IPL 2017: MS Dhoni Still Has A Lot Of Game Left In Him, Says Manoj Tiwary
Manoj Tiwary has taken the blame upon himself after failing to steer Rising Pune Supergiant to a playoff berth-clinching win against Delhi Daredevils on Friday (may 12). The Bengal skipper, promoted to number four in the batting order, struck 60 off 45 balls but it was not enough for his team to walk away with two points as the Daredevils eked out a 7-run win at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Chasing 169, the Steve Smith-led side were comfortably placed at 125 for 3 in the sixteenth over when Ben Stokes mistimed a full toss from Mohammed Shami straight to the long-off fielder. But with Tiwary well-set and MS Dhoni just arriving at the crease, the Supergiant were the favourites to win the tie.
However, Tiwary and Dhoni could collect only 18 runs from the next three overs and by the time the last over began, they needed an almost improbable 25 runs to win the match. Two sixes off the first two balls by Tiwary which were followed by wide reignited Supergiant’s hopes but Tiwary’s failure to score off the next two balls all but ended his team’s hopes. The next ball went for a four bye before the right-handed batsman was clean bowled on the final delivery by Pat Cummins.
“I want to take the complete blame for that because I was the batsman who was set over there,” Tiwary said at the post-match conference. “And prior to the last over we couldn’t get any boundaries at that point of time and I was the man who was on strike and was not able to connect. Obviously, the match was in our hands at one point of time, that’s the way it happens at times.”
A win against the Daredevils would have taken the Supergiant to the playoffs for the first time and would have also put them in a strong position to finish the league stage in the top two but now their last game against Kings XI Punjab could become a knockout match if Sunrisers Hyderabad manage to beat Gujarat Lions on Saturday (May 13).
“We tried our best but we have to go back now and see what went wrong and how the batsmen could have scored more runs, find out what kind of strokes we could have played at that situation and come back harder in the next game,” Tiwary added. “It’s going to be a pressure game because both the teams want to win and let’s see who comes best in that game.”
Tiwary further said that the wicket was a bit slow unlike the previous games where some huge totals were posted. The capital-based outfit brought back Shahbaz Nadeem in place of Carlos Brathwaite and the left-arm spinner justified the selection by taking the prized scalp of Steve Smith.
“The wicket was bit slow, “ he said. “The wicket was gripping a bit for the spinners. And I think that was their plan because they played one extra spinner in this game.
“Nadeem played and he bowled well and that was their plan, obviously we know the nature of Delhi wicket, it keeps low. And today it was gripping but going back to the last game, we didn’t see any kind of spin here, it was a drastic change in the nature of the wicket. I’m also a firm believer of batting first because on such kind of wickets, if you score big runs, then there is a lot of pressure to chase,” he added.
Speaking about the incident in the 18th over when Dhoni’s carelessness resulted in his run-out, Tiwary said:“He couldn’t see the ball where it went and that’s the reason he couldn’t make it because ball went behind so he wasn’t aware where the ball went but it happens, the quickest of persons also get run out and today was an example.”
After a Pat Cummins delivery ricocheted off Dhoni’s pads towards short fine leg, the 35-year old batsman decided to take a single. However, he was just strolling to complete the single, not expecting Mohammed Shami to throw the ball at his end. But Shami did it and once Dhoni realised the danger, he hurried to complete the run but Shami’s direct throw caught him short.
“It’s very rare, but yes, when things don’t go your way, then this happens. But you must give credit to Shami as well because he took that risk of throwing and taking that chance because if that ball wouldn’t have hit the stumps (then) it would have been one extra more run,” Tiwary added.
Tiwary also defended Dhoni’s poor performance with the bat in the ongoing season. The former India skipper has managed to score only 240 runs in 13 matches at an modest average of 24.
“Dhoni still has a lot of time left,” Tiwary said. “And, more importantly, if he is doing so well in the present then why overthink. Obviously, in terms of runs, we should consider that he comes to bat down the order. In T20 cricket we only want the strike rate to be, say, over 120. But Mahi bhai has done so well in the past and set such high standards that we feel that he should still be batting with the same strike rate of 130-160. But is practically not possible.”
When asked about Dhoni’s strike-rate of just 113.74 this season, Tiwary said:“You need to look at the circumstances too. He struck a good partnership with Ben Stokes in a game where Stokes hit a hundred. That game, if you see, what we needed most was a partnership and we got that partnership from the expereinced player.
“Mahi bhai had that experience and he built that partnership. His strike rate might not have been that good but won us the game, so that is a match-winning innings, right? I always feel performances should be judged taking into account the situation of the game and then see what he is contributing to the game. That is more important, rather than the strike rate of the player. Obviously, the format is so fast that everybody wants to see sixes and fours and strike rates of 150 but it is not possible all the time. I feel he still has a lot of game left in him,” Tiwary added.
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