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.