Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag was not at all impressed with Kolkata Knight Rider’s code word strategy, which they used against Punjab Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad on Monday. The KKR’s team management displayed a ‘54’ coded message for their captain during the middle overs of PBKS batting innings.
Sehwag feels if the message has to come from the think tank of the team, then anybody can lead and what’s the advantage of giving the captaincy to Eoin Morgan, who is known for his astute captaincy. In fact, England have also used the same coded word strategy in the past and the same was seen with KKR.
Sehwag believes the code could have meant anything – it could have been a 5-4 field or pre-planned strategy or giving a particular bowler the ball.
“We have only seen such code language in the army. I think ’54’ was the name of their plan which could be about bowling a certain bowler at a particular time. I think that’s a little help that management and coaches want to give to the captain from the dugout. There’s nothing to frown upon in this, but if they are dictating [the game] from the outside then in this way, anyone can be the captain right? There’s no role left for his (Eoin Morgan) popular instinctive power in the game, the power with which he won the World Cup,” said Virender Sehwag on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag added that these strategies could be used by the team but it is better if the captain makes his own instinctive decision on the field under the crunch situations.
“I think one should definitely get help from outside but the captain himself has some instincts about which type of bowler to use when. I am not saying don’t take the help from outside because sometimes even the 25th player can give a good suggestion. But this suggestion should be only something which helps the captain and he thinks ‘Right, I didn’t think about it in this way’. Also, these things can help if he has forgotten something and the code reminds him of that then there’s no issue,” added Virender Sehwag.
On the other hand, Sehwag heaped praise on captains like MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma, who are known for their astute leadership. Rohit is the most successful captain in the IPL as he has led MI to five titles whereas MS Dhoni has led CSK to three championships.
“Many captains like MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are instinctive. They change their strategy according to the situation on the ground. If I talk about MS here, then when Andre Russell was batting, there was no fine-leg or deep square-leg, just 2 players on the leg-side and the rest were on the off-side. No analyst can tell you this; this is MS Dhoni’s immediate thinking. No doubt, help from the dugout is good, but there are certain instances when the captain’s instincts are more important,” concluded Virender Sehwag.
KKR were able to get back to winning ways after losing four matches on the bounce. The Eoin Morgan-led team will next face DC at the same venue on 29th April.