There had been countless questions raised over his deterring finishing abilities in the last eighteen months where he couldn't finish the game as before. And having not scored a single half-century in last one year had only aggravated the situation even more. In such a delicate scenario, where detractors started raising their voices for his retirement, only the man himself, MS Dhoni, had the answer for all who have been envisaging him fail.
A man who has given the world cricket so much to remember should be given preference to take a call on such a critical decision of his career. Despite the negativity taking shape far longer than ever, MSD didn't take a step back and surrendered like a fragile mind. He held his ground and stood firm while everyone wanted a piece of him.
The former Indian skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni took some time off international cricket before he made himself available for the Austalia series. MSD, the shrewd cricketing brain, with his sheer game-awareness and chasing ability, for which he's known to the world cricket, made a marvellous comeback to the international circuit by hitting three back to back half-centuries where two of them came in winning cause while chasing.
Critics are like his ardent followers. They just don't stop questioning his abilities time and time again. In the first ODI, where he supported Rohit Sharma very well with his 96-ball 51 just before he fell prey to the umpire's wrong-decision, was also criticised for his slow style of play. In second, he took the game to last over and won the game with four balls to spare. In third, Dhoni again took the game deeply, kept everyone on their toes and scored the winning runs in the penultimate over.
But what if, it has been the case with him all these years. He loves taking games deep. It's not the first time we have seen him doing what he does best than the rest of them. He loves batting under pressure and loves calculation too.
He has admitted it in the past that he has got this knack of calculating the overs remaining of a bowler, the number to runs to be scored in next 4-5 runs and whom to target and whom to leave, from the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar.
And that's what exactly he did in the final game of the series where, unfortunately, he was caught on the camera while doing this. During the break just before the 47th over, he went up to the umpire and checked which bowler has how many overs left.
When Dhoni & Kedar found it difficult to attack Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa they cleverly saw off their overs and formulated their strategies around Peter Siddle and Marcus Stoinis who were found little easy to score against.
It wasn't a fluke, Dhoni & Jadhav intelligently launched an attack against Siddle and Stoinis which they couldn't see coming from anywhere, and plundered 26 runs off the next two overs. With only one run to score in the final over, India scripted a history with four balls to spare.
MS Dhoni shut off his detractors with his commanding performances throughout the series and kept the hope alive for his World Cup dream.Published 19 Jan 2019, 19:01 IST