ICC World Cup: Warning signs for South Africa as Dhoni goes big in practice - Watch

Cricket World Cup: Further signal of the wicket-keeper batsman’s intent can be found from what happened in Team India’s practice session on Monday as the team gears up for their tournament opener against South Africa on Wednesday at Southampton.
India's MS Dhoni bats in the nets during a training session ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against South Africa at Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Monday, June 3, 2019(AP)
India's MS Dhoni bats in the nets during a training session ahead of their Cricket World Cup match against South Africa at Ageas Bowl in Southampton, England, Monday, June 3, 2019(AP)
Updated on Jun 04, 2019 08:36 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has always been in the thick of things as far as Indian cricket is concerned and his new found mojo with the bat has ensured that the spotlight is firmly on the former India captain in this World Cup season.

Dhoni gave a glimpse of what to expect from him in the showpiece event as he scored a fluent century in India’s second warm-up match against Bangladesh. Further signal of the wicket-keeper batsman’s intent can be found from what happened in Team India’s practice session on Monday as the team gears up for their tournament opener against South Africa on Wednesday at Southampton.

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BCCI posted this video on Twitter with the message, “@msdhoni hitting them out of the park, nice and easy .”

Dhoni is in top form and it comes through in this video of the net practice session. He first hits a sweetly times pull shot off a short pitched delivery. The next delivery is pitched up and Dhoni offers a straight bat to guide it down the ground. The third one is a rising delivery from an awkward length but Dhoni uses his wrists to play it down from the chest region.

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The final delivery of the video is bowled by a spinner and Dhoni steps out of the crease to hit a big one. A major change in Dhoni’s batting since the ODI series in Australia at the start of the year is that he is not waiting to get going anymore. The Dhoni of old is back it seems as he is ready to get the big shots out early in the innings, not allowing any bowler to settle down.

Dhoni’s form isn’t good news for the struggling South African bowlers, who gave away more than 300 runs against both England and Bangladesh and are currently at the bottom of the table with two losses.

Dhoni though has a fairly modest record against Proteas, averaging just 31.84 in 31 innings, with four half-centuries to his name. This will be a great opportunity for the seasoned campaigner to rectify his previous record and may be get a century under his belt, something he hasn’t done against this opposition.

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