SK Play of the Day: MS Dhoni's street-smart run-out trumps Ross Taylor
‘Technique’ is a word that is used very often in cricket. Batting technique, bowling technique, fielding technique – these are terms which are used so frequently that at times, they are given more importance than they deserve.
However, if there is one player in the modern game who relies more on being street smart rather than following the conventional methods or techniques, it is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The 35-year-old’s style of playing the game may never be close to the coaching manual, but there is little doubting the effectiveness of his methods and the success rate of his tactics.
Another example of his unconventional style of play was seen on Wednesday during the fourth ODI in Ranchi.
New Zealand were 222 for 5 in the 46th over when Ross Taylor flicked a Umesh Yadav delivery towards the fine leg boundary. Dhawal Kulkarni collected the ball and zeroed in the throw to his captain.
Dhoni, who was already in position to receive the ball, took it into his gloves and before anybody could realise what was happening, flicked it onto the stumps. He did this with his back turned to the stumps, with only a sense of where the stumps could have been.
Conventional thinking would have demanded Dhoni to remain close to the stumps and dislodge the bails by having the wicket in his line of sight. Instead, the Indian limited-overs captain chose to stay back and went by his gut feel to knock the stumps down without even looking at his target.
The result: Taylor was caught short of the crease and India had chipped away another wicket in the dying overs of the Kiwi innings.
As has been the case right through the series, New Zealand began the innings on a positive note, but the fall of one wicket during the middle phase of the game once again led to their downfall. They eventually finished with 260 for 7 in their 50 overs.
However, this is not the first instance when Dhoni has been slick while dismissing a batsman. Often in the past, particularly in cases of direct hits, he trusts his instincts and lets the ball hit the stumps directly. The aforementioned is done especially when a throw is rifled in from short range.
Even while collecting the ball, Dhoni has used his method, especially when it keeps low, where he uses his pads and not the gloves to bend down and collect it.