Even at 37, MS Dhoni proves to be an asset to the India National Cricket Team; Sanjay Manjrekar tells how. Post the series-deciding ODI at the MCG, Sanjay says Dhoni’s software is at its prime; while the hardware has slowed down. Confused? I will break it down for you. As India clinched the final game in Melbourne, courtesy 87* from Dhoni, Manjrekar explains how MS uses his mind and body to perfection while batting.
You still got it – MS!
For the third straight occasion, MS completed his fifty in the Australia ODIs. In the SCG game, he hit 51 runs off 96 balls; majorly facing flak for his second slowest fifty. What else didn’t work? India lost the match. However, he made up for his relatively less impactful innings by hitting two consecutive half-centuries in the next two games. At the Adelaide Oval, his unbeaten 55, and a brilliant 104 from Kohli saw India level the three-match series.
In the final ODI at the ‘G’, he perhaps played the best innings of his career in Down Under. Chasing a modest 231, Dhoni scored 87* along with Kedar Jadhav’s 61* and helped India cross the winning line with seven wickets in hand. Although he took 114 deliveries, MS didn’t lose the plot in the chase and ensured India’s doesn’t face any hiccups.
Sanjay decodes MS’ success mantra
Calling Dhoni’s ability to understand the game, pick his bowlers, pick the right time to accelerate as ‘software’; and terming his hitting ability or even the fuel left in his tank as ‘hardware’, Sanjay Manjrekar spoke on the matter. He said Dhoni’s game-sense surpasses everyone, however, his ability to hit the ball at will has diminished with time.
“[Dhoni is] clearly not at his prime… The software – his intention, his mind is still at its prime. He knows exactly what is needed. The hardware is not quite keeping in touch with the software. The hardware was a lot better 5-10 years back. He would hit sixes at will… he doesn’t have that ability or the confidence now but he finds ways to stay there till the end,”
Manjrekar further added,
“He [Dhoni] mentioned in the post-match presentation as well the calculations as to which bowler to go after and take the match deep. His great philosophy the one that has made him and all-time great is “stay there till the end”. I remember Javed Miandad also had a similar strategy take the match till the end and feed off the nervous energy of the bowler.”