Dhoni, you proved me wrong twice, but I love you for it!

By Kersi Meher-Homji

During both the One Day Internationals (ODIs) at Adelaide on Tuesday and at Melbourne last night [Friday], I kept yelling at MS Dhoni from my armchair in Sydney in front of TV, “Come on Dhoni, now is the time to hit fours and sixes, and not twist your bat for a single here and there.”

Even when the required run-rate for the victory chase mounted to over nine runs an over, MS took a single here and two runs there.

“Where’s your aeroplane spin shot, MS? What, no fours in your innings at Adelaide? You are yesterday’s player. Pant should have replaced you”, I screamed from my sofa. “Get out Dhoni and let Ravindra Jadeja do the chasing!’

But both at Adelaide and Melbourne Dhoni proved me wrong, wrong, wrong. By carefully placing a ball on and off, he brought India to thrilling victories with four balls to spare”“ both times.

I hand it over to you, MS. You are THE master of chasing and I am your slave. My hats off to you!

Inspired by their victory in the Sydney ODI, Australia totalled an impressive 9 for 298 (Shaun Marsh 131) in the second ODI in Adelaide.

Dhoni added 82 runs for the fourth wicket with captain Virat Kohli (104 runs) and 57 with Dinesh Karthik for the unbroken fifth wicket. Dhoni’s unbeaten 55 included two sixes but not one four. And India won by 6 wickets with four balls in hand to level the series one-all.

In the decider at Melbourne on Friday, Australia was bowled out for 230 thanks to leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s marvellous spell of 6 for 42.

Kohli was dismissed for 46 and Dhoni again took up the victory challenge like in Adelaide three days ago. Call it a case of déjā-vu, Dhoni started slowly and refusing to accelerate till the last three overs. With Kedar Jadav (61 not out with seven fours) as his partner, Dhoni (87 not out with six fours) added 121 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket and India won the match by seven wickets with four balls remaining and the ODI series 2-1.

Chahal was adjudged Man of the Match and Dhoni the Man of the Series. After scoring a valiant 51 in the Sydney ODI last Saturday he stood like a man on the burning deck in Adelaide and Melbourne to aggregate 193 runs in the series at a magnificent average of 193.00.

I will never criticise your chasing expertise, MS Dhoni.

Coincidentally, India defeated Australia 2-1 in both Test and ODI series. Bravo King Kohli.

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