posted by Vijay , No comments
The first signs of differences between Dhoni and Sehwag came about during last year's World T20 tournament. It was more a case of Sehwag trying to come out of an injury he sustained during the IPL in South Africa prior to that which he failed to recover from. Dhoni famously paraded the entire team to show unanimity in front of a gossip hungry media. Funnily enough, another IPL issue seems to have appeared during the just concluded Bangladesh tour.

Dhoni who missed out the first test agains Bangladesh, seemed to have favoured Pragyan Ojha at the very last moment for the second test, ahead of Amit Mishra who performed more than decently in the first test. Media is always hungry for any potential controversies and groupism within teams is always a prime topic for sensationalism. Sehwag was the captain in the first test, while Dhoni came back to take the reins in the second. There was supposedly a heated discussion about the exclusion of Amit Mishra.

To be fair to Sehwag (who I am prejudiced for), Amit Mishra ha bowled well enough in the first test and deserved another chance. It is an open secret that South Africa struggle against quality leg spin and the second test would have been the right preparation for Amit Mishra to gain in confidence ahead of the visiting South Africans. I just hope there wasn't as much into this controversial selection as is being made out.

But it does seem there are ego clashes within the Indian team over selection and options when Dhoni is not captain. When Dhoni was banned for three ODIs against Sri Lanka, Sehwag had taken over and one sensed his liking for Dinesh Karthik. While Dhoni would have indeed preferred to send Suresh Raina, Sehwag continued to repose faith in Dinesh Karthik and sent him ahead of Raina. When one considers that Raina has been performing consistently in the ODI format, it did seem an unusual move. Dhoni even prefers to give Raina a bowl most of the times, while in that same ODI series when Sehwag was the skipper, he ignored Raina's bowling altogether.

There is definitely some tension between the captain and vice captain. Look at this for coincidence. Dinesh Karthik plays for Delhi Daredevils, so does Amit Mishra. While Suresh Raina plays for Chennai Super Kings, so does Murali Vijay and Sudeep Tyagi. Sehwag would obviously prefer Ishant Sharma because he belongs to Delhi, but honestly Ishant has been quite poor over the past one year or so. And to think that Delhi Daredevils was last year skippered by Sehwag and Chennai by Dhoni. It seems more like a case of IPL factionalism within the Indian cricket team.