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MS Dhoni a vital cog in Indian spinners’ success

Be it Yuzvendra Chahal or Kuldeep Yadav, MS Dhoni was effecting stumpings, handing out the young spinners rewards for their smart bowling.

india vs sri lanka 2017 Updated: Dec 21, 2017 20:47 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Indore
MS Dhoni,Indian cricket team,India vs Sri Lanka
MS Dhoni has been superb behind the stumps of late.(San Chan/Twitter)

Sri Lanka’s downfall in the first T20 International against India at Cuttack began with an agile piece of work by wicketkeeper MS Dhoni, who pouched one down the leg side to send back a fluent-looking opener Upul Tharanga.

Soon, Dhoni was effecting stumpings, handing out the young Yuzvendra Chahal rewards for his smart bowling.

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While this ODI home season has belonged to Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, Dhoni’s contribution cannot be ignored. The former India skipper, who had four dismissals in the Cuttack T20, has ensured their variations haven’t gone waste and backed them up using his experience to the full.

“A wicketkeeper’s partnership with the bowlers is one of the most effective ones in cricket. You see Warne-Healy, Warne-Gilchrist. The wicketkeeper is often the leader of the pack as he knows what is happening on the pitch and can tell the bowlers and captain about things to do. Dhoni is very sharp and he connects quickly with the bowlers. You saw him taking that brilliant catch down the leg side,” former India stumper Kiran More told Hindustan Times on Thursday.

Dhoni’s ability to communicate with the bowlers has been audible through the stump microphone. Throughout this season, he has been heard guiding the young spinners with the kind of deliveries he thinks would get the batsmen out.

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“You see the keeper is like a captain. Dhoni is the best man to handle the bowlers, especially the youngsters. He speaks and you can hear him, it is so clear,” added More, who said that it is often the wicketkeeper who creates chances.

While there have been questions over his ability to finish off matches with the bat, his experience with the gloves make him an important cog. Chahal had, in fact, admitted this recently.

Behind the stumps he is chirpy, endearing and chides the bowlers as well. In a recent match, he scolded Chahal for not learning quickly. In an earlier instance, he was heard telling R Ashwin “Tarak Mehta daal” (asking him to bowl a doosra, the term coming from the TV serial ‘Tarak Mehta ka Oolta Chashma’).

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During the seven T20 games this home season and the one in West Indies, Dhoni has effected nine dismissals, including four stumpings. His record in the home ODIs this season is even better – 23 dismissals (eight stumpings) in 16 matches.

As of now, he has the most dismissals in T20 Internationals with 74, making him the most successful keeper in the format.

First Published: Dec 21, 2017 20:24 IST