MS Dhoni puts an end to all the whispers and scrutiny surrounding his future with an outstanding performance in the 1st ODI against Sri Lanka on Sunday.
It is true that Dhoni no longer wins matches for his team the way he used to and had been under the pressure of criticism, however, the former Indian captain knows very well how to turn the fingers pointed at him into claps.
Dhoni is currently under the spotlight due to his fantastic performance in the 1st India vs. Sri Lanka ODI that took place in Dharamsala on Sunday. The right-handed batsman with his minimal technique and loads of experience showcased the toughness that is lacking in India’s middle order. He entered the pitch after Sri Lanka pacer Suranga Lackmal had reduced the Indian team to 29-7. Dhoni with a firm grip on the bat took his place outside the crease and inhibited the movement of the wicket for quite a time. He along with Kuldeep Yadav put up a crucial 41-run stand until the eighth wicket was down. The 36-year old wicketkeeper scored a total of 65 runs adorned with two sixes and ten fours after getting dismissed by Perera while playing his 87th ball.
“He’s (Dhoni) done it for so many years and he knows what exactly needs to be done in such conditions. Someone with him could have made the difference. I am not at all surprised by the way he played. He was the only one battling it out,” said Captain Rohit Sharma.
He seemed like a soldier fighting on the battlefield after his army had been down. He shielded and defended them while allowing them to survive on the tricky track.
India’s debacle also brought into focus Dhoni’s place in the batting order. While analyzing Dhoni’s performance, VVS Laxman said that Dhoni should bat up the order as the Indian middle order is still not at ease.
Former Sri Lankan all-rounder Russell Arnold believes that Dhoni still holds the power in himself that could thrust the innings towards the end.
Over the last year, Dhoni has remained unbeaten 9 out of 16 times (56.25%) he has played in the one day innings while 4 out of nine times (44.44%) in the T20 innings.
The 2nd ODI is to be held today in Mohali, however, due to North Indian winter and rain; it’s likely to be cloudy. As fast bowlers can probably get some help from the weather, Dhoni should have a major role in the second match of the innings too.
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