Former captain MS Dhoni made 51 runs off 96 balls in the yesterday’s first ODI at the SCG. The innings was criticized by many on social media platforms citing it as the major reason of India losing the match by 34 runs.
It must also be noted that Dhoni came into the crease when India was struggling at 4/3 inside four overs. With Kohli, Dhawan and Rayudu back into the pavilion, the onus was on Dhoni and Rohit Sharma to bring the innings back on track.
Sharma played his shots after a while since he is more accustomed to bating against the new ball while it was difficult for Dhoni to play his shots that time as he rarely comes to bat when the ball is moving. By taking three early wickets, the young fast bowling duo of Behrendorff and Richardson became unplayable and a defensive approach against them was the team’s requirement.
Sharma went on to score a run-a-ball century while Dhoni got out on 51 because of a wrong LBW decision by the umpire. Dhoni showed signs of accelerating before his dismissal but according to critics he consumed a lot of deliveries for his painstaking half-century. Some of his critical points are listed below.
- Dhoni scored only 6 runs from his first 37 deliveries. He left the crease when the asking rate was over 8.50.
- He took 93 deliveries to reach the 50-run mark. This is Dhoni’s second slowest fifty ever in ODI.
- Since last 4 years, Dhoni against spinners is scoring at the run-rate of 4.2 in ODIs while Rishabh Pant’s run-rate in Tests against spinners is more than 4.2.
- According to Cricviz, Dhoni played more attacking shots than Sharma but most of them were ineffective.
- In the last 12 months, Dhoni’s ODI average is 27.2 while his strike-rate is 67.7 in 21 games.
Twitter was filled with mix reactions regarding Dhoni’s knock but one needs to understand that only the person who is at the crease knows how difficult or easy it is to score when coming to bat at 4/3.
Is winning a match the priority or just batting out 50 overs with no purpose of winning ..there are actually no draws in ODI...such slow innings can only help to save a test match and not an ODI— kushal gaddhyan (@kushalgaddhyan) January 12, 2019
It doesn't Matter whether MS Dhoni 50 helped India but When you're 4-3 in a ODI, that innings is like a good buildup for the target 289— VaibhaV (@Vabby239) January 13, 2019
Slow and Steady wins the Race
Better Luck Next Time Team India #INDvAUS #MSDHONI #RohitSharma
@msdhoni India lost bcoz of Dhoni slow innings and this is big problem since last 12 month ...dhoni haven't improved...dhoni is become bhoj as ganguly— sudhir trivedi (@trivedi_sudhir) January 12, 2019
no use if he score at this rate, very very slow innings which led to high asking rate— varaprasadarao.K (@PrasadVsms) January 12, 2019
There are so many critics on @msdhoni for his slow innings that he played yesterday.... I wonder when these people blames one man out of 11 and also that shows the importance of him and they still wants him to retire... Brainless people?— Pradeep Pushparaj (@imPradeepPP) January 13, 2019
Ghanta with bang, he lost India this match with his slow innings..— Hope (@get2keshav) January 12, 2019
By Mohammad Anab