Dhoni misses third ODI vs NZ with hamstring strain: The Indian wicket-keeper batsman was declared unfit at the toss.
Former India captain and current wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni was declared unfit at the toss by India captain Virat Kohli. Wicket-keeper batsman Dinesh Karthik has replaced Dhoni in the playing XI.
Apparently, it was a hamstring strain which ruled Dhoni out of the third ODI at Mount Maunganui. Dhoni neither looked uncomfortable in the last match nor was there any update on the same. Kohli making the announcement left the plentiful fans of the 37-year old cricketer astonished.
MS Dhoni misses out due to a hamstring strain, and Hardik Pandya makes a return to India’s XI
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) January 28, 2019
Newsflash: MS Dhoni out with a sore hamstring. DK in. Also, Hardik Pandya is back. #NZvInd
— Chetan Narula (@chetannarula) January 28, 2019
While there has been no official update on the extent of the injury or how much time will it take for Dhoni to take the field again, it doesn’t appear anything major.
In what is a blessing in disguise for the Indian team, Dhoni’s injury will give another chance to Karthik. Having done well in crunch situations lately, he was unfortunate to be be left out in the name of trying other combinations in the subsequent ODIs.
That being said, the Indian management would be looking forward to playing both him and middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu in the same playing XI. Talking about the batting order, there are high chances of all-rounder Kedar Jadhav being promoted at No. 5 and Karthik being continued with his finisher’s role.
Among the other changes to the squad, India included all-rounder Hardik Pandya in place of Vijay Shankar in a like-for-like replacement. Also playing a couple of spinners, the hosts included all-rounder Mitchell Santner, leaving out Colin de Grandhomme.
MS Dhoni goes past Brian Lara. pic.twitter.com/ooPwRbfJX9
— CricTracker (@Cricketracker) January 26, 2019
MS Dhoni in 2019 👇
51, 55*, 87*, 48* 🙌
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) January 26, 2019
Having earned a vital 2-0 lead in the series, another win would have handed India the series in six days. Kohli would be hoping for the team to perform in the same manner even in the absence of Dhoni.
After being declared as the ‘Man of the series’ for scoring 193 runs in three matches at an average of 193 and a strike rate of 73.10 including three half-centuries, Dhoni gave the impression of leaving behind a ‘poor’ 2018. He also scored a crucial 48* to propel India to 324-4 in the second ODI.