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MS Dhoni is just not done yet

ANALYST
Feature
341   //    16 Jan 2019, 01:33 IST

MSD yet again took India over the line in his own style.
MSD yet again took India over the line in his own style.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has lately been criticised for his batting and slow starts. There has been a lot of speculation over his place in the Indian side and his World Cup berth. Many of his critics even said that Rishabh Pant is ready to replace him in the limited over format too. But Dhoni proved his critics wrong yet again and showed the world why he is regarded as the greatest finisher of all time.

In his last innings in Sydney, he looked sluggish but that situation was different. It demanded someone to hold one end and build a partnership with Rohit Sharma. He couldn't finish off that game and was later scrutinized for his scratchy innings. Sometimes Dhoni gets criticised because he is the victim of his own expectations that he has set.

The stage was set for another MSD special and he did not disappoint his fans this time around. He did it in his own style in the very last over. It is his immense understanding of the game that makes him better than the rest. His skill to absorb the pressure up front only to give it back to the opposition is also unbelievable.

The Indian Team clinched a famous victory in this must-win encounter against the Aussies. The series is beautifully levelled at 1-1. Indian openers started the chase on a positive note. Dhawan tried to look aggressive while Rohit took his time in the early stages.

After Dhawan fell for 32, Virat Kohli came in to accompany the 'Hitman'. Not for the first time, he played an unbelievable knock under pressure while chasing and delivered with yet another century in Adelaide.

MS Dhoni, however, stood out for his heroic and gritty knock of an unbeaten 55 runs. This performance from the veteran will silence his critics for a while. India were reeling at 104 for 2 and Australia were ready to upset them until MS Dhoni walked in and took charge. Dhoni is a master in chasing we all are aware of that, but this was a different Dhoni who struggles to rotate the strike.

Dhoni steadied the ship along with the skipper to bring India back in the game. He gave himself ample of time initially, to play himself in. Both of them added 82 runs before Kohli played a half-hearted shot and got caught in deep by Maxwell. Dhoni now had to change his plans and tried to go for the kill himself. He stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon for a six over mid-wicket in the very next over. It was not his first boundary, it was a statement, that he is just not done yet.  

Karthik then played his part and scored a couple of boundaries to take some pressure off Dhoni. Now both of them started to utilise the gaps and work the ball for 2's and 3's. Dhoni certainly wanted to stay at the crease for as long as possible. It's because he knows if he stays till the end then the bowling which will be under pressure. 

The first ball of the final over, MSD picks the slower ball by Behrendorff and deposits it into the stands over long-on. He did it once again as he has done for so many years for his nation. 

People may think that he is a toothless tiger and not has the same enigma as earlier, but he has proved them wrong yet again. I think he is just getting wiser and we are witnessing a new Dhoni in the autumn of his career. This is not that young flamboyant lad with long hairs anymore. This is MSD 2.0  

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