India's M.S. Dhoni walks off after losing his wicket to Australia's Jason Behrendorff during their one day international cricket match in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019(AP)
India's M.S. Dhoni walks off after losing his wicket to Australia's Jason Behrendorff during their one day international cricket match in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 12, 2019(AP)

India vs Australia: MS Dhoni debate - Numbers reveal poor strike rate, poor average harming India

MS Dhoni’s average since January 1, 2018 reads 27.16 in 14 innings and it is only better than Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times,, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 14, 2019 02:25 PM IST

India were 4 for 3 in the first match at the Sydney Cricket Ground when MS Dhoni joined Rohit Sharma in the middle. Together, they absorbed a lot of dot balls as they guarded against losing another wicket, but even as Rohit accelerated at the other end, Dhoni found it difficult to get going.

He brought up his 10,000 runs for India in ODIs and even scored a half-century, but there is a common belief that his slow innings could have put more pressure on Rohit at the other end.

On the face of it, Dhoni and Rohit built a platform for India for a late assault, but if we take a closer look at the numbers, we will find out that Dhoni’s innings was rather slow. He consumed 96 balls for 51 runs with a strike rate of 53.12. Now if we take away his fours and sixes, the strike rate shrinks to 35.87, which shows that he has struggled to rotate the strike which has in turn only increased the number of dot balls consumed. Hence, the required rate jumped from 6.17 RPO to 8.38 RPO when he got out and this did not help India’s cause.

Since January 1 2018, Dhoni’s strike rate is the worst in the middle order. Historically, he has always taken the innings deep and then accelerated towards the end, but now even as the asking rate climbs, he tends to get dismissed at a crucial juncture which leaves the task very difficult for the rest of the batting order. His average since January 1, 2018 reads 27.16 in 14 innings and it is only better than Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya.

If we extrapolate the numbers and include 10 innings in the middle order, Dhoni’s strike rate is amongst the lowest. Not only this, his strike rate is the fourth worst in this sample of 36 batsmen.

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