New Delhi: "I want the pitch to turn from ball one." That's what MS Dhoni wanted, that's what MS Dhoni got and that's what cost India a Test match – and dare say perhaps a series win at home.
Dhoni was forced to eat his own words, stuffed with a hard-to-digest 10-wicket humiliating defeat against England, at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. That has left worried fans wondering what the next audacious demand of the India skipper will be, after what he wanted was smeared back in his face in broad daylight.
Agreed, home captains want curators to doctor tracks to suit them, but Dhoni - mostly instinctive, rarely rational and of late ridiculous - went on record with that demand without realising that his execution order could turn out to be suicide in disguise. That's exactly what transpired.
'If we win the Kolkata Test, the series should end.' Is that next on the list of Dhoni's outrageous demands?
The best-batsmen-of-spin-bowling theory was shown the door by the England spinners who, with due respect to Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, were brought into play by Dhoni. Had the surface not turned square, India would have batted far better, though Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen showed that's not an excuse for getting bowled out for 142, whatever the conditions.
For Test cricket lovers, India's defeat has turned the series wide open. But Dhoni is pretty much capable of spoiling that prospect with another of his outrageous orders in an attempt to make it ridiculously one-sided to save himself the blushes.
On those lines, what could be Dhoni's next five 'pearls of wisdom'?
1. The Eden wicket should spin only when we bowl.
2. If we win the Kolkata Test, the series should end.
3. Anyone in the 15 should be allowed to bat for me.
4. Ojha should be allowed to bowl from both ends at the same time.
5. If England win in Kolkata, the series should be extended to five Tests.
What do you think?