3 recent performances of MS Dhoni which shows his decline
MS Dhoni has been a gargantuan in Indian cricket. Captain Cool, finisher par excellence and one of the smartest brains the game has ever seen. Dhoni has also transformed Indian cricket over the last decade by bringing in some inspirational changes to the side. He has won everything under the sun by becoming the first captain to win all the 3 major ICC tournaments followed by a Test Mace, IPL and CL T20.
As a batsman, Dhoni has batted in the lower middle order. When he first came in, he batted with an element of swagger by nonchalantly marauding sixes and forged a powerful combination with Yuvraj to finish close games for India. Dhoni's 91 in the 2011 World cup final against Sri Lanka is part of Indian cricket's folklore. He has been a master in finishing games in the last over and his consistency as a finisher is unparalleled. Dhoni became the first batsman to score 10000 runs in ODI cricket at an average of 50. Considering his insane wicket keeping skills, he is one of the biggest match winners in limited overs cricket.
The last couple of years has been disappointing as he has struggled to get going against the spinners in the middle overs. His ability to hit sixes has remained, but he has been unsuccessful in setting up the platform that is needed to go big during the death overs.
Here are some innings which show his waning skills.
#1 MSD scores 54 from 114 balls against the Windies
Windies won the toss in the 4th ODI in Antigua, in the 2017 series and elected to bat first on a slow wicket. They got off to a decent start with both openers scoring 35 each. They lost wickets at regular intervals and managed to score 189. The target was never going to challenge a strong Indian batting line up, even though the wicket was expected to slow down more in the second half.
India had a terrible start losing Dhawan, Kohli and Karthik in quick succession. Rahane and Dhoni resurrected the innings before Rahane was dismissed for 60. Windies spinners were bowling tight lines and Dhoni couldn't get a move on through strike rotation. He could manage just one boundary and scored the slowest fifty for India in 16 years - in 101 balls. He was eventually dismissed for a below par 54 off 114 balls and India shockingly fell short by 11 runs and got bowled out for 178, handing the Windies a surprise win.
Dhoni's inability to tread the field with singles or go for the big shots in the middle overs was seen as one of the reasons why India lost this game