India was able to level the ongoing series against Australia after winning the second match by six wickets. The visitors had lost the first game by 34 runs and it was a must-win match for them. Most importantly, India’s former skipper MS Dhoni was able to get back into form, which was a big positive for the Indian team.
Dhoni isn’t in the best of forms in the recent past and this knock of 55 runs from 54 balls must have added a shot in the arm. Subsequently, India will hope that this performance is not a flash in the pan and Dhoni continues to bat the way he batted in Adelaide.
India has levelled the series.
Furthermore, Bhuvneshwar Kumar also got back into form, which was another positive for the Indian team. Sportzwiki caught up former Indian wicketkeeper Vijay Dahiya, who believes MS Dhoni return to form is a big positive ahead of the ICC World Cup.
GC: What was the difference between MS Dhoni’s approach in the first and second match?
Dhoni is back.
VD: I think the match situation was different. India got off to good start as Shikhar Dhawan played at the top of his game. In the previous match, Dhoni was taking a lot of time and thus India was getting away from the target. However, he once again took his time but the credit also goes to Virat Kohli and Dinesh Karthik. Dhoni was on 38 and there was only one six in his bag. But he rotated the strike with aplomb and didn’t let the asking rate to jump. Dhoni didn’t let the pressure build and it was a crucial 50-runs partnership between him and Dinesh Karthik. Karthik played a nice little cameo which also helped India. In fact, Dhoni will win you the match on eight out of the ten occasions if he is unbeaten at the end.
GC: Ambati Rayudu looked reckless in his batting as he was throwing it away. He has scored his runs while playing against in IPL and sub-continent conditions. Is he a good option going at number four going into the World Cup?
VD: I believe we can try some other options. If we take a look at some of the decisions in the recent past, it is hard to understand them. If we go back in time to understand how Rayudu got his place in the side, it was because of the impressive IPL performance. However, in IPL, he was mostly opening the innings for CSK. There is a lot of difference between opening the innings and playing in the middle order. There are some players who are no longer in contention for the number four spot, one of them is Manish Pandey. In fact, Kedar Jadhav can also be a good option as he can roll over his arm and he can provide economical overs for Virat Kohli.
GC: One more positive for the Indian team was Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He picked four wickets and looked at his absolute best. How much confidence will he get after this performance?
Kumar got back into form.
VD: I was reading a statement yesterday where Bhuvneshwar Kumar said not playing regularly had disturbed his momentum. He needed more game time and he has done that in the past. In fact, if a player like him can get the game time under his belt, he will come up with good performances like this. In fact, it is also crucial to build pressure from the other end, as Bumrah does, their combination is always lethal. He bowled really well in the first spell where he was economical and also picked the wicket of Aaron Finch. Furthermore, when he came to bowl in the death overs, he got two crucial wickets of Shaun Marsh and Glenn Maxwell in the same over. So, if a batsman tries to take the attack against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, he has a good chance of getting him out with the help of his variations.
GC: How do you stop a big player like Virat Kohli. He comes out to bat and gets runs in almost every innings. How difficult is to get a batsman out when he doesn’t have any chunk in his armour?
VD: When you get a big player like Virat Kohli, you want to listen to them. I heard him saying at the toss that we have lost the first game and we are not batting first and we are under pressure, in fact, we want situations like this where we under the pump. Kohli said that these kinds of situations take the best out of us. It speaks about his character, confidence and attitude. He is in a different league altogether. I think mentally he is absolutely at his peak. He brings a different attitude to the table which then rubs on to the rest of the players in the team. This is the reason why we play this game, you win some, you lose some. Kohli has not changed his style and he is the best batsman in the world right now.