Beyond the boundary: Yes boss!

Evolution for most species is a long-time process. In many cases, thousands of years. Which is why it's impossible to observe the awesome transformation for a normal human being who lives not even up to a hundred years. But there are some evolutions that seek to defy conventional logic and wisdom about the look and feel of the mysterious process.

Like the evolution of a shy, simple MS Dhoni into a cool, complex MSD who, on the day before the now-washed-out first ODI at Bristol, gave us a fair idea about the crucial difference between boss and director: a boss is a boss, with or without a director.

When you get wiser and enlightened it may be difficult for you to stop communicating the clarity you feel about things that appear murky for lesser mortals, which was perhaps what MSD did, so we got to know for the first time ever in the action-speculation-packed days after the appointment of Ravi Shastri as director of cricket that Duncan Fletcher is the boss and that it's going to be Fletcher who will be coaching the Indian team at the World Cup 2015.

The BCCI poured further suspense into the drama saying that the captain had overstepped his brief and that it's not his job to decide who the boss was or who should be the coach.

The unfortunate turn of events hints at two disgusting possibilities. First, Dhoni was not sure who the boss was. Second, he was in the mood to challenge the BCCI. Both of which were bad for the team trying to find their feet after getting knocked out in the last three Tests.

If MSD was not sure who his boss was, it was primarily the responsibility of the BCCI to make the matter clear to the captain right from day one of the appointment of Shastri. If the captain didn't know whose advice he needed to follow ultimately, then we could imagine how confused the players got. All this when the whole team were trying to get their confidence back.

Apart from the two possibilities, there is a third one, which looks more probable than the first two.

We could guess with a fair degree of accuracy how the system works at the BCCI: it's possible that the BCCI chose not to make the boss factor very clear, neither to Duncan nor to Dhoni, in the hope of things getting clearer in the course of action. Also, it's unlikely Dhoni would dare to stand up to the board, especially after a humiliating defeat in the Tests and with the chances of his leading the team to the World Cup still bright. So the third, more likely, possibility is that Dhoni tried to put a complicated and difficult statement across quite simply.

In Duncan's own words, spoken just after the Lord's triumph, "to be able to think in a complex manner and then put it across simply is a great skill", which not many could pull off but MSD could. So was Dhoni trying to communicate the complex and difficult matter of his preference for the boss and World Cup coach quite simply?

Fletcher, signed up by the BCCI in April 2011, made the switch when he failed to work the magic that helped England get back the Ashes in the summer of 2005.

He hasn't achieved anything fabulous for India, and it's likely that, at 66, he may not be the right man for India. Dhoni, on the other hand, has won some glittering trophies for India, including the World Cups in ODI and T20.

At 33, he may not be the kind of young thing India would love to hang out with for long, but he is a hero who deserves his chance at the 2015 World Cup.

Until then, the desi D is the boss.

The writer is a freelance contributor based in India. All the views and opinions expressed in the article are solely those of the author and do not reflect those of Times of Oman


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