India v Sri Lanka, Commonwealth Bank Series, Adelaide February 14, 2012

Remaining emotionless is Dhoni's virtue

When it's one-on-one between him and the bowler, when you know the cooler head will survive, MS Dhoni knows he has more than an even chance
  shares 100

Two nights in a row, MS Dhoni has played with fire. Twice he has come out unscathed. Tonight, though, was too close for comfort. Not only because he was up against a better death bowler, but also because along the way he had run out Gautam Gambhir, who fell excruciatingly short of a century yet again. Strikingly, it happened two nights after Gambhir had said that the previous match should not have gone to the 50th over. When Gambhir and Dhoni were batting tonight, this one seemed like an easier finish, but it ended up being a tighter squeeze than the one against Australia - it ended in a tie thanks only to a last-ball three from Dhoni off the bowling of Lasith Malinga.

It is tempting to blame Dhoni for not finishing this game off earlier, but look at the support he had from the other end. Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, for whose sake the experienced openers are being rotated, have been failures so far, leaving a big hole in the middle order. Ravindra Jadeja is not who you ideally want coming in at No. 7, because he cannot hit big sixes. That leaves Dhoni with a lot to do after the top three are gone. India were lucky R Ashwin and Jadeja didn't have a high asking-rate to tackle in Perth, when they escaped with a win after the specialist batsmen had batted irresponsibly.

Fault Dhoni all you want for the Gambhir run-out, but you cannot fault his inclination to take on all the pressure and takes games deep. He backs himself in those situations. Not because he thinks he is the cleanest striker around, but because he backs his nerve in those situations when others around him are losing theirs. When it's one-on-one between him and the bowler, when you know the cooler head will survive, Dhoni knows he has more than an even chance. Some people can't handle the pressure for too long and go for their finishing move early, some can delay that assault. Dhoni belongs to the latter group. If he played tennis, he would surely be a Rafael Nadal-type player who you would back more and more as rallies and matches go longer.

It is fascinating to find out what Dhoni thinks at such times, though. He doesn't articulate it as well as he executes it. He was asked about his mindset before the final delivery. Four runs required, Malinga the master of yorkers bowling. Does he premeditate? Does he pick an area? Does he have shots in mind for different lengths? Does he remain blank? Does he back himself, first of all?

"Basically it is blank," Dhoni said. "As to the area where I am looking to play a shot, with Malinga it's very difficult to pick. He is someone who is really consistent with the line. He bowls yorkers at will. And nowadays you have variation: they bowl yorkers at your toes, stumps and then outside off also. If you get set for a ball that is supposed to be right on the stumps, and if he bowls a yorker outside off, it is a very difficult ball to hit.

"That's a ball that most of the batsman who slog really well find difficult to hit. So look to be blank and you back yourself. If you are not backing yourself to get those four runs, it will be tougher to get those four runs. In Adelaide, it is difficult to get a nick that goes in between the keeper and third man. The outfield is difficult, so you have to back yourself."

When asked to break that final ball down - from the point he saw it come out of the hand, when he picked the length, when he picked the shot he ended up playing - Dhoni couldn't come up with an explanation. "You don't get that much time," Dhoni said. "People always say, 'See the short ball, come into the line, open your body and play it towards square leg'. I never get so much time irrespective of whether it is Shoaib Akhtar bowling or Gautam Gambhir bowling medium-pace at me. I always find it difficult. You see the ball, hit it, look to get the runs, and feel happy."

Why does he take it so deep? Why does he wait till the end before going all out? "When you are chasing, you chase according to the amount of runs that's on the scorecard," Dhoni said. "You don't look to score 250-odd runs if 236 is the target, so what you look to do is to get it in 48th or 49th over.

"Once the wicket gets slower and lower, the ball doesn't come on to the bat [like in Adelaide], it becomes difficult to rotate strike consistently. You have to play big shots, but with big shots there is risk of the batsman getting out. It's a mix and match. In this game we were set up really nicely, but unfortunately Gautam got out and it was difficult for the lower order to come in and straightaway rotate strike."

Dhoni said he doesn't follow any routine in such tight situations or talk to himself and tell himself he has done it before and he can do it again. Remaining emotionless at such times is his virtue. What of the high after pulling wins off? "Seeing the dressing-room happy is what really gives me a nice feeling," Dhoni said. "Whatever is said and done, as long as you are winning games you are happier. You can say you played well, the opposition out-played you, but at the end of the day you feel bad if you have not won a game. It's important to win games. I always say it's not the only thing that matters, but it does affect you a bit."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | February 16, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    @Rosh1. How can you say like that. If you check the history, you can see that SL lost all matches other than 1 in Aus against India. And in all other countries too India has the upper hand. So that was just a war of words from him, right? Based on his performance in the last ODI, I can say that he need to spend more time in training.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 16, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Captain Cool in ODIs becomes Captain Fool in Tests

  • POSTED BY drabhibds on | February 15, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Hey guys its not about luck,period. We gotta give credit to Dhoni. I mean is it his fault that the rest of batsmen barring Gambhir failed that night. I would like to ask Ravi Shastri who was supposedly fuming when Sachin was dropped against Australia that, wasn't the team playing that day the best XI?? Hell, Shastri wants a century from Tendulkar even at cost of losing the match. Come on man what a loser's attitude. That match showed that scoring a century does not guarantee a win but if everybody contributes even an odd 30 runs the team ends up winning.

  • POSTED BY nav84 on | February 15, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @jinxed1184 we are better of with a lucky but stupid captain who wins us matches than with a genius who does not win us matches. so you just chill. as far as loosing to england and aussies is concerned, that was in test cricket and you are not the only smarty pants to realize that dhoni is not as a good a captain in tests as he is on ODIs. but he is brilliant (u read it as lucky) in ODIs and we can not sack him from captaincy in ODIs because of his performance in tests. :)

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | February 15, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Rohit & Raina are consistent - always getting out after getting set & scoring a few runs. Dhoni needs to reconsider his strategy - he needs to try out Rahane or Tiwary. Another option is to move Jadeja up the order and try out Pathan at no.7. This will strengthen the bowling when a bowler has an off day. A big hitting no.7 is essential. A third option could be to try out Sehwag at no.7. Dhoni needs to try out different possibilities before the big games.

  • POSTED BY skumar77 on | February 15, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    The fact is that India have this habit of losing tempo in the middle or towards the end of an innings and hand the advantage back to their opponents. And they do time and again when they are in the drivers seat while trying to "play steady" and invariably losing wickets. From 59 required off 10 overs with 6 wickets remaining, why would any team not back itself up to get those runs easily? Why do you need to play steady? Dhoni was not even trying to hit balls for runs, he was just playing off the deliveries. But at least he had the decency to admit tha he got Gambhit out; it was crystal clear anyway. I hope he has the wisdom to realize that he tries to cut it too close.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Dhoni played as the situation demanded. India did not lose these two matches because Dhoni kept his head straight and backed his own ability. It does not matter how much you score as a batsman if you are not there till the end to get your team through the finish line. Gambhir might be unlucky this time (run out) but in the Aus match he has himself to blame (lbw). If anyone gets to be blamed for these tight matches that India played then it has to be the Indian middle order. In four matches Kohli, Rohit and Raina have together contributed 294 runs on an average of 24.5. No team can win ODIs if their # 3, 4 and 5 average so poorly. The lower order (Dhoni, Aswin and Jadeja) has tremendously compensated the poor show of the middle order. Lets not make a scapegoat of the man who is delivering when it matters.

  • POSTED BY crick.nick on | February 15, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Dhoni does best what's needed for win, he is the last recognized Batsman if he gets out and leave it to tailenders Indian media would start criticising Indian middle order for not being able to hold the crease for full 50 overs and wasting deliveries, players aren't perfect, Dhoni is the best keeper and captain India have right now.

  • POSTED BY poorselector on | February 15, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    @avibala - thanks for putting my feelings in words. On top of that you get MoM for doing that - amazing (Gauty scored more runs...more fulently and at better strike rate, then why dhoni - dont want same person getting it again or what?). You dont want to risk aggression and lose wicket but you can risk the whole match by taking it DEEP - LOL. He was plain lucky as he could have been easily run out on the 3rd ball leaving too much for last pair.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | February 15, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    I think it is just his approach to not take risks himself and I think it is a good approach. He ensures that at least he remains at the end if everybody else fails. We don't need Dhoni to be aggressive since there are already many other batsmen at the moment in the middle order who are aggressive and, if I may say so, ready to throw wickets. So it's perfectly acceptable as a strategy for Dhoni to take his time and play low-risk shots or defensively. It's an approach that won us the world cup. And anyway, every approach is bound to fail at times. On a different note, what I like most about Dhoni is that he has the courage and moral strength to say that winning is not all that matters (even if it might be a cliched thing to say). He can easily put on faux aggression and say he cares only about winning to placate many fans. But he doesn't do that and that is something to be truly admired, especially in a captain of the national team.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | February 16, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    @Rosh1. How can you say like that. If you check the history, you can see that SL lost all matches other than 1 in Aus against India. And in all other countries too India has the upper hand. So that was just a war of words from him, right? Based on his performance in the last ODI, I can say that he need to spend more time in training.

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 16, 2012, 6:06 GMT

    Captain Cool in ODIs becomes Captain Fool in Tests

  • POSTED BY drabhibds on | February 15, 2012, 14:54 GMT

    Hey guys its not about luck,period. We gotta give credit to Dhoni. I mean is it his fault that the rest of batsmen barring Gambhir failed that night. I would like to ask Ravi Shastri who was supposedly fuming when Sachin was dropped against Australia that, wasn't the team playing that day the best XI?? Hell, Shastri wants a century from Tendulkar even at cost of losing the match. Come on man what a loser's attitude. That match showed that scoring a century does not guarantee a win but if everybody contributes even an odd 30 runs the team ends up winning.

  • POSTED BY nav84 on | February 15, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    @jinxed1184 we are better of with a lucky but stupid captain who wins us matches than with a genius who does not win us matches. so you just chill. as far as loosing to england and aussies is concerned, that was in test cricket and you are not the only smarty pants to realize that dhoni is not as a good a captain in tests as he is on ODIs. but he is brilliant (u read it as lucky) in ODIs and we can not sack him from captaincy in ODIs because of his performance in tests. :)

  • POSTED BY rkannancrown on | February 15, 2012, 12:32 GMT

    Rohit & Raina are consistent - always getting out after getting set & scoring a few runs. Dhoni needs to reconsider his strategy - he needs to try out Rahane or Tiwary. Another option is to move Jadeja up the order and try out Pathan at no.7. This will strengthen the bowling when a bowler has an off day. A big hitting no.7 is essential. A third option could be to try out Sehwag at no.7. Dhoni needs to try out different possibilities before the big games.

  • POSTED BY skumar77 on | February 15, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    The fact is that India have this habit of losing tempo in the middle or towards the end of an innings and hand the advantage back to their opponents. And they do time and again when they are in the drivers seat while trying to "play steady" and invariably losing wickets. From 59 required off 10 overs with 6 wickets remaining, why would any team not back itself up to get those runs easily? Why do you need to play steady? Dhoni was not even trying to hit balls for runs, he was just playing off the deliveries. But at least he had the decency to admit tha he got Gambhit out; it was crystal clear anyway. I hope he has the wisdom to realize that he tries to cut it too close.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 10:38 GMT

    Dhoni played as the situation demanded. India did not lose these two matches because Dhoni kept his head straight and backed his own ability. It does not matter how much you score as a batsman if you are not there till the end to get your team through the finish line. Gambhir might be unlucky this time (run out) but in the Aus match he has himself to blame (lbw). If anyone gets to be blamed for these tight matches that India played then it has to be the Indian middle order. In four matches Kohli, Rohit and Raina have together contributed 294 runs on an average of 24.5. No team can win ODIs if their # 3, 4 and 5 average so poorly. The lower order (Dhoni, Aswin and Jadeja) has tremendously compensated the poor show of the middle order. Lets not make a scapegoat of the man who is delivering when it matters.

  • POSTED BY crick.nick on | February 15, 2012, 10:20 GMT

    Dhoni does best what's needed for win, he is the last recognized Batsman if he gets out and leave it to tailenders Indian media would start criticising Indian middle order for not being able to hold the crease for full 50 overs and wasting deliveries, players aren't perfect, Dhoni is the best keeper and captain India have right now.

  • POSTED BY poorselector on | February 15, 2012, 10:17 GMT

    @avibala - thanks for putting my feelings in words. On top of that you get MoM for doing that - amazing (Gauty scored more runs...more fulently and at better strike rate, then why dhoni - dont want same person getting it again or what?). You dont want to risk aggression and lose wicket but you can risk the whole match by taking it DEEP - LOL. He was plain lucky as he could have been easily run out on the 3rd ball leaving too much for last pair.

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | February 15, 2012, 10:15 GMT

    I think it is just his approach to not take risks himself and I think it is a good approach. He ensures that at least he remains at the end if everybody else fails. We don't need Dhoni to be aggressive since there are already many other batsmen at the moment in the middle order who are aggressive and, if I may say so, ready to throw wickets. So it's perfectly acceptable as a strategy for Dhoni to take his time and play low-risk shots or defensively. It's an approach that won us the world cup. And anyway, every approach is bound to fail at times. On a different note, what I like most about Dhoni is that he has the courage and moral strength to say that winning is not all that matters (even if it might be a cliched thing to say). He can easily put on faux aggression and say he cares only about winning to placate many fans. But he doesn't do that and that is something to be truly admired, especially in a captain of the national team.

  • POSTED BY SasiGladi on | February 15, 2012, 9:49 GMT

    Holding the nerve till the end untill you get the result is an very important key Don Dhoni is an expert in that...Angelo should learn from him after playing top class fighting innings i feel he expressed to much of happiness after hitting the six which reduced the gap of reaching the victory if he paused the emotion for a while I am damn sure he would have cleared the last shorter lenght ball again to a six and for a victory...DON Dhoni I inspire him a lot for these reasons....

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | February 15, 2012, 9:22 GMT

    India are lucky to escape. They could have lost both the matches thanks to Dhoni's funny tactics. I wish to pose this question - when India lost 4 tests in a row, everyone ponced on the senior batsmen and called for their removal. Now all the so-called future stars have flopped for the last 6 games. What do you want to do with them? How do you justify the showing of Raina, Jadeja and Rohit? Will you defend Sehwag and Sachin for failures. If it was Laxman or Dravid you would have immediately asked for their removal. It all burns down to current form. Dravid and Laxman saved or brought victory to India on several occasions and against most countries. A few failures should not be counted as death! Will you consider the same for these youngsters? Will you replace them with some more immaturity? I think one should have patience with the players whether they are old or young. If they have the potential they are bound to perform. Give them the confidence and they will bounce back stronger.

  • POSTED BY Head_gear on | February 15, 2012, 9:12 GMT

    Dhoni has more confidence on himself....that's the best thing i see him as a captain as well as the worst thing...

  • POSTED BY ravi_hari on | February 15, 2012, 9:02 GMT

    Dhoni is riding on luck. He would have been out twice in both the last over finishes. All this story of backing oneself is fine until you dont loose. Harris, Clarke and Malinga helped Dhoni survive, otherwise India would have lost both the matches. When you have a set batsman at the other end, what is the necessity to block and waste balls. It looks as though Dhoni wants to take all the credit that is why he is ensuring he wins with the tail around. If he can back himself so much, what did he do in the 7 tests he lost without even bothering the scorers? Why did he not save India from defeats? I think we are giving undue credit to Dhoni for India's success as a team. Look how helpless he is when the batsmen or bowlers fail. He does nothing to change the course of the game. All the 3 games should have been won with a lot to spare. There was no need for those runouts. If he can score at the end, why not earlier when the batting powerplay is on? Dont fool around Dhoni, be more proactive.

  • POSTED BY annys on | February 15, 2012, 8:52 GMT

    Like it or not MS DHONI is a GEM :)

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 8:51 GMT

    I agree with Gambhir.Dhoni is so defensive in the 40 to 48 overs and only scores in one's and two's the batsmen at the other end are forced take undue risk in keeping with the asking rate.Invariably they lose thier wickets and Dhoni makes sure that he is there in the 48th and 49th overs with his deliberate tactics so that he can steel the limelight with his heroics in the last1 or2 overs

  • POSTED BY nav84 on | February 15, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    @jason79 had sachin been an australian he would have been kicked out of team after 10 average months and 2 substandard series just like ricky ponting was kicked out after 30 horrible months and umpteen terrible series. right?

  • POSTED BY kw1k on | February 15, 2012, 8:11 GMT

    What rubbish comparison with Nadal. And how long we will keep on praising this stupid lucky guy. How long !!!! When will sense prevail ??

    he is clueless as a captain. Not at all innovative. He lets things go on and let them slip and rides his luck to win or loose. Sometimes it works.

    The Engaland and Aus tour have been prefect examples of his inept captaincy when Indian bowling kept getting beaten. Still same fields, same bowlers and same bashing. No change at all !!!!!!!!!!

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | February 15, 2012, 8:02 GMT

    It is better to keep ticking the scoreboard and reduce the runs required than going for big hits in the 40th or 45th over. If Dhoni got out in 45th over, the game will change...so it is up to a proper batsman to wait till the end of the game to make sure that team will reach the victory. It may be Dhoni or any other...at present it seems nobody has intent to do that in Indian team other than Dhoni. Can you imagine the same from Viru??

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | February 15, 2012, 7:56 GMT

    Greg Chapell stated that in humans sub consious mind acts as a software to execute the movements of body parts which are basically refered as a hardware through the consious mind. Guys with clear and uncluttered subconsious mind irrespective of the situation has the ability to execute the required process better then the ones with doubts and hesitation which affects there execution. By the look of it Dhoni posseses an excellent software to execute the hardware movements in pressure situations. One needs to ask Dhoni what his thoughts are if his team looses the game, I have heard him multiple times stating that "Win or loose it is just a game in the end", this lack of fear of loosing I guess actually contributes to his staying calm and achieving desired results in the tight situations. Stating that it was certainly a treat to see him square up against Malinga who undoubtedly the best death over bowler in the world. Malinga's software and hardware must certainly be of pristine quality.:)

  • POSTED BY JustIPL on | February 15, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Really Dhoni is such a fighing Captain. Sometimes, he draws comparision to Imran Khan. He should be given full say in selecting the young players whom he can lead into glory. With him the captain India can be number in ICC rankings for ODIs.With the impending seniors he becomes captain fool but with shorther formats and youngsters he is really captain cool.

  • POSTED BY Rex_Da_King on | February 15, 2012, 7:47 GMT

    I'm a big fan of Dhoni but the amount of praise he has gotten for these two botched chases is way over the top. He's done admirably in the last over of both ODIs, no doubt. This must be the first instance of scoring a 3 off the last ball to tie. Usually batsmen just slog for six and miss or hole out.

    But here are the facts about the two ODIs: After Gambhir fell, India were: Vs. Aus 178/4 (92 off 95 needed) Vs. SL 178/5 (59 off 57 needed)

    I believe Dhoni's the best ODI batsman at present and one of the best of all time. He's also the best ODI finisher considering how advanced the game is now compared to Bevan. But why is he praised so much for almost losing one ODI and just tying the other?

    Also, don't talk about poor support. After Gambhir fell this is what he scored in both ODIs: Vs. Aus 44 off 58 balls Vs. SL 29 off 28 balls Not quite superman stuff, is it?

    Bevan never botched an easy chase into a tie.

    4 off last ball with 1 wicket? Bevan against WI on Jan 1 1996 at Sydney

  • POSTED BY Garfield1881 on | February 15, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    This is a game India should have won and it's really disappointing. If GG had been there, we would have cantered home, no question. Happy Dhoni relaised that himself! Even in the game which Jadeja and ashwin finished successfully, the asking rate was similar to the match of yesterday. And surely jadeja, irfan are capable of getting the runs in a similar situation. dhoni not only ran Gambhir out, but he also ran Pathan out. Dhoni should show confidence in the batsmen who come after him. Dhoni makes heavy weather of simple chases. God knows what his motives are! I am inclined to agree with Gambhir and others. If u notice, gambhir's strike rate is higher than dhoni's. what u want is the earlier batsmen's strike rate to be lower than the people who bat lower down. Suresh Raina, Jadeja, Irfan Pathan seem to show the required urgency, but DHoni seems to be anxious to just remain not out. The adulation and public sympathy with dhoni are far in excess of his accomplishments.

  • POSTED BY rohan024 on | February 15, 2012, 7:24 GMT

    here we go again, columnist in a subtle manner taking a jibe at rohit and raina that experiences openers r sacrificed bcoz of them & they hav been failures..well, we all have seen what those experienced players have been doing in the last 12 months..the fact of the matter is in a close match i would bet my money on rohit & raina than SRT & sehwag, who have these amazing knack of getting out cheaply in tough situatoins...Rohit/Raina may not boost of averages of 40s and 50s but they have in them to win matches and they have been doing that successfully in the last few years...btw Raina & Rohit have a W/L ratio of 1.64 and 1.44..now compare this to the experienced openers..

  • POSTED BY Netai on | February 15, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    Dhoni is the best to think of a certain matter. But there is some mistakes in batting order. Dhoni is correct in his decision with Rohit in number 4. Jedeja is ok. But his batting order is not correct. Dhoni need to think about last 5 overs deeply. Those overs are most important to win a match. I love Dhoni. So I think he is correct in all the stages.

  • POSTED BY AttaGirl on | February 15, 2012, 7:18 GMT

    Dhoni is effective but inconsistent, a procrastinator who thrives under pressure, a striver who likes to apply and doesn't rely on raw talent like sehwag. It will be interesting to see how Dhoni bats when India bats first. Will he again look to take it to the death overs for the onslaught? I think Indian batsmen should aim to finish the game between them and not count on the tailenders.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 6:58 GMT

    WAS CURSING DHONI SINCE SUNDAY FOR RAISING HEART BEATS TWO GAMES IN A ROW. BUT THE MATTER OF FACT IS THAT ROHIT AND SURESH ARE THROWING IN THE TOWEL BY GOING FOR THE CHARGE TOO EARLY AND DHONI HAS VERY LITTLE SUPPORT LEFT. STILL FEEL PATHAN IS THE RIGHT CHOICE IN THESE CONDITIONS THAN JADEJA. LEAVE OUT JADEJA AND INCUDE ZAHEER IN THE NEXT MATCH. SURESH AND ROHIT SHOULD BE GIVEN AN EXTENDED RUN AND VIRU SHOULD SIT OUT.

  • POSTED BY avibala on | February 15, 2012, 6:47 GMT

    Dhoni actually made heavy weather of the chase. We needed 59 of 60 balls with 5 wickets in hand. Now you would expect a team to get there 8 out of 10. dhoni actually scored 9 runs from 20 balls between overs 40-45. The fact that he managed to tie the game finally conveniently pushes his batting between 40-45 under the carpet

  • POSTED BY CaptSK on | February 15, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Sanga, you and your big mouth! Cowdrey Lecture was fine when there was no physical opponent, but, remember to walk the talk next time. Better to do the talking after the event. Congrats to India for snatching a tie from the jaws of victory. Well bowled Malinga!

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | February 15, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    Dhoni should have promoted Irfan Pathan ahead of him to boost the run rate. Gambhir was already playing the anchor role for India. We needed a 30 run cameo from someone who can bat with a long handle and clear the ropes. India need to look closely at their batting order and clearly define roles for each batsman. I wonder what approach they would take if they were batting first.

  • POSTED BY Captain_Crick on | February 15, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Dhoni is easily one of the best ODI batsman in world cricket today and one of the best finishers of all time. He may lack the technique for test cricket but has all the required traits to win matches for his team in the shorter formats.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 6:17 GMT

    As the writer himself pointed out INDIA does not really have the hard hitters from no7 onwards....Jadega and Ashwin can play well in situations where you need to stay in the wicket with asking rate around 6 or 7............unless Irfan Pathan is played on a regular basis in AUS(which I doubt will happen) , the onus is on Dhoni to deliver the big blows..........What he is doing is just the opposite........Beleive me even if he gets out scoring a 25 ball 30 , Jadega or Ashwin can stay till the end and win us the match provided the asking rate is not too stiff.............

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 6:15 GMT

    Dhoni is responsible for losing of last game because of his poor and very slow game at initial stage. as a result the asking rate became from 5 to 11 in last 4 overs. because he and jadeja played about 3 overs maiden! after that he made gambhir and pathan runout unnecessarily. he always try to play agressively only in last two overs only . he could play that earlier also. i wonder how he was given man of the match award ! in reality this time also gambhir was given this award for his c lassic 91 runs.

  • POSTED BY joseyesu on | February 15, 2012, 6:12 GMT

    Mr Dhoni -"but unfortunately Gautam got out and it was difficult for the lower order to come in and straightaway rotate strike". Cant Jadeja, even rotate the strike. Too bad what is the use of scoring plenty in Ranji and one who played more than 50 one day internationals as an allrounder. And you at the other end definetely put some more pressure. I have switched off after seeing you bat.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 6:08 GMT

    I love MS Dhoni. I find him to be the most inspirational Captain after the legendary Imran Khan.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 6:07 GMT

    Dhoni went too close for comfort, however there were others in squad who should have done better, for the next game , I will drop Raina and bring in Tiwary, at leas try the bloke out in a pressure match.

  • POSTED BY Rosh1 on | February 15, 2012, 5:48 GMT

    @ Fast_Track-Bully.. I think you are going a little over board with Sanga's statement. Don't take it too personal dude... especially even after your captain (Dhoni) has endorsed what Kumar has mentioned. You don't believe me? Just read the post match presentation interview of Dhoni. "(The last hit) was a bit difficult here, but in India that would have been two bounces and four"

  • POSTED BY Dhonimania on | February 15, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    Dhoni is taking it too deep??the reason dhoni was in that position is bcos none of the other batsmen r taking it too DEEP!!which other batsmen other than gambhir has performed in this series???who else can see the match to the very end?if dhoni had attempted the big hits earlier,then u wud blame him for rash shots.Dhoni takes it to the very end bcos then he can take the responsibility on himself and try to finish it himself than getting out and leaving the job to tailenders like the 1st ODI when everyone blamed him for rash shots and of the business of running vinay nd irfan out...will vinay finish the match for india??nd irfan wud have been safe if he had not hesitated,it was dhoni who was in the danger end. Dhoni is the best finisher in the game today and he's doing his job,other people shud leave him to it and focus on their performance than complain abt taking it too deep

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | February 15, 2012, 5:25 GMT

    @Full-Blooded-Wallop: dhoni's leadership was the single biggest factor in our losing 8 tests on the trot. the captaincy was negative, the field placings were ludicrous, the team selections bordered on the insane at times (such as r.p. singh at the oval), and there was no leading by example. yes, he is an outstanding ODI bat - let him stick to that format. saha is far better for tests. as to those who are defending dhoni because of our (marginal) success in a couple of ODI games - no amount of ODI wins substitutes for test wins abroad - not even the world cup, great win though it was. (in any case, gambhir and yuvi had as much to do with that as dhoni). bottom line: good teams don't keep basking in past glory. however many ODIs we may win, we are a failing test team. and dhoni is a failed test captain and batsman. if you enjoy your ODI wins, more power to you. but at the end of the day, this is a meaningless series, and we have come up woefully short in the format that counts.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 5:22 GMT

    Hopefully in the next game, Dhoni will get out cheaply and India can win it in the 47th over. Talk about digging a hole and then trying to be a "hero". Even Dravid and Manjrekar would have done run-a-ball! Absolute rubbish batting from captain cool (or idiot, take your pick)

  • POSTED BY here2rock on | February 15, 2012, 5:15 GMT

    Dhoni should retire from Test matches and just concentrate on ODIs and T20s.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 4:58 GMT

    WOW.. So much flack for Dhoni when he won/tied the game for India, inspite of staying around all the way to the end. Wonder what would these critics do if he lost the game.

  • POSTED BY Full-Blooded-Wallop on | February 15, 2012, 4:56 GMT

    A wk keeper batsman is rescuing us every time. But I am amazed that people are still criticizing him! This world has indeed become very harsh. We would accept him to come and score freely when half the team is back in pavillion with plenty to achieve. We would criticize him even if he scored those point winning runs against the best pacer in format! We would keep on crticizing him even if sachin,sehwag,raina,rohit continues to fail every time. Go, get a life haters! Dhoni is the best ever batsman in ODIS. Period.

  • POSTED BY masks on | February 15, 2012, 4:55 GMT

    @ Lillian Thomson

    The benchmark that you set in declaring Dhoni to be not fit for test cricket is interesting.Dhoni averages 37 in tests and 51 in one dayers.Let us look at the other wicket-keepers around and see how they fare according to your yardstick. The first number is the test average and the second the one day average, thought that doesn't count. Haddin- 36/31, Prior- 44/24, McCullum- 36/30, Kamran Akmal- 30/28, Boucher- 30/29, HAPW Jaywardene- 32/5.40, Baugh- 18/20, Ramdin- 23/21. Gilchrist has retired and Sangakarra no longer keeps wickets in tests.I chose Kamran Akmal for Pakistan because the other Akmals have not kept for long and the Windies rotate between Baugh and Ramdin. So, by your standards only Prior is a deserving choice. And while India is in the doldrums now but to average 37 in a team comprising Sehwag, Dravid, Tendulkar and Laxman ?. Not bad at all, I should think.

  • POSTED BY Full-Blooded-Wallop on | February 15, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    Dhoni's greatness and humbleness lies in the fact that he took the blame of series loss entirely upon himself. Even when the rest 10 players were equally or even more responsible( as dhoni is a keeper and he did that job quite well) Which other Indian captain has done that? He avgs 37+ in tests(and 34+ overseas) still people say he is not good enough for tests. Which other Indian keeper ever since 1932 and who played more than 10 match, even come close to him? Or say, which other keeper in the world apart from andy and gilly and nowadays prior avgs more than him? Seriously amazed at the lack of knowledge and hatredness of the users here. Hope this gets published :|

  • POSTED BY Full-Blooded-Wallop on | February 15, 2012, 4:42 GMT

    @dailycric--> So India lost all those 8 matches due to dhoni ? What other 6 'famed' batsmen and 4 bowlers were doing? Easy putting up the blame on one man,yeah?

  • POSTED BY Raju_Iyer on | February 15, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    I almsot fell off the chair laughing at the ingorance and contradictions of dailycirc's posting. If only the writer thought about the contributions made by the great names he mentioned : VVS,Sachin and Dravid during the recet Tests; he would not make such a sweeping statement about their devoting their lives to successes in Tests! I respect Dhoni for his maturity as much as his brilliance - can't think of any other Indian captain who would invite an ex-captain like Kumble to the dressing room to hold the world cup. For all you Dhoni haters - get a life dudes! Learn to appreciate a rare talent

  • POSTED BY nikis on | February 15, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    The question remains there itself, why Dhoni it taking too deep.Look at the scoreboard his streak rate is 84. Another thing is that Run out of Gambhir & Irfan Pathan was needless. both are them were streaking well. Pathan has hit six on earlier Ball. feel sorry for Gambhir. Dhoni needs to overcome on this situations.

  • POSTED BY Fast_Track_Bully on | February 15, 2012, 4:08 GMT

    Hope Sangakkara will shut his mouth and will keep his hands open for catches...first do your duty and then comment on others! India playing back to back games and that affected their energy level. I hope they will thrash Aus in the next game. All the best!

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 4:01 GMT

    Guys we all know that Dhoni is a great finisher in this format of the game. We had enough discussion about his technique in longer version of the game. So you can not deny the fact that even in ODI format you got to be more calculative to finish off the game especially when you are chasing a target. Dhoni often does it with ease. If you guys still want to criticize his test batting, please stay away. This is ODI cricket and dhoni is not a test batsman!

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 3:28 GMT

    Wow! The master of self preservation does it again. I don't know why can't the young players in the team learn from him how to get into 30 or 40's before taking unnecessary risk irrespective of the match situation. This way you kill two birds with the same stone, one you get your runs to justify your position and secondly can become a hero if you manage to win but you won't get brickbats for losing as there will always be a 'fool' in the team that get's out trying to up the ante. I know it is a hard trade to master but think about it.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 3:10 GMT

    @dailycric India lost the test series not bcas of Dhoni, but because ALL batsmen failed to scored... Also India's bowling is one of the poorest in the world in tests. .no captain can do anything about that. So just accept that the team is not good instead of blaming Dhoni. If at all you want to single out a person, how about Dravid, who got bowled 8 times, was a total disgrace and dropped sitters in the slips, which could made a big difference in the series..

  • POSTED BY Thevinay on | February 15, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    No doubt that Dhoni is the best finisher of the game. But it always fascinating to think why the hell he takes the game to final over.

  • POSTED BY kitten on | February 15, 2012, 1:32 GMT

    I agree with the comments of 'satish619chandar'....Raina should be sent lower down the order, and told to smash everything in sight. He is a brilliant hitter of sixes, he can't play defensive...Jadeja should precede Dhoni, and then Dhoni and Raina should perform the finishing touches. They are used to one another as well, as both play for CSK....they are brilliant running between the wickets. The think tank should give this a thought. As regards Test cricket, I agree Dhoni is not cut out for it, and he should be relieved of his captaincy, and maybe even dropped in favour of Saha or anyone else. His captaincy in the shorter versions of the game namely ODIs and 20/20 had no parrellel...he is the best and coolest captain going. Remember the last world cup (ODI)? Also, he won the 20/20 WC a few years ago. Let us praise him, and not criticize him now, when he is doing well. The tests are over and dusted, enjoy India's successes instead of being negative. Go India GO

  • POSTED BY Noboundary on | February 15, 2012, 1:19 GMT

    I knew all along that all our cricket journalists and columnists are just waiting for one stroke of good performance.. they will start writing eulogies with a vengeance so that in a short while all will be forgotten and Indian cricket will be back on its incompetent, arrogant track.One good performance in a blue moon is all they need to show their loyalty to our great stars!

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | February 15, 2012, 1:12 GMT

    Thinking a bit more deeply, I now understand the philosophy of Dhoni. He beleives, he has to win it for India. Nobody else can do it. So, he will play dot balls after dot balls and he will get people like Pathan run out just to get a strike for himself. Because, hower good a Pathan had hit, he doesn't beleive Pathan can win it for India. If Dhoni's catch wasn't conveniently missed by the Lankans, the match would have lost. But, Dhoni beleives that if he is not there at the end, the match was meant to be lost anyway. At this time, I remember years ago, then captain Ganguly(from the balcony) asking Mohammed Kaif to take a single in the Natwest Series Final to give strike to Yuvraj Singh and Kaif hitting a six off that ball and eventually winning the match for India after Yuvraj was out. I also remember Yuvraj walking off as if the match was lost when he was dismissed. But, kaif won that match for India. So, you should never forget that it is a team game. The others also have a game!

  • POSTED BY John_mate on | February 15, 2012, 1:06 GMT

    Jadeja is just good enough for 20/20 format, I would say India need to have 3 different teams for all 3 game formats, plus always pick from pool of people in best form, My playing 11 would be. 1.Gambhir 2.Sachin 3.Sehwag 4.Kohli 5 & 6th -Roate Rohit/Raina/Manoj tiwary 7.Dhoni 8.Ashwin 9.Pathan (mandatory) 10.Vinay Kumar 11.Zaheer/Others

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 0:58 GMT

    hello dhoni hater, v know u hate him bcoz he earned so much money and fame than those who earned in longtime of their careers, u cant digest it. thats the reason behind this , a simple reason for this is- ,if v lose he will be the scape goateven even if ind won(by MSD;s performance) he;s been critcized ,. Good indian tactics by Ind supporters.go down there as no6 batsman and play till the end, then talk.

  • POSTED BY spinkingKK on | February 15, 2012, 0:54 GMT

    Dhoni running out Pathan was a turning point in the match and defied all kind of logic. Pathan had just hit a SIX and the next ball he was run out when it was almost impossible to get a run out. The ball was close to the striker when Dhoni went running. Pathan said no and asked Dhoni to go back. If Dhoni ran back, there was no way the bowler could have ran him out. But, Dhoni didn't bother and wanted Pathan to get run out regardless. Moreover, there was only one ball left in the over and if can't run a single off the last ball, he can't face the next over either. It makes a big difference to have two players who both can win the match for you. Once, Pathan hit that six, India was favorite to win the match. But, ended up with a tie. Dhoni did hit a FOUR and single in that over. But, how can he tell he was going to do that?

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | February 15, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    @dailycric : Actually you accepted the fact of the main discussion point being DHoni's ODI batting.. The test part was already done and dusted and Dhoni himself declared he s ready to get dropped too on better option being available.. Our incompetence in tests should go to the top order who played utter nonsense cricket (Barring Dravid in England).. If at all you are going to blame DHoni's batting for the debacle, you stand by what you named yourself - Dhoni hater.. A Zaheer hater ll come and blame his batting for the debacles..

  • POSTED BY mjshaheed on | February 15, 2012, 0:34 GMT

    Had he played with the same level of Agression and Venom in the 0-4 drubbing of the Test Series, all the praise he gets for his ODI knock could be justified...When a captain looks and bats like looser where will his players get confidence from? Whether we win this Series or not, i won't be amused...I am following this Series just for the sake of watching Cricket!(Sigh)

  • POSTED BY satish619chandar on | February 15, 2012, 0:28 GMT

    More than his pacing innings, Dhoni need to decide on Raina.. Raina is the best six hitter available in the team and he should look to send him around the batting powerplay time and not to consolidate.. ON current form, he can do it to perfection and if he wants more stability lower, he can even send Jadeja at 5.. Jadeja is a good runner too and can consolidate the innings.. Dhoni and Raina can provide the late flourish.. I think they are wasting Raina by making him to consolidate the innings in middle over by sending him around 25 over mark where he can't find balance between attack and defense.. Better utilization ll produce better results for sure..

  • POSTED BY Gizza on | February 15, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    Dhoni thrives in the shorter formats but doesn't in Tests. Just drop him or make him "retire" in Tests. Simple. I think Dhoni likes knowing the runs-to-balls equation when chasing. There is no such equation in Tests except sometimes in the 4th innings on the last day where is a certain minimum number of balls before there is a tie (bit like the recent India-West Indies Test). But yeah, rather than hating him or loving him just realise what he's good at and what he's not. He reminds me of a modern dad Bevan. Unbelievably good at chasing in ODI's. Not so good generally in Tests.

  • POSTED BY on | February 15, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    You love or hate it,DHONI is the man who is saving some proud for India,its a team game ,so was in test matches,so please dont blame dhoni,rather appreciate him what he is achevieving for India So just chill and cheer for Team India

  • POSTED BY SpartaArmy on | February 15, 2012, 0:01 GMT

    It is unfortunate that the talent, and effort of some one like Dhoni is being criticized by people who don't even know how to hold a ball and a bat. All those haters who are busy picking on Dhoni batting style, why don't you SHOW US how exactly to bat by playing for Indian team. Can you play better than Dhoni ( not in cricket 2007)? Is there any better WK that you know is sitting on the bench? if there is then your argument makes sense. Otherwise, you are posting this stuff as you have nothing better to do at your TECH SOLUTIONS or SAVERS COUNTER.

  • POSTED BY Valerio_DiBattista on | February 14, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    As an Australian cricket fan I think Dhoni is a weird cricketer, some parts admirable but equally frustrating and it is impossible to understand what he is doing. Is he playing for his own reasons or is he playing for his team? This must really frustrate Indian fans. He seemed utterly disinterested during the 4 test matches and performed poorly and without passion. In my view he should be dropped from Test cricket for good. He is clearly invigorated by the 20/20 format and the ODI format. His keeping and batting and captaincy are much better in the short forms than they are in Test cricket. He is obviously a fine short-form batsman, no doubt about it. But really, does he have to start so slowly and put so much pressure on the team. Can he not bat with a bit more desperation earlier in his innings. I have to call into question his motivation for the way he bats. It looks to me like he is running the Indian team for his own benefit and to maintain his batting average.

  • POSTED BY kumarcoolbuddy on | February 14, 2012, 23:43 GMT

    If Dhoni loses his wicket in then middle then everyone says he should have stayed till end and now since he played slowly to stay till end then everyone blames him. Who ever blaming DHoni for playing slowly why don't u go and play?

  • POSTED BY LillianThomson on | February 14, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    Dhoni is to cricket what Nii Lamptey was to football. Great in the lower formats, but incapable of coping in the most challenging form of the game. If only Test cricket didn't have slip fielders he would be considered a useful player. But he can't even reach a batting average of 38 in First Class cricket, let alone Tests. The tragedy is that in most other countries he would work hard on his flaws and become a decent Test player. But in India he is treated as a superstar anyway, so he doesn't bother to improve himself.

  • POSTED BY gularan on | February 14, 2012, 23:27 GMT

    The tie is done and dusted but let's look at the bigger picture for Sri Lanka. The shining light is obviously Chandimal , a player cast in the Aravinda mould and an exciting and precious future prospect who should be managed and nurtured to liberate his full potential at will. The positives end there, now lets list the negatives that need rectification. 1. The lack of variety in the pacemen's armoury other than Malinga's 2. The lack lustre fielding displays of a few of the players including Malinga 3. The continuous failure of Tharanga as an opener 4. The failure under pressure of the three honchos in the side viz. Sanga, Dilshan and Mahela. 4. The failure to capitalise in the batting powerplay overs. 5. The tough mental preparation required to force a win in seemingly hopeless situations, similar to that displayed in plenty by the Aussies 6. The ability to not be surprised by the slower balls bowled by opposing paceman and the knack to put them away for runs . Mr New coach over to U

  • POSTED BY Aashishk3 on | February 14, 2012, 23:24 GMT

    WHOA WHOA WHOA!!! Everyone who hates Dhoni have no right to talk. He brought happiness to our country along with Gambhir by winning the world cup. N if you tell me that you did not watch the world cup match and feel proud to b an Indian then you are a disgrace. 28 years of misery was brought to an end by this one man who is trying so hard but people keep hating on him.

  • POSTED BY gpm86 on | February 14, 2012, 23:23 GMT

    @cricmatters- kohli has played well so far this series so Im not sure why your saying he is doing badly.

    Jadeja wont get dropped due to that stupid IPL pricetag that was placed on him

  • POSTED BY Cric_Is_Fun on | February 14, 2012, 23:08 GMT

    Ravi Darira made some good points here that made me look up Dhoni's contribution to India's wins. Out of 197 matches with results that Dhoni played (till date), India won 109 (55%) matches. In the matches that Dhoni scored 30 or more India has won 60 times (60 out of 109 is 55%) and lost 26 matches (26 out of 74 losses is 35%). When Dhoni gets out for less than 10 runs, India has won only 11 matches (10%) and lost 22 matches (30%). This means that India has won only 10% of overall wins whereas they lost 30% of overall losses when Dhoni played poorly. With these figures if Dhoni is not a match winner then I wonder who is.

  • POSTED BY leggetinoz on | February 14, 2012, 23:01 GMT

    What i like the most is the complete bi-polar nature of indian fans. Your BCCI guy is correct, you do have short memories. You were doing nothing but bashing MSD during the tests and 1st T20. However now he is the "coolest","greatest" and "best" captain in the world. Most other teams would have had this game over and done with a lot sooner however MSD can't finish it off till the last ball and in this case failed to even get the win. He seems to be driven by personal milestones (no surprises there for an indian cricketer) and i think brings his personal feelings towards selection meaning better players are left out for his mates. I don't think it is any coincidence that he ran Gambhir out after he came out slagging MSD's tactics against Australia and that half the dressing room don't like him. BUt hey, no doubt when the openers have already won a game he will promote himself up the order to finish it off and be seen as the hero. He is good, but give me a break, he didn't cure cancer.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 22:37 GMT

    whatever it is INDIA played well as a team.......hats off to vinay kumar, ashwin, gambhir and dhoni. vinay kumar made the difference, with bowling a tight line and length o/w chandimal would have made the news some wat different frm wat we r reading right now. dhoni is a sort of a player who backs his instincts well and remains lucky too that it backfires sometime only.the match would have submerged 2 overs before if dhoni not faultered in making gambhir run out and stretching the game like a chewing gum........to the last over and still making out only a tie. i dnt know,,, we escaped at perth ..........tied at adelaide........brisbane..???????

  • POSTED BY Precioustar84 on | February 14, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    Where was his cool-demeanor during Tests? Sorry but as an Indian fan, what happens in OVERSEAS Tests is all that counts. He can win us 20 ODIs anywhere in the World but that will not make up for the 8 losses in tests. Its clear that Dhoni does not care about Tests now that you see him doing so well in ODIs. IF that's just personal choice then why not make room for those who care? I get a feeling there are few other Indian players that also do not care for tests nowadays. Very few have announced that they want to succeed in tests, and those that have are not really test material like Raina, Yuvraj. They could be if they try harder though. Dhoni should not be captaining a format he does not like to play. Stick to ODIs buddy. Certain players are better suited there anyways.

  • POSTED BY tompuffin on | February 14, 2012, 22:20 GMT

    All these Dhoni bashes blaming him for batting to slow should look at one figure- his strike rate!! At just above 80, that means he was going at a very healthy rate of 5 runs per over which was HIGHER than the required run rate. Anyway why are they blaming him for forcing pressure on the tail? If they did their job and tried to get the single so he could do the hitting, then that would be fine. No one needs to play hero (with Dhoni batting at the other end)!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 22:10 GMT

    I would say India would have lost both the matches if he would have gone for big shots in the beginning.Imagine MSD will go for big blows early in the chase and get out after scoring few sixes.Do we have enough faith on the other players?Can we believe if Raina or Jadeja or Rohith finish the game single handedly?

  • POSTED BY dailycric on | February 14, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    for all those who are shouting about "dhoni haters", here is a simple question: do you know the difference between tests and ODIs? from this dhoni hater: i think dhoni is the best ODI finisher in the world. but if we lose 4-0 in england and oz i don't care. for all the dhoni lovers and n. srinivasan - no amount of meaningless ODI wins, or test wins in the sub-continent, will substitute for being competitive abroad. neither the BCCI, nor the selectors, nor dhoni, cares about this. a generation - dravid, sachin, VVS, ganguly, laxman - lived for the pride of winning tests abroad. even if MSD wins us this ODI series, he has spit in the face of those proud indian cricketers who have come before him. and for anyone who understands even gali-cricket, one test win in australia is worth 10-ODI series wins there. so before you defend dhoni's ODI abilities, think of what has already been lost to indian cricket because of his inability to perform in the format that counts.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 21:35 GMT

    Cool as a Cucumber, MS Dhoni is something else

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | February 14, 2012, 21:23 GMT

    Dhoni should learn to spread the risks. He should be more proactive in looking for boundaries in the middle overs and not play so many dot balls. What if he gets out at the end of 44th over? India needed some one like pathan to come ahead of Dhoni and blast off 20 to 30 runs in quick time. Pathan with his batting is a real asset in one day format and should play ahead of Jadeja. If Jadeja is going to play then he should be batting before Dhoni. Not sure why Manoj Tiwari is not being given a chance. He can't do any worse than the current trio of Kohli/Sharma/Raina. India needs consistency from its middle order which looks very rusty.

  • POSTED BY Cric_Is_Fun on | February 14, 2012, 20:59 GMT

    Dhoni played as the situation demanded. India did not lose these two matches because Dhoni kept his head straight and backed his own ability. It does not matter how much you score as a batsman if you are not there till the end to get your team through the finish line. Gambhir might be unlucky this time (run out) but in the Aus match he has himself to blame (lbw). If anyone gets to be blamed for these tight matches that India played then it has to be the Indian middle order. In four matches Kohli, Rohit and Raina have together contributed 294 runs on an average of 24.5. No team can win ODIs if their # 3, 4 and 5 average so poorly. The lower order (Dhoni, Aswin and Jadeja) has tremendously compensated the poor show of the middle order. Lets not make a scapegoat of the man who is delivering when it matters.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 20:53 GMT

    It is hard to believe that people are actually blaming Dhoni!!!! The guy just won us the world cup after 28 years, and won us countless games on his own, has the highest average in successful chases (110), keeps wickets (which other keeper has scored half the runs he has scored???) and yet that is not enough. He should sit out for a few series and then lets see how many games India can win without him.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 20:44 GMT

    @Dushyant Garg - If you actually watched the match, you would have noticed that Dhoni bats at #6. When he comes in there are already 4 batsmen out, which means that he cannot get them out due to his batting, or can he?????? Both times, top orders have surrendered, and lower order (jadeja and ashwin havent been able to score) Dhoni on his own using his own strategy, brains and courage won us the match.

    @Soumya Mukherjee: Dhoni is not a match winner? who is then? Check out how many games he has won us on his own before making stupid comments like these...

  • POSTED BY cricmatters on | February 14, 2012, 20:38 GMT

    I am not sure why every one is raving about Dhoni as he was partly responsible for the letting the game slip away from India's grasp. He was not so cool yesterday for unnecessary running out Gambhir and Pathan when they could have easliy taken India home with few ball to spare. By not taking enough singles and occasional boundaries in the middle overs, Dhoni puts enormous pressure on the tail and hitting a few sixes in the end is not going to fix that. He does not even achieve 100% strike rate even after spending so much time in the middle. He is not suited to play the middle overs and should be batting down the order and give others a chance to play themselves in.

  • POSTED BY MrDynamic on | February 14, 2012, 20:36 GMT

    Go Dhoni Go ... keep it up!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    nicely written article and must read article for all those dhoni haters,who are whining about the dhoni's chasing tactics.hats off dhoni for a great show again

  • POSTED BY rahulcricket007 on | February 14, 2012, 19:38 GMT

    MONGA , YOU SAID THAT JADEJA CAN'T PLAY BIG SHOTS THEN WHY DON'T JADEJA IS DROPPED FROM TEAM & GIVE CHANCE TO TIWARI WHO IS A PROPER BATSMEN , ALSO HIS PART TIME BOWLING IS VERY USEFUL . JADEJA IS NOT PICKING ANY WKTS NEITHER HE STOPS RUNS IN MIDDLE OVERS .

  • POSTED BY street_smart on | February 14, 2012, 19:22 GMT

    As usual our middle order could not finish it.... how many chances suresh raina will get where as Tiwary is waiting in the bench...

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 19:20 GMT

    Do you really think that he would let the secret out of how he absorbs all the pressure and plays with a cool head in crunch situations !!

  • POSTED BY spiritwithin on | February 14, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    its easy to blame jadeja here but srry its clearly dhoni's fault that jadeja and ashwin perishes looking for boundaries and Irfan pathan got out looking for non-existent single and the pressure was created unnesessarily by Dhoni at the other end where he keeps blocking every delivery when the need of the hour was rotation of strike,he ran out an inform Gambhir and made the asking rate balloned up into double digit,its just luck that pathan got a waist high full toss no ball which he hit for six and lowered the difference b/w run & ball,same thing happened last time where Mckay gave a good half volley in the last over as well as a noball at crucial time..such coincidence wont happen everytime to rescue india all the time..Dhoni if he thinks that everytime he can block deliveries and just hit sixes later then he's wrong...59 from 60balls and then 46from 30balls,means just 13runs scored from 30balls in that crucial phase..does'nt sounds 'COOL' Dhoni as the author is projecting here..

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Mr Monga your article suggests IND has won both the games while the truth is in both the games we have taken the game unnecessarily till the last over...We have escaped with a win in one while only drew the second...Make no mistake , both these games we should have comfortably won if Dhoni is half as good as the batsman he is projected to be.......While u point out the inefficiencies of Raina and Jadega, my question is why is Raina being persisted with and inspite of Pathan who in his hey daz was a beautiful striker of the ball came at no 9 today being there, Jadega or Ashwin came ahead of him........Dhoni is a cool calculative and efficient batsman in ODIS...by any stretch of imagination not a matchwinner............(unlikely my post will be posted though..)

  • POSTED BY Precioustar84 on | February 14, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Can any writer ever do an article on anyone else but Dhoni? I mean India does have someone named Gambhir whose efforts keep getting overlooked again and again!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    So Mr Monga, you justifies his tendencies of making a easily acheivable total look daunting, in the name of 'having nerve' or 'cool head over the shoulder'. Good example is 1st T20 against Australia when he kept devouring ball after ball, eventually brought up asking rate beyond reach and finally assaulting in a losing cause for no avail! And in both the last 2 matches, he ran out of his partners, because they fell to increase the run rate thanks to his sluggish batting. You can not have luxury of hitting six and getting no ball advantage always. Last match against Australia was all about that six and no ball, else India were on the brink of defeat, thanks to his 43 ball 13 moment in his inning. How is it justifiable to bring match in a situation where 60 needed in 10 over, to 24 in 12 balls! Even Javed Miandad can't take the match to the last ball everyday thinking that he would hit six when needed!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Perfect summation,you can't hate dhoni for today's match, though you want to blame him for taking it too deep, putting extra perssure on non-strikers, eating up so many balls. Ultimately its the result which matters, as long as India does'nt loose, its all taken into stride. This guy is amazingly cool,the fact that it pays at the end only goes to show,it's a virtue well earned. Keep it up Dhoni!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Dhoni is pressurizing himself and others by his attitude, he is the only one complaining about the slowness of australian pitches, when gambhir scored two substantial innings, even jadeja and ashwin played freely winning comfortably. dhoni can't even rotate the strike, if he wants to anchor the innings or wants the ball to come nicely to bat, he should opt for 1 down position. last two innings his strike rate is near 50-60 after facing nearly 40-50 balls, when others are around 80-100. His batting technique of not rotating the strike makes others to take the risk of playing big shots and get out. Its better for him to come next to ashwin if India wants to win the match comfortably.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    The quality of Indian batting wasn't all that great - seems contrived to make a tie out of it. Sachin, Kohli, Sharma, Jadeja, Raina, Ashwin - all failed. Definitely don't come across as a ruthless, winning machine. Btw, the last 3 ties in ODI - India has been part of them and in all cases, these were games where India should have won. Mentally frail !

  • POSTED BY Decimus on | February 14, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Then how about the 2 Gautam Gambir LBW decisions that was not given? Had there been DRS he would have been clearly out. Herath and Sri Lanka were unlucky.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | February 14, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    He has knack of being the man and make everyone else out. May be fate. Even world cup he stole glory from yuvaraj singh.

  • POSTED BY jason79 on | February 14, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    You have mentioned failure of rohit sharma and raine foe whom experienced openers are rotated..which experienced opener u r talking about.both sehwag and sachin has been a failure through out...man grow up raina and sharma are at least long term propspect for India..support them instead of blaming them..if you want to put blame,then blame sachin..with the experience and stature he has ,what hashe done for India in this series..he is the one who has failed dhoni,a man who has been 20 yrs i cricket,cannt even score a half century..and still we keep praising him...which world are you living in dude..sachin is really lucky he is not an australian or else he would have been kicked out a long time ago...

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Before all dhoni haters write comments I want to mention b/c of him we tie this match else we would have lost it. What a talent 2 matches in a row he played breath taking innings. Even Bevan and Hussey will Envy on Dhoni. I am really worried about the middle order batsman Kohli, Sharma, Raina, Jadeja and Ashwin in this match. Come-on Guys you have the best finisher in the world all you need to do stay at the Wkt and build patnership. Even I am dissapointed with Gambhir couple of years back he was conisdered as finisher but last 2 years he lost that touch. Gambhir do not give your wkt your wkt is very precious and I need to see you scoring centuries. Best of Luck India you are on track and Cricket is at his best. I wish we follow the rotation policy with Middle order too. Give some chances to Manoj.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 16:56 GMT

    Before all dhoni haters write comments I want to mention b/c of him we tie this match else we would have lost it. What a talent 2 matches in a row he played breath taking innings. Even Bevan and Hussey will Envy on Dhoni. I am really worried about the middle order batsman Kohli, Sharma, Raina, Jadeja and Ashwin in this match. Come-on Guys you have the best finisher in the world all you need to do stay at the Wkt and build patnership. Even I am dissapointed with Gambhir couple of years back he was conisdered as finisher but last 2 years he lost that touch. Gambhir do not give your wkt your wkt is very precious and I need to see you scoring centuries. Best of Luck India you are on track and Cricket is at his best. I wish we follow the rotation policy with Middle order too. Give some chances to Manoj.

  • POSTED BY jason79 on | February 14, 2012, 17:09 GMT

    You have mentioned failure of rohit sharma and raine foe whom experienced openers are rotated..which experienced opener u r talking about.both sehwag and sachin has been a failure through out...man grow up raina and sharma are at least long term propspect for India..support them instead of blaming them..if you want to put blame,then blame sachin..with the experience and stature he has ,what hashe done for India in this series..he is the one who has failed dhoni,a man who has been 20 yrs i cricket,cannt even score a half century..and still we keep praising him...which world are you living in dude..sachin is really lucky he is not an australian or else he would have been kicked out a long time ago...

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | February 14, 2012, 17:10 GMT

    He has knack of being the man and make everyone else out. May be fate. Even world cup he stole glory from yuvaraj singh.

  • POSTED BY Decimus on | February 14, 2012, 17:19 GMT

    Then how about the 2 Gautam Gambir LBW decisions that was not given? Had there been DRS he would have been clearly out. Herath and Sri Lanka were unlucky.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:31 GMT

    The quality of Indian batting wasn't all that great - seems contrived to make a tie out of it. Sachin, Kohli, Sharma, Jadeja, Raina, Ashwin - all failed. Definitely don't come across as a ruthless, winning machine. Btw, the last 3 ties in ODI - India has been part of them and in all cases, these were games where India should have won. Mentally frail !

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Dhoni is pressurizing himself and others by his attitude, he is the only one complaining about the slowness of australian pitches, when gambhir scored two substantial innings, even jadeja and ashwin played freely winning comfortably. dhoni can't even rotate the strike, if he wants to anchor the innings or wants the ball to come nicely to bat, he should opt for 1 down position. last two innings his strike rate is near 50-60 after facing nearly 40-50 balls, when others are around 80-100. His batting technique of not rotating the strike makes others to take the risk of playing big shots and get out. Its better for him to come next to ashwin if India wants to win the match comfortably.

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:37 GMT

    Perfect summation,you can't hate dhoni for today's match, though you want to blame him for taking it too deep, putting extra perssure on non-strikers, eating up so many balls. Ultimately its the result which matters, as long as India does'nt loose, its all taken into stride. This guy is amazingly cool,the fact that it pays at the end only goes to show,it's a virtue well earned. Keep it up Dhoni!!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    So Mr Monga, you justifies his tendencies of making a easily acheivable total look daunting, in the name of 'having nerve' or 'cool head over the shoulder'. Good example is 1st T20 against Australia when he kept devouring ball after ball, eventually brought up asking rate beyond reach and finally assaulting in a losing cause for no avail! And in both the last 2 matches, he ran out of his partners, because they fell to increase the run rate thanks to his sluggish batting. You can not have luxury of hitting six and getting no ball advantage always. Last match against Australia was all about that six and no ball, else India were on the brink of defeat, thanks to his 43 ball 13 moment in his inning. How is it justifiable to bring match in a situation where 60 needed in 10 over, to 24 in 12 balls! Even Javed Miandad can't take the match to the last ball everyday thinking that he would hit six when needed!

  • POSTED BY Precioustar84 on | February 14, 2012, 18:10 GMT

    Can any writer ever do an article on anyone else but Dhoni? I mean India does have someone named Gambhir whose efforts keep getting overlooked again and again!

  • POSTED BY on | February 14, 2012, 18:13 GMT

    Mr Monga your article suggests IND has won both the games while the truth is in both the games we have taken the game unnecessarily till the last over...We have escaped with a win in one while only drew the second...Make no mistake , both these games we should have comfortably won if Dhoni is half as good as the batsman he is projected to be.......While u point out the inefficiencies of Raina and Jadega, my question is why is Raina being persisted with and inspite of Pathan who in his hey daz was a beautiful striker of the ball came at no 9 today being there, Jadega or Ashwin came ahead of him........Dhoni is a cool calculative and efficient batsman in ODIS...by any stretch of imagination not a matchwinner............(unlikely my post will be posted though..)