Why a struggling MS Dhoni is still priceless to Virat Kohli
MS Dhoni scored two half-centuries in the just-concluded ODI series against West Indies, his 114-ball 54 in chase in the third ODI left many baffled. However, he still has got India captain Virat Kohli’s support.india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 07, 2017 18:55 IST
MS Dhoni’s tag as a master finisher has been under question of late. While the former India skipper’s track record has been brilliant, the same cannot be said about his recent form.
Though Dhoni scored two half-centuries in the just-concluded ODI series against West Indies, but his 114-ball 54 in chase in the third ODI left many baffled. Chasing a low score of 189, India were all out for 178 as Dhoni failed to take India over the line.
However, he still has got captain Virat Kohli’s support. “He is striking the ball beautifully, you don’t need to tell him anything in terms of how to play a situation, how to build an innings,” Kohli said about Dhoni, after India wrapped up the five-match ODI series in the West Indies 3-1.
Kohli sought to defend the man he replaced as the skipper of the Indian cricket team. When a journalist told Dhoni was not his usual self at one of the net sessions, Kohli responded: “You have to figure out what kind of wickets you are playing on as well. I was trying to hit the spinners a couple of days in practice and I couldn’t because the wickets were not that great to play strokes, the wicket in the centre was much better.
“You can’t really judge a guy’s batting form at practice because you don’t know what kind of wickets you are going to get.”
Kohli used a bit of the game’s nuances as way of explanation. “If the bounce is not ideal then obviously you have to keep defending the ball and keep rotating strike. I think it was only in the last game he couldn’t rotate the strike and before that he got a brilliant 70 or 80 odd not out.”
The current captain recalled the former captain’s successful outing against Sri Lanka in the Champions Trophy. “In the Champions Trophy against Sri Lanka he played a brilliant knock, in the first game as well he played a brilliant knock here when it wasn’t rained out.”
He further said, “I think we get too impatient by just one game, one knock. That can happen to anyone, any batsman can struggle and any batsman can get stuck on the crease, it happens to everyone even if you are in top form it can happen to you so.
“I don’t think there are any issues because you see the knocks around, he is striking the ball beautifully and the strike rate is close to 100, if not over 100. So, not bothered by anything at all.”