MS Dhoni has been instrumental in helping the Indian bowlers get the better of the South African batsman in this series.
Dhoni has brought all his experience into play, anticipating the batsman’s intentions and recognising his strengths and weaknesses to direct the bowlers to bowl a particular line and length.
The spin twins have heavily benefitted from Dhoni’s cricketing acumen from behind the stumps, something that has allowed them to toy with the South African batsman almost all through the series.
Dhoni has also helped Hardik Pandya settle into that third seamer’s roll, providing him with cues on how to bowl in South African conditions.
One such incident was on display last night, when Pandya banged one in short to Miller, one that sailed over his head and was called a wide by the umpire.
Dhoni immediately shook his head and asked Pandya to focus more on what the game plan was. Pandya immediately changed his strategy and bowled a slower one that invited Miller into the drive and he ended up scooping it high into the air and into the hands of the long off fielder.
Clearly there was a plan in place and Dhoni wanted Pandya to stick to it rather than going for the bouncer.
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— Alauddin Khilji (@AlauddinKhilj10) February 19, 2018
India won the 1st T20 comprehensively, beating South Africa by a handsome margin of 28 runs and outplaying them in all departments.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shikhar Dhawan were lynchpins of India’s humongous win, keeping South Africa at bay at all times and not letting them settle into a rhythm, neither with bat, nor with the ball.
The second T20 is scheduled to take place on the 21st of February at the Supersport Park in Centurion.