Home > Features >

MS Dhoni should take heart from Kapil Dev’s heroics of 1990 to help India avoid follow on

merge
Former Indian captain Kapil Dev (Left) took an aggressive approach against the English in 1990 © Getty Images

MS Dhoni would need to bat well to help India avoid the follow on. He has to mix his approach between caution and aggression as India wouldn’t want to be put in again. Nishad Pai Vaidya writes about Dhoni’s possible approach.

India were 24 runs away from avoiding the follow on, when Kapil Dev took strike to Eddie Hemmings. At the other end was  No 11 Narendra Hirwani. So, what does Kapil do? He simply nails four sixes down the ground to avoid follow on. Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni can take heart from that performance 24 years ago and try to emulate a similar feat if not as spectacular.

With India needing 47 more to avoid follow on, Dhoni is the key at Southampton. England have done exceedingly well to put pressure on India on a good batting track. Dhoni now stands between England and a follow-on on Day Four of the third Test at Southampton. Batting on 51, Dhoni has only two more wickets in hand and has to somehow go about his job with the tailenders. It would be interesting to see the approach Dhoni takes when Day Four resumes.

Dhoni can shift gears at any stage in a game and is blessed with the ability to play any role. He can block it with a dodgy mindset and keep everything out or attack almost every other delivery. Both have their inherent risks. If you are too defensive, the pressure can build on you leading to wickets falling. And if you are too aggressive, you offer the other side a chance. What should a batsman do in such cases? Perhaps, taking a middle road is the best option.

On Day Three, Dhoni was quite sensible in his approach and was determined to stay there in the middle. He did pick the occasional boundary and helped the scoring rate. The 51 runs have come off 103 balls, which shows he has spent time in the middle. But, five fours and a six are proof that he hasn’t let opportunities go. So, it is imperative Dhoni plays with the same approach on Day Four and scores runs at a good rate. He needn’t take too many risks even if he wants to score, but can play his natural attacking strokes along the ground. He played the fast bowlers well and played the probing deliveries safely.

The only question is: How much will the tail back him? We know for a fact that Mohammed Shami can bat and has the temperament to fight it out in the middle. He had scored a fifty in the first Test, which also showed that he could hit the ball. Dhoni trusts his ability and did not mind exposing him to the final over of Day Four. But, if Shami gets out, Pankaj Singh comes in. Pankaj doesn’t boast of a good batting record, but has three fifties in First-Class cricket.. At the highest stage, it is a bit different though and would be too much to ask him to perform with the bat. Hence, Dhoni and Shami are India’s last hope.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Melbourne

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Jan 2, 2015 (14:00 IST)   at Cape Town

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Jan 3, 2015 (03:30 IST)   at Wellington

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 68 runs

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Australia won by 4 wkts

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014  at Centurion

South Africa won by an innings and 220 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Ind vs Aus: Dhoni analyses the 4-wicket loss at Brisbane

Live Cricket Score Ranji Trophy 2014-15, Round 3, Day 2 — All matches

Shahid Afridi, please do not take the innocence away from cricket

India vs Australia 2014: Visitors would do well to back aggression up with performances

South Africa vs West Indies 2014-15: Is Jason Holder a captain or a stooge?

Can Eoin Morgan change England’s limited-overs fortunes?

Australia India Interviews Moments in history Ricky Ponting

Sachin Tendulkar announced as ICC World Cup 2015 brand ambassador

India vs Australia 2014-15: Joe Burns’ father did not believe selection news

India vs Australia 2014-15: Nathan Lyon backs officials despite India’s complaints

Shahid Afridi retirement: For Pathans, solace is in Pakistan cricket

Alastair Cook says he would take time to overcome disappointment following World Cup sacking

Moin Khan: Pakistan must carry momentum in ICC World Cup 2015

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: One-sided encounters may suck interest out of series

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Can Australia make it 12 wins in a row at home?

Surrey throw away wickets to win against Nottinghamshire

Pakistan Under-19 captain Saud Shakeel ticks all the right boxes

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

683 Posts | 6 Fans

Mitchell Johnson's 37 wickets against England in Ashes 2013-14

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here