We never value things when they are around us, and that’s the feeling I get about MS Dhoni. Because he is ‘current’, we don’t perhaps rate him as highly as we should. Is he not one of the best things to have happened to modern day Indian cricket? He has gone on to win another international series for India; I know he did not captain right through this West Indies tri-series, but by leading and batting the way he did in the final, you can’t deny Dhoni the credit.
I have had quite a few post-match presentation chats with Dhoni and have found that he is quite reluctant to talk about himself.
Hopefully, one day he may allow someone to get into his head, and we may get to know how his brain ticks when he plays an innings like he did in the final. In typical Dhoni style, he took the match till the end and left himself to get 15 runs in the last over against Eranga.
My theory is that 15 runs in an over is not as difficult a target for Dhoni, as it seems to us from outside. That is because hitting a six is not a big deal for him. All he needed in that final over was to hit two sixes off six balls, and in his mind this was quite manageable, especially against an inexperienced bowler.
Secondly, he thinks like Javed Miandad in the final overs of a tight game. Miandad believed that when the match went into the last over, it was the fielding side that was under more pressure. And he fed on the nervousness of the opposition, often gaining from unexpected bonuses via lapses in the field and loose bowling from a tense bowler. To sum up, India were the best team in the tri-series and deserving winners, and it was nice that, come the final, they had the services of the best one-day captain India has seen, who also happens to be the best one-day batsman in the world today.
The writer is a former India batsman