South Africa vs India 2018, 2nd T20I: MS Dhoni silences his critics yet again
What's the story?
MS Dhoni played a brutal knock in the 2nd T20I against South Africa, scoring a fifty of just 27 balls hitting 3 sixes and 4 fours on the way. Dhoni came to the crease in the 11th over of the match and was involved in a 98 run partnership with Manish Pandey who scored 79 of 48 balls. Though India put a fighting total of 188 on board, that wasn't enough to win the game as the hosts chased down the target with 8 balls remaining.
In case you didn't know...
The former Indian skipper has been criticized for his slow batting approach in the T20 Internationals. He is being seen as a redundant batsman in T20 Internationals for close to half a year now. Dhoni has faced criticism on social media for playing defensively and not hitting the ball at the crucial stages of the game. Now and again critics have recommended Rishabh Pant to replace him in the T20s but the move has not been taken yet.
The heart of the matter
MS Dhoni has scored 1432 runs in 88 T20 Internationals at an average of 37.68 and a strike rate of 126.72. While the average is more than decent for a player who comes down the order, the strike rate is above average.
Dhoni started slow early in the innings scoring just 24 of the 19 balls but hammered the last 9 balls for 28 runs. He hit three consecutive boundaries of Paterson which included a six and two fours.
India will wind up the tour playing the hosts in the third and the last T20 international on February 24 in Cape Town. This will be yet another chance for Dhoni to step up his batting and prove his worth with the bat again.
Though the vintage Dhoni's batting has seen a decline, it is noticeable that he takes some time to settle down before hammering the ball for boundaries. The team management should look to promote him up the order when India loses wickets in the middle overs and opt for Hardik Pandya ahead of him when not many deliveries are left in the innings.