It will be test of the ‘ Cool’

DNA Sunday (Mumbai) - - BOOKS - Manju Sub­hash Chan­dran CHEN­NAI

It’s easy to get into the tag of cap­tain cool, but liv­ing up to the name time and again, es­pe­cially in a high- volt­age se­ries such as the on­go­ing one can be quite a task. On Satur­day, when MS Dhoni and Mis­bah- ul- Haq take to the field, it will be their crick­et­ing acu­men rather than skills that will be put to test. Rain or sun­shine, their con­fi­dent, un­per­turbed coun­te­nances at the press con­fer­ences af­ter a match is al­ways re­fresh­ing. There is, how­ever, much more that en­dear the two cap­tains to us than just their at­ti­tude.

The last year- and- a- half has been a test­ing time not only for both the teams but their cap­tains alike. Amid calls for their heads, the two have been brook­ing crit­i­cism from all quar­ters for their strate­gies. They are hold­ing to­gether units brim­ming with tal­ent but need a lot of rein­ing in to get go­ing.

For Dhoni and Mis­bah, the chal­lenge would be to mar­shal their sides into play­ing com­pet­i­tive, ag­gres­sive cricket and en­sure they don’t in­dulge in need­less ver­bals and lose fo­cus. In­vari­ably, be­sides putting their think­ing caps on, they could be as­suager of tempers. The Ishant Sharma- Kam­ran Ak­mal episode was down­played by both the sides. Dhoni said the in­ci­dent was just a con­se­quence of mis­un­der­stand­ing. “The equa­tion be­tween the play­ers is good. The one- off in­ci­dent hap­pens in the heat of the moment,” he said. “Both the sides are mak­ing a con­scious at­tempt not to cross the line.”

Though Mis­bah was not part of the T20s, he took a lighter view of the episode. “Whether you bat or bowl, let your per­for­mance do the speak­ing,” he said. “Put in a 140- 150 kph de­liv­ery and then show your ag­gres­sion. If you are a bats­man, hit a good shot or do some spec­tac­u­lar field­ing.”

Talk­ing of the game, Mis­bah main­tained that he came in with a fresh mind. Also, de­spite his ab­sence in the T20s, He said he had been tap­ping into the minds of his team­mates and coach, ir­re­spec­tive of the for­mat.

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