India vs New Zealand: MS Dhoni factor - Numbers reveal biggest threat for Kiwis in ODI series

Updated on Jan 22, 2019 08:49 AM IST

A fit and firing Dhoni lends tremendous balance to the middle order and allows India’s prolific top order to play without any pressure, which works out pretty well.

File picture of MS Dhoni(Getty Images)
File picture of MS Dhoni(Getty Images)
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By

Three 50s in three innings, a player of the series trophy and MS Dhoni is slowly regaining his prolific form, which is a great sign for the Indian team leading into the World Cup.

A fit and firing Dhoni lends tremendous balance to the middle order and allows India’s prolific top order to play without any pressure, which works out pretty well. New Zealand need to be worried though, as numbers reveal Dhoni’s dominance against them over the years.

The former captain has played12 ODIs in New Zealand and scored 541 runs at an average of 90.16. This the second best for him in any country where he has played a minimum of 10 One Day Internationals. Also, this makes him only the second batsman with this average by any batsman in the country with 500 runs after former South African batsman AB de Villiers.

ALSO READ: MS Dhoni on verge of breaking Sachin Tendulkar’s record

If we take a look at his innings/50 in New Zealand it reads an impressive 1.67, which is only behind his average in Pakistan (1.50) for a minimum of 10 innings played. Also, his strike rate in New Zealand in 96.95 which ranks after Pakistan (105.40).

Dhoni has played 24 ODIs against New Zealand and has amassed 841 runs, with an average of 49.47 which is the best by any Indian batsman against the Kiwis (minimum of 500 runs scored).

“Well, it’s good (enjoying batting at No.4?),” Dhoni said after collecting the Man-of-the-Series award.

“If I am batting at 6 and somebody is batting at 4, we’ve to look if we can interchange the position and see if the team [balance] remains the same. It’s not about where you want to be, it’s about how many you can fill in that position. I’m happy to bat at any number. If I have to go back and bat at 5 or 6, I’m happy to do that. Because the important thing is where the team needs me. After playing 14 years, I can’t say I can’t bat at 6 and I need to bat at 4 or 5, so I will bat at where the team needs me,” he added.

With the aforementioned numbers, it will be interesting to see which number Dhoni walks out to bat in the upcoming 5-match ODI series against New Zealand.

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