Captain, my Captain

MUMBAI: Captaincy is not easy, ask Sachin Tendulkar. The most prolific batsman of today’s times is not finding the going easy as he guides his team Mumbai Indians out of disaster. Talent aside, skippering a team requires special talents that have little to do with cricket.

Looking at the eight teams at the Indian Premier League, two teams standout because of their captains. Shane Warne and Mahendra Singh Dhoni have used all the resources at hand to create a winning team. Both the captains have had to shuffle their playing XI every time a player with potential has failed to come up with the goods.

Let’s start with Shane Warne. The Wizard of Oz has the unique ability to get the best out of players and place them in situations, which have been tailor made for them. When Swapnil Asnodkar, the discovery of last year, failed to come up with his swashbuckling innings this year, he was quickly replaced by Naman Ojha. Last year’s winner of the purple cap, Sohail Tanvir, playing for the Pakistan team is looking nowhere as promising as he was in the last edition of the IPL.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave us unlikely heroes in Joginder Sharma and Manpreet Singh Ghony, last year. This year he has given us Sudip Tyagi and Jakati.

And unlike the duo, Brendon McCullum is an unlikely captain. He has failed himself and his players. A good bowler like Ishant Sharma is looking ordinary because the captain has failed to tap his potential and give him the necessary back up. Even commentator Danny Morrison pointed out that his field placements need to be attacking while a supporting a modest total. The Kiwi wicket keeper has looked in woebegone form and coupled with his uninspired captaincy, Kolkata Knight Riders is looking its sorry state.

A captain needs to lead from the front not with his form but with his understanding of the situation and the best utilization of resources. And players like Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni and Shane Warne have mastered the art.

Perhaps that’s one of the best things about this IPL. Players like Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Virendra Sehwag are being groomed to think like a leader. And with so much of cricket being played, backups are required. And that’s where Lalit Modi with his foresight has taken Indian cricket. So here’s saying cheers to Indian cricket and its legion of cricketers!