India finished off their historic tour Down Under with a win at the ‘G’. A run-chase which was led by MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav saw the India National Cricket Team crossing the line with seven wickets in hand. Meanwhile, MS Dhoni, the man who had often remained under pressure, defied odds and won the Player of the Series award. In three matches, the former India captain scored 51, 55* and 87*; more importantly, he remained unbeaten on two occasions and helped India win the games and eventually the series.
The vintage Dhoni steps up the occasion
MS Dhoni, aged 37, wasn’t the pale shadow of himself in the Australia ODIs. Ahead of the three-match series, the pressure kept mounting about his lack of form with the bat. However, the vintage MS returned to the ODI setup in style, slamming three back-t0-back fifties to lift his team above the opposition.
In the first ODI at the SCG, MS completed his 67th fifty. Though India lost the game, his contribution in the middle didn’t go unnoticed. In the following match in Adelaide, he remained unbeaten on 55 and also, along with some assistance from Dinesh Karthik in the end, he cruised India to a six-wicket win.
Coming to the third ODI at the iconic ‘G’, the former India skipper played perhaps his best innings on the Australian soil. At one stage, when both the openers were back to the hut, and Virat Kohli was trying to find some gaps; MS held his nerves and played according to the situation of the game. Dhoni scored an unbeaten 87 off 114 balls, and for the second time in the series, remained at the crease when India chased the total.
I can’t say I don’t want to bat at six after playing for 14 years – Dhoni
Veteran Dhoni during the post-match presentation revealed the wicket was slow, and he had to pick his bowlers to go after them. Also, he said he cannot pick his batting position, as even after playing for 14 years, saying he cannot bat at a particular slot would do injustice to the side. He said,
“It was a slow wicket, so it was a bit difficult to hit whenever you wanted to. It was important to take it to the end because some of their bowlers were on the verge of finishing their quota. No point going after the bowlers who were bowling well. Kedar did a great job in playing unorthodox shots and it is important to hit boundaries. It is not about where you want to bat; I am happy to bat at any number and after playing for 14 years I can’t say that I don’t want to bat at number six and want to bat at four.”