Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is excellent, technique and runs can wait: Geoffrey Boycott
Former England captain says no one is perfect and therefore, one can't expect MS Dhoni to take India to victories everywhere and in all formats of the game. It is Dhoni's ability to get the best out of others is what stands out.
Geoffrey Boycott says a solid technique in cricket has nothing to do with scoring runs. Singling out India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former England batsman said that that he would always pick the World Cup-winning skipper for his leadership qualities and not for his batting technique. (Read: Dhoni becomes mechanic, dismantles his first motorbike)
Speaking to ESPNCricinfo in an audio interview, Boycott said that the number of runs against the name of a cricketer should supersede how those runs were scored. (Also read: Is Sachin's 200th Test spoiling relations between India and South Africa, wonders Geoffrey Boycott)
"Technique is important. 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," Boycott said while answering a question on 'whether it is good for Dhoni to struggle overseas as a batsman and still lead a side?'
Dhoni averages 39.70 in 77 career Tests, with 4209 runs, 28 fifties and six hundreds. However, his average overseas goes down to 33 with one hundred and 15 half-centuries. Boycott says pinpointing Dhoni's failure with the bat in away Tests is belittling his captaincy.
"Dhoni is mentally very strong and he has a good record certainly in ODIs. 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," he added.
The 72-year-old Yorkshire legend also draws subtle comparisons between former India skipper Sourav Ganguly and current Australia captain Michael Clarke, explaining how the former was much better.
"I'm a personal friend of Sourav Ganguly and a big admirer of his captaincy. 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," he said.