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Video: MS Dhoni bowls at nets in Zimbabwe

Dhoni to be seen in unusual role on the Zimbabwe tour?

MS Dhoni bowls at nets as more regular India bowlers look on (from BCCI Twitter)

MS Dhoni is in the middle of a tour which must feel very peculiar for him. The rest of the squad’s combined experience does not add up to even half of his individual experience. He does have three players in their thirties in his team (Rayudu, Jadhav and Fazal), but would be missing his usual choice of bowlers or batsmen to call upon. With the 1st ODI against Zimbabwe won without breaking sweat, and with him having nothing left to prove, we should be prepared for some unusual and entertaining moves from the captain.

It is abundantly chronicled that Dhoni has entered the series 82 runs short of 9000 ODI runs, but it is not very well remembered that he has an international wicket to his name too. He has bowled 16 overs in Test cricket, and 6 overs in ODIs. His most memorable bowling stint was in 2009 against West Indies. He picked up the wicket of Travis Dowlin, who remains his first and only international victim. He has a further 2 wickets to his name in List A cricket.

At a practice session in Zimbabwe, Dhoni was seen rolling his arms over for slow medium pacers, matching the likes of Jaydev Unadkat, Dhawal Kulkarni and Rishi Dhawan pace for pace. This sight has led to speculation that he could be bowling on this tour.

What further fuels this speculation is that the team also has KL Rahul, who has kept wickets for India in a stand-in capacity before. He had also recently said that he was trying to learn wicket keeping well enough so he could take on the role on a more permanent basis.

Not only would Dhoni give his fans a lot to cheer about if he takes the ball himself, he shall also be giving Rahul some experience in throwing him the gloves.

Dhoni bowls at a gentle speed around 125-130 kph, and often produces a similarly gentle swing as well. With the pitches offering some assistance to faster bowlers in the 1st ODI, an extra seam bowling option could be quite handy for India.

Could the India captain get a second international wicket on this tour?

BCCI’s tweet with the video of Dhoni bowling:

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