With the boo, Sachin seems Taboo, “cricketkeeper” Dhoni cannot afford to be a phoney

March 29, 2006

Yesterday(28/3/2006),I had the pleasure of watching(at the stadium)India beat England at the Firozshah kotla ground here in Delhi.There were some very interesting comments by the crowd on Mahendra Singh Dhoni but first the context:-

About a week back , Sachin Tendulkar made frontline news in the Times of India and Hindustan Times when he was booed by his homecrowd for getting out very cheaply. Many former senior cricketers criticized the crowd for insulting a senior cricketer like Tendulkar. Kapil Dev, in his autobiography has mentioned how the players were reduced to tears on receiving an overwhelming welcome on winning the world cup in 1983. Six months later, the crowd tried to pelt them with stones on losing a match to the West Indies. He said that this has to be taken in the spirit of "taking the brickbats with the bouqets" and that is how Sachin should probably see the situation.

It is too premature to compare Dhoni to Sachin, but some of the statements of the crowd were revealing(It seemed that he was was the "cricketkeeper" of the nation instead of mere wicketkeeper):-

1) As soon as Shewag got out, somebody called to say, "Oye Gambhir, Gambhir hoke mat kheliyo, kuch Dhoni se seekh. (Gambhir, don't play quietly, follow Dhoni's example) 

2)Except for the fall of the first wicket, whenever the other wickets fell, the crowd was eager to see whether or not the incoming batsman was Dhoni by continously chanting his name. When he finally made his appearance after the fall of 4-5 wickets, he received a loud roar.

3) In the Toilet, I overheard people in adjoining toilets having a chat on what a fool Dravid was for not sending Dhoni earlier.

4) At the food stall, somebody remarked that one need not worry about the fall of early wickets as anything was possible as long as Dhoni's wicket was intact.

5) When I was returning to my seat with foodplates in both my hands, I had to stop at one place where I overheard a cop requesting his boss(in hindi)not to move him as Dhoni had come and the boss eagerly stole a glance to the ground from his duties to acertain the fact.

6) When Dhoni hit a shot which seemed to be rushing to the boundary but was halted, prompt came a remark from behind ,"Yeh ulloo ke paththe pata nahin kahaan kahaan se aa jaate hain fielding karne". "God knows from where these **** come from to obstruct the shot". It seemed that every shot of Dhoni should go for a four or six.

7) When Dhoni got out,an Englishman in the crowd began to stand and applaud. Somebody remarked from Behind" Oye Angrez ki Aulaad, Dhoni ne Dhulai nahin ki tau kya hua, main teri dhulai kar doonga. Niche, baith, ****"-Hey Englishman, so what if Dhoni did not hit out today, I will hit you. Sit down, you ****)

Such expectations, such adulation. One really salutes Sachin Tendulkar for carrying the burden of even more expectations in his illustrious 16 year career. Some film producers sit among the crowd for gauging the response to their films but I would be very nervous to hear such comments if I were a cricket star.

Though over the years I have admired different attributes of different cricketers in both forms of the game, I am with the crowd and very much a fan of one day cricket. Unfortunately,  cricketers are unanimous in their opinion that test cricket is the real cricket though in my view one day cricket is a different form of test where the resources have to be utilized optimally because of the time constraint.( Just as one of the reasons attributed to the success of Japan and Germany after the second world war  the scarcity of resources which forced their efficient utilization). There are some self styled connoisseurs who still enjoy the five day game(one can admire a player's stamina and temprament but who wants to pay to watch all that and who has the time in today's world) but I think the majority is for the one day fireworks. I think that the cricket board should host a best of three one days at each ground. Then the cricketers will get their job satisfaction and the crowd shall get their value for money.It will be a win-win situation for all.

Sachin does not deserve to be booed but the test matches played on lop sided batting pitches(first two test matches in pakistan) definitly deserve a thumbs down.

My admiration for Dhoni has doubled and going with the popular mood, let me add one of the most popular songs of yesteryear's:-

"Anhoni ko honi kar de, honi ko anhoni,

Ek Jagah jab jama ho teeno- Dhoni, Dhoni aur Dhoni"

There are six matches to go. Hope my words prove prophetic. 


  1. anhoni ko honi kar de…. hahahahah thats too funnyy..!

    i read this two daysback.. it has almost become my anthem now…..finally cam back to mention this here…

  2. Nice write up, but I want to say 2 things…Firstly, though one-day and test are two different games, but in my opinion test cricket is the real cricket as a team has to excel in all aspects of the game to win. You can win a one day match even by playing 11 specialist batsmen. Secondly, although I enjoy Dhoni’s batting tremendously, he never was, neither is, nor ever will be another Tendulkar.

  3. hey , in India , is cricket the national game?

  4. betwen u have been blogrolled!

  5. Hiren, yes, they have to use their resources efficiently in ODIs but what makes you think it’s not the same in Test cricket? In fact, to play to win over 5 days needs much more efficient use of resources.

    And.. talking about Dhoni and the crowd’s immense love for him, soon, there’ll come a day when the human being M. S. Dhoni gets out for a low score following a string of low scores and is booed off by the crowd… and another N. T. Bhoni will be the “current darling” of the crowd.

  6. Neat post.

  7. Not a cricket person so *wondering what to say* but still i read this one haan… well almost :0

  8. haha nice heading
    Dhoni seems to be the man of the hour.everyone’s keeping a close watch on him and this guy is making it big

  9. I ain’t too much of a cricket fan, but that was very well written…. nice blog too

    Happy Blogging,


  10. Well,

    To judge Sachin from the adulation or otherwise of the fickle Indian crowd does not really make much sense.

    Mind you, Dhoni has hardly played on foreign pitches, let him first play and prove himself on the bouncier Aussie tracks. Also, his technique is a little suspect. As Sehwag has found out, once you are sorted out by the bowlers, there is very little one can do without the crutches of a strong technique.

    Btw, I dont know how did you find the crowd berating the Englishman funny, was kinda racist to me. If an Aussie did it to an Indian guy in Australia, we would all be shouting racism, racism but when we do it its all fun!

    Sheer hypocricy!

  11. Cricket frenzy can bring people, especialy in the Indian subcontinent, to do and say strange things! Look at what happened in Guwahati after the match got cancelled! I saw some pictures in the Guardian and it all looked scary.

  12. Who says Dhoni will not be able to fare well on bouncier pitches. After seeing him bat in Jamshedpur ODI against England, even sceptics like Geoffery Boycott and Nassir Hussain have begun to admire him. Mind you, Jamshedpur has the bounciest track in India, and one must have seen the plight of other batsmen in absence of Sachin and Dravid.
    As for his “suspect” technique, let me tell you, even experts agree that Dhoni plays mostly in the “V”, which is the mool mantra of consistency. Time will prove that Dhoni will be much more consistent than Sehwag. It is not fair to compare him to Sachin, as Dhoni is mostly self made and has lost good three-four years already because of the reasons beyond his control.But he is definitely a “lambi race ka ghoda” and make his own mark in the history of Indian Cricket. And yes, he will definitely score a ton at Perth, the bounciest pitch in the world.( Mind you, even the great Sachin has scored only one out of his 35 tons on this ground)

  13. Sachin is a go. Dhoni a demigod. But then Sachin took some 30 matches to score his first Ton, Dhoni alredy has hit two tons. Sachin tooks 5 years to reach an average of 50. Dhoni already averages 50. Dhoni is also more consistent.

    About the Englishman incident it is true that we do not respect each others views as we should. Just if we are in a group and we have enough support in the gruop we become too headstrong.

    Also forget his boast that he would beat an Englishman. They were not fools to be able to keep up slaves for a hundred years. It took that clever lawyer who loved even his enemies to get them out of here.

  14. Ne cricket updates i know where to come 🙂

  15. ok hiren,
    its almost a month, you can post a new thought.
    time me says….

  16. It is too premature to compare Dhoni to Sachin

    Dhoni is no match for Sachin, at least now, even though Sachin was in awful form when he last played.

  17. Here are some links that I believe will be interested

  18. Hey Hiren
    Thanks for visiting my blog…that’s how i ended up landing here and was not disappointed.

    While you are right about Sachin and his burden, what worries me is the attitude of the public. In spite of cricket being such a well-entrenched game in this country, I am still not too sure if the people at large appreciate the finer nuances of the game..or they don’t want to. It’s time the public rooted for a patient Dravid innings as much as a swashbucking one by Dhoni..And that’s what also makes me such a fan of the English cricket fans ! Am an old-fashioned at heart that ways…

  19. Scaling Peak 200.

    I think this should put the booing commentary to rest:

    Sachin becomes first man in history to reach 200 in a One-day international against South Africa, among the best one-day sides in the world. And all this just shy of his 37th birthday and 4 years after being booed at Wankade.

    The last 12 months have seen him score 10 international hundreds: six in Tests – including four centuries in his last four Tests – and four in ODIs.

    Three of those 4 ODI tons – Wednesday’s 200, the unforgettable 175 against Australia last November and the brilliant 163 in New Zealand last March – are among his four highest ODI scores. Only his previous highest score of 186, against the Kiwis, falls outside this golden patch.

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