Sourav Ganguly Hails Virat Kohli For His Support To MS Dhoni
If 2018 was a bad year for MS Dhoni then 2019 is turning out to be exactly the opposite of it. Dhoni had faced criticism from all around for his displays last year against England, in Asia Cup and against Windies at home. Overall, he managed to score just 275 runs in 20 ODIs last year. His strike-rate and average in 2018 was his worst-ever in a calendar year since his debut in 2004.
But Dhoni has started 2019 with a bang, scoring three consecutive fifties to guide India to a historic series win in Melbourne.
Dhoni’s first knock this was a bitter-sweet note. Although he scored a fifty in the first ODI against Australia, he faced criticism for consuming as many as 96 deliveries as India lost the game by 34 runs. But in just the following game, he made a big mark with both wicketkeeping gloves as well as the bat.
He scored an unbeaten fifty and shared fifty-plus stands with Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik to take India home and level the series. And on Friday, he once again starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 87 as India beat Australia by 7 wickets to win the three-match series 2-1. It is India’s first bilateral ODI series win Down Under.
Promoted at number four, Dhoni came to the crease when India were struggling at 59 for 2 in the 17th over. India then found themselves in further trouble after being reduced to 113 for 3 when Jhye Richardson dismissed Virat Kohli. With in-form Kohli gone and just 113 runs on the board, India were staring down the barrel. However, Dhoni once again showed his class, mastering another chase to fire India to a monumental win. He and Kedar Jadhav, who scored 61, shared an unbeaten 121-run stand to take India home.
And now former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has praised Virat Kohli for backing Dhoni throughout.
“Both players have played a lot of matches for India with Dhoni currently being the senior most member of the side. Most of all, what has been notified about the relationship is that Kohli has stood by his ex-captain’s side even when he has been under fire for the past year or so. He has time and again stressed that Dhoni is a big player and one of the strengths of his team. Very few captains back their players up to this extent. I admire Kohli for not abandoning Dhoni in the last 15-16 months. This is what makes a great team. No team can become great unless there is mutual respect and camaraderie between the big players,” Ganguly said on India TV.
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