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Oh Captain Why Captain?


Captains are leaders. Leaders are born. You can’t really teach someone to be a leader. Either one has it or not. It is very important to hand the captaincy of a team to the right person. In the right hands a team will only rise to higher, the youngsters will fulfill their potential, and the opposition will give the team more respect.
Ganguly was one such leader. He transformed a team of perennial pushovers in to a well knit aggressive unit that would stand fearlessly toe to toe with all the opponents irrespective of their reputation. This team fought as hard as anyone for the win. And it gave back as good as it received .Team India had a never seen before attitude and they backed it with the performances that established them as one of the leading teams.

The strong leadership instilled confidence in the youngsters and they rose to the occasion time and again when the team needed them. Zaheer, Harbhajan, Kaif, and Yuvraj shone brilliantly under Ganguly’s leadership. And Dhoni seems to learnt well from Ganguly. Barring the Sreesanth incident he has backed his boys 100%. It is because of Dhoni that Raina enjoyed a long run in the side and look what difference that has made to him as a player. And it is under Dhoni’s captaincy that Jadeja has finally overcome his limitations and is blossoming as a cricketer.

But captaincy is a poisoned chalice that is not meant for everyone. A good example of that would be Sehwag. Forget tactical acumen and strategy, just look at his people management. After the wins over the West Indies, Sehwag at the press conference has gone on to call out players for poor shot selection while brushing his own poor performances under the carpet. What kind of message is he sending out as captain when he calls Parthiv irresponsible for getting out early when he himself threw his wicket away by lofting the first ball that he faced from a spinner straight to the long off?

A captain must back his words with actions. Sehwag has failed to do it till now. He has failed to understand the extra responsibilities that come with captaincy. Dhoni has adapted his game brilliantly without really affecting his effectiveness in the game but Sehwag seems to be unwilling to give captaincy the due respect it deserves.

Granted that Sehwag is a stop gap captain and perhaps not the next captain for Team India but such interim stints can be damaging and if the selectors don’t see him as a future captain then they are better off handing these stints to those who can accept this responsibility with a bit more than just nonchalance. Gambhir seems like  a good candidate or even Raina has been around long enough to handle this job. But sorry Sehwag your cavalier attitude just doesn’t cut it.

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