SK Play of the day: Dhoni's affair with unconventional stumping continues as he stumps Luke Ronchi
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has proved to be a vital cog in the Indian cricket team for quite some time now. The captain of the Indian cricket team in the shorter format is well-known for being tactically brilliant with his captaincy apart from being a formidable batsman.
But it's his more than impressive wicketkeeping skills that set him apart from the rest. The 35-year-old has often turned around matches with his wicketkeeping skills alone. While many proclaim his success because of him being an unconventional wicketkeeper, it's his presence of mind that makes him dangerous with the gloves.
Also read: India vs New Zealand Live Scorecard
Dhoni has proved his wicketkeeping abilities on several occasions in the international arena with the latest one being stumping the New Zealand batsman Luke Ronchi off Amit Mishra during the third ODI in Mohali on Sunday. Though it wasn't the first time that he has come up with such a stumping, it certainly did silence the critics.
It was the second ball of the 30th over when Mishra bowled a brilliant leggie that pitched and turned away. Ronchi's attempted drive went in vain as his back foot was out while Dhoni collected the ball inches behind the stumps and took the bails off in a flash.
It wasn't a strange scene for any of Dhoni's fans as the wicketkeeper-batsman has been lightning fast with the gloves over the years. He adopts an unconventional style when it comes to standing behind the wickets for spinners but it has proven effective most often than not.
Dhoni, as a wicketkeeper differs a lot from the traditional ones as his backlift after receiving the ball is very less or sometimes nil. This isn't something that comes naturally to all the wicketkeepers as they are taught to continue with the momentum of the ball to reduce its speed and then pull the trigger by getting their hands back to the stumps.
While the conventional means of wicketkeeping is considered to be the safe and secure one, Dhoni has often defied the odds to take that extra bit of risk in order to create stumping chances. And it's no wonder that he has been rewarded on several occasions.
Kiran More, former Indian wicketkeeper, was once quoted by ESPNCricinfo as saying, "Dhoni's mind and hand position is so coordinated, he is very sharp and his reflexes are fast. That is where his cricketing mind comes into play and that’s how he reacts and gets all those stumpings. Once you are ready you can flick the bails in a flash."
While the critics have always tried to point fingers at Dhoni's shortcomings as an unconventional wicketkeeper, he has proved more than once that it's his same unconventional skills that make him one among the best.
(Video courtesy: Indian Premier League(IPL) YouTube channel)