Image courtesy of: The Indian Express
Boycott wants Dhoni to improve on his technique and overseas average
England legend Geoffrey Boycott believes that India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni “is mentally very strong” and “has a good record”, but needs to work on his batting technique and overseas average if he wants to become that much better.
While technique is a very crucial part of a player’s game, Boycott feels that scoring runs at a consistent rate is far more important.
“Technique is important,” Boycott told ESPNcricinfo. “But the only thing that matters is how many runs you make. Nobody should ever make technique their god. That’s too idealistic. Technique is a tool to help you do the job. As far as Dhoni is concerned, he should not be judged by his technique, but by the team he is leading.”
Dhoni has represented India in 77 Test matches and has amassed 4,209 runs, which includes 28 half-centuries and six centuries, at a respectable average of 39.70.
However, while playing overseas, his average drops to 33 and he has only recorded one century outside of India.
Boycott noted that Dhoni has to improve his overseas batting average if he is to become one of the greatest captains of all time.
“Dhoni is mentally very strong and he has a good record certainly in ODIs,” Boycott added. “Now, what many people do is try to split his ODI captaincy against his Test captaincy. That’s picking fault with the captain, and India haven’t done well in Australia and England for many years. So you have to be careful not to blame Dhoni because India can’t win everywhere and in all formats of the game.
“Dhoni is a good captain. Is he perfect? No. Is anybody perfect? The last man who was perfect – they crucified him, so the others have no chance! And I would always pick Dhoni for his leadership qualities. Theoretically if you can get five per cent of ten other individuals then you’ve done 50 per cent of your work as captain. So then he needs to only perform another 50 per cent. Probably that’s what Dhoni does when abroad. He brings out the best in others.”
Boycott also took the opportunity to compare Australia captain Michael Clarke to former India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
“I’m a personal friend of Sourav Ganguly and a big admirer of his captaincy,” Boycott said. “But you have to take into account that he had some great batsmen in his team. Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sachin Tendulkar – all fantastic batsmen. And on top of that he had Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh at their best, both genuine match-winning bowlers. So as an admirer of Sourav’s captaincy, you’ve got to take these things into account.
“On the other hand, you’ve got a captain like Michael Clarke. I think he’s a brilliant captain but he hasn’t got the batsmen to make the runs, does he? And his bowlers keep breaking down, they can’t stay fit. So you can’t blame him.”