MS Dhoni played a very strange knock in the 2nd ODI against England which was way slower than his usual strike rate. Here is an attempt to decode the knock and get inside the head of MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni has a reputation worldwide of being one of the best finishers that ever existed in the game. He has taken his team home so many times that it is obvious for people to think that he would still continue to do it more often than not.
However, with age things are not the same as his success rate has been dropping. However, the peculiar manner in which Dhoni is batting in the 2nd ODI left many wondering the reason behind his defensive tactics.
When he was asked about Dhoni’s innings at the post match press conference, Kohli defended his former Captain. He said that it was not just a bad day for Dhoni but the entire Indian team.
“This thing comes up whenever he (Dhoni) isn’t able to play the way he wants. People just wait to jump on him. When it works, they call him the best finisher and if it doesn’t, they jump on him. Today was a bad day for all of us, not just him.
He is experienced and the idea was to take it deep. You don’t want to lose by 150-160 runs. (On bouncing back from defeats on this tour) Yes, the series is really well poised. Even after Cardiff, we remained calm and bounced back. We expect a team like England to bounce back,” Kohli said.
It seems as if Dhoni was initially trying to take the game as deep as possible so that he could put pressure on the English bowlers in the last few hours and take full advantage of it. However, once Suresh Raina and then Hardik Pandya out, Dhoni ran out of partners.
At this stage many thought that it was now that Dhoni would unleash his charge. However, that never happened. After a few overs of expectancy, the game started drifting away from the reach of India. At one point, one was almost sure that the game had been already lost.
At this point, the only logic behind the Dhoni’s modus operandi was that he did not want the team to get all out or lose the game by a very hefty margin. He wanted to reduce the margins and try to play out the entire 50 overs.
This may seem a negative approach as it may have helped the mindset of players to go down attacking rather than just surrendering arms. One can only comprehend this as a one-off game and expect Dhoni to be back at his best in the games to come.
Each one of us knows that he has the ability to do it and he possibly will nail it in the coming games. Also, don’t be surprised if you see him being promoted in the batting order in the 3rd ODI.