England v India, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 5th day July 22, 2014

Why Dhoni stood back to Jadeja's spin

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MS Dhoni wanted an extra catcher behind the wicket on the leg side but the rules prevented him from having one
MS Dhoni wanted an extra catcher behind the wicket on the leg side but the rules prevented him from having one © PA Photos

In the 21st over of England's second innings at Lord's, MS Dhoni did something many commentators - former cricketers all - claimed they had never seen before. Two balls into Ravindra Jadeja's seventh over, Dhoni got rid of his helmet and stood further behind the stumps than usual. He kept doing so whenever Jadeja bowled to left-hand batsmen. For right-hand batsmen, he would return to the normal position of standing up to the stumps.

As the unusual scene of Dhoni standing close for the medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and back for the spinner Jadeja played out, the experts began to guess what exactly he was trying to do.

Some thought Dhoni was being funky for the sake of it. A little too funky. Others said they had last seen this in an Under-11 match. Some felt an edge off Jadeja's pace and extra bounce would be easier to take if the keeper was standing back. The majority agreement, though, was that on an uneven pitch in a tense Test, Dhoni was a little too worried about conceding byes off Jadeja, who was firing the ball into the rough - an extremely cynical view to take, even for the sternest critics of Dhoni's captaincy.

After India's 95-run win, Dhoni revealed why he had stood back. It did have a lot to do with the rough, the uneven bounce and Jadeja's pace, but the move was necessitated because of the laws of cricket.

A catch had just lobbed wide of Virat Kohli at leg gully. Dhoni needed two leg gullies - or a leg slip and a leg gully - but that would mean sacrificing short fine leg to meet the rule of not having more than two fielders behind square on the leg side. No fine leg meant an easy getaway sweep shot.

So Dhoni went for a home remedy. He asked Kohli to move squarer for the meatier edge, and he took a couple of steps back so he had the time to go for the fine edge down the leg side.

"I wanted to have a fielder there," Dhoni said of his new position. "But according to the rules of the game you can't have three fielders there. I wanted Virat to stand slightly wide of where he was standing because anything like a snick or a faint edge on the leg side would go between him and me. So the plan was to stand behind and cover that."

Dhoni did not get to show off his genius because no edge went that fine. In Jadeja's next over, though, one flew off Alastair Cook's glove but fell short of Kohli. The bigger danger of this plan, however, was of Dhoni missing a stumping or watching the batsmen use their feet comfortably. England's batsmen, though, did not do that.

"If the batsmen kept stepping out and playing, I would have had to go in," Dhoni said. "They didn't really step out so I had the liberty of standing back and trying to catch the ball at both ends, but nothing really came to us.

"The good thing was, they didn't really step out and miss one because that would have been a perfect thing for the commentators to talk about."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ac_Indian on July 22, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Good on Sid and Cricinfo to put Dhoni's view point as well. We may argue whether Dhoni was right or wrong, but it is important to know why he did that. I actually feel that this is not an issue that deserved any significant attention, but the moment some commentators immediately branded this as a negative and defensive strategy and blindly criticized it (Warne almost laughed at it), it became important that Dhoni's reasoning should also be given a consideration to present both sides. In some ways, I feel similar sympathy for Cook as well. Some commentators and fans do what we call in India as "washing your hands in the flowing river", which in this case would mean to simply "comply" with and reiterate often times a convenient opinion, and do not talk about the other side.

  • binkuvarghese88 on July 26, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    I would certainly agree with MS, If the batsman is not dancing down the track, why should the keeper stand up to the stump. Its not written in any cricket laws ! Its all about how you conceive new things. I reckon its a great move from MS, and keepers should start using this(At least in Test cricket ). Moreover, keepers are getting more time to collect ball.

  • on July 25, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Innovative ideas are historically frowned upon. Even Galileo was imprisoned for saying that the earth is not flat! So, I am not surprised to read the criticisms of Dhoni's out-of-the-box moves. It is good that Dhoni is least bothered about it, though.

  • jonesy2 on July 25, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    very interesting stuff. i thought he was back there for the ball the spat out of the rough and caught something then lobbed up behind the keeper and fielders, i just thought dhoni figured that was likely to happen again as it had already happened i think the day before

  • TATTUs on July 25, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    So a keeper standing a couple of steps back could cover a 45 fielder? Amazing! Street smartness or overdoing things? Debate rages on. It would be interesting to know what ex cricketers feel about this now that Dhonis views have come in too.

    Personally I dont think a keeper could cover a 45.

  • Rahulbose on July 24, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I thought he was trying to bait the batsmen into a lofted shot. Stepping out and trying to hit out of the rough is a fairly risky shot, plus with Jadeja's style of bowling a mistimed shot or edge is more likely than a stumping. He rarely beats anyone in the air. But this was an unconventional move and shows Dhoni feels comfortable enough to try out such tactics on the fly. As with a lot of captaincy moves in cricket, you look like a genius if it comes off , you also look like a fool when it doesn't.

  • on July 24, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    Street smartness - you get this only in India and in tennis ball cricket.

  • on July 23, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    Serious Cricketing Brains!!!

  • nainil0683 on July 23, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    Very sensible stuff from Dhoni. Definitely would not be considered a master-stroke had he pulled a catch diving on the leg side. It's simple plain sensible approach. Well done Dhoni!

  • Nampally on July 23, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Logical thinking by Dhoni in field placing! Jadeja bowls off spinners to the LH bats which is easier for a LH bat to handle than leg spinners..Hence an easier way of addressing the spinner issue was to have Ashwin in the line up instead of Binny! With 6 LH batsmen in England that was the most obvious decision. Ashwin is also the best off spinner having taken fastest 100 Test wkts. in the world. While Dhoni used logic in field placing he failed to do so in selecting his XI. Dhoni did a great job in tactical battle in the Lords Test. His use of Ishant to bowl short pitched bouncers on a pitch with uncertain bounce was a stroke of Genius. I applaud him for it & applaud Ishant in executing the Dhoni Mantra to perfection. My only query here is : Why not Ashwin or Aaron instead of Binny, as logic dictates? I suppose Dhoni was forced to include Binny after his innings of 78 in the second innings of the First Test. I feel India will be short changed If they don't replace Binny with alternate.

  • ac_Indian on July 22, 2014, 17:16 GMT

    Good on Sid and Cricinfo to put Dhoni's view point as well. We may argue whether Dhoni was right or wrong, but it is important to know why he did that. I actually feel that this is not an issue that deserved any significant attention, but the moment some commentators immediately branded this as a negative and defensive strategy and blindly criticized it (Warne almost laughed at it), it became important that Dhoni's reasoning should also be given a consideration to present both sides. In some ways, I feel similar sympathy for Cook as well. Some commentators and fans do what we call in India as "washing your hands in the flowing river", which in this case would mean to simply "comply" with and reiterate often times a convenient opinion, and do not talk about the other side.

  • binkuvarghese88 on July 26, 2014, 9:37 GMT

    I would certainly agree with MS, If the batsman is not dancing down the track, why should the keeper stand up to the stump. Its not written in any cricket laws ! Its all about how you conceive new things. I reckon its a great move from MS, and keepers should start using this(At least in Test cricket ). Moreover, keepers are getting more time to collect ball.

  • on July 25, 2014, 7:50 GMT

    Innovative ideas are historically frowned upon. Even Galileo was imprisoned for saying that the earth is not flat! So, I am not surprised to read the criticisms of Dhoni's out-of-the-box moves. It is good that Dhoni is least bothered about it, though.

  • jonesy2 on July 25, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    very interesting stuff. i thought he was back there for the ball the spat out of the rough and caught something then lobbed up behind the keeper and fielders, i just thought dhoni figured that was likely to happen again as it had already happened i think the day before

  • TATTUs on July 25, 2014, 3:25 GMT

    So a keeper standing a couple of steps back could cover a 45 fielder? Amazing! Street smartness or overdoing things? Debate rages on. It would be interesting to know what ex cricketers feel about this now that Dhonis views have come in too.

    Personally I dont think a keeper could cover a 45.

  • Rahulbose on July 24, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I thought he was trying to bait the batsmen into a lofted shot. Stepping out and trying to hit out of the rough is a fairly risky shot, plus with Jadeja's style of bowling a mistimed shot or edge is more likely than a stumping. He rarely beats anyone in the air. But this was an unconventional move and shows Dhoni feels comfortable enough to try out such tactics on the fly. As with a lot of captaincy moves in cricket, you look like a genius if it comes off , you also look like a fool when it doesn't.

  • on July 24, 2014, 9:57 GMT

    Street smartness - you get this only in India and in tennis ball cricket.

  • on July 23, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    Serious Cricketing Brains!!!

  • nainil0683 on July 23, 2014, 18:00 GMT

    Very sensible stuff from Dhoni. Definitely would not be considered a master-stroke had he pulled a catch diving on the leg side. It's simple plain sensible approach. Well done Dhoni!

  • Nampally on July 23, 2014, 17:50 GMT

    Logical thinking by Dhoni in field placing! Jadeja bowls off spinners to the LH bats which is easier for a LH bat to handle than leg spinners..Hence an easier way of addressing the spinner issue was to have Ashwin in the line up instead of Binny! With 6 LH batsmen in England that was the most obvious decision. Ashwin is also the best off spinner having taken fastest 100 Test wkts. in the world. While Dhoni used logic in field placing he failed to do so in selecting his XI. Dhoni did a great job in tactical battle in the Lords Test. His use of Ishant to bowl short pitched bouncers on a pitch with uncertain bounce was a stroke of Genius. I applaud him for it & applaud Ishant in executing the Dhoni Mantra to perfection. My only query here is : Why not Ashwin or Aaron instead of Binny, as logic dictates? I suppose Dhoni was forced to include Binny after his innings of 78 in the second innings of the First Test. I feel India will be short changed If they don't replace Binny with alternate.

  • on July 23, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    It is rather naive to assume that the commentators, even if they are ex-cricketers, are smarter than man in the middle. The game keeps on evolving, Players keep on experimenting with their tactics, more often than not, finding ways to cope with new regulations, which the older players never had to content with.

    And last, and no in the least, some of them lack the humility to accept the fact they could not fathom the logic of a move they never tried in their career. It's never too late to discover and learn newer ways of handling never-met-before-kind of laws and regulations.

    One should also give credit to Dhoni in indirectly accepting the fact that he could not find an effective way to combat some of the ludicrous field restrictions in the short formats,despite he being one of the best master tacticians for 20 or 50 over games..

  • on July 23, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    @Rajeshj- In my entire commenting career here @ cricinfo not 4 once I have criticised or called 4 sacking of Ashwin(The best spinner in recent times for India) Ashwin is a much much better bowler than Jadeja and Binny was only selected bcz of seaming conditions you can find in England(It was a very premature decision in my view), Ashwin should have been selected in his place nomatter how his overseas performances are..Ashwin has two test hundreds nomatter where they were scored, A test hundred is a test hundred anywhere.. Cricketing wisdom says an off-spinner is ideal for left-handers to take wickets but Dhoni thinks differently..Day 5 pitch was behaving differently, Rough patches didn't look deadly enough on fifth day..Tactics had to change according to the situation of the match..His role was changed from being an attacking bowler to a containing bowler and it was a wise decision..A no-brainer..And BTW I from east, From Kolkata but we all come from the same country..INDIA! #Bleedblue

  • ultrasnow on July 23, 2014, 9:33 GMT

    So why did the 'experts' in the commentary team have trouble unravelling this whodunit? A case for broadcasters to offer a 'no commentary' option to the viewing public. Yes we could switch the telly volume off but that I'd hate to miss the roar of the cricket crazy public at cricket grounds around the world!

  • steve48 on July 23, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    Innovative thinking from a player who has little time for convention over practicality. As a pretty average keeper in league cricket, I used to beg our slow medium spin bowler to let me go back on tricky surfaces for reasons just like this, only to be told no, until in desperation I got him to allow it in a pre season friendly and took a blinder off a full blooded edge! Real cricket is assessing real situations, not sticking to norms and looking to the skies, cursing your luck, when a thick edge goes between the keeper up and the slip/ leg slip! This is no better than missing a stumping. In the same spirit, MSD has improved Bhuvi by standing up, pinning the batsman to his crease and letting the bowler pitch it up and get maximum movement! Hats off to some original thinking!

  • Rajeshj on July 23, 2014, 8:14 GMT

    @Arun Bose: Well said but you forgot the fact that Jadeja was bowling on the rough all the time, which means the batsmen cannot guess all the time on which way the ball would turn or bounce.. the uncertainty is caused by the pitch and not Jadeja.. Whereas in the last test played by Ashwin (Johannesburg), the pitch was very very flat with not even the rough or uneven bounce.. still Ashwin bowled 36 overs for 83 runs (best economy rate than any other bowler inclusive of Steyn, Philander, Zaheer, Shami, Tahir etc. ) in that match.. and mind you he got that economy rate against AB de Villiers and du Plessis.. if he didn't bowl that tight spell India would have easily lost that match.. But no one understood his plight and he was needlessly sacked from there on.. Now comparing Ashwin and Jadeja's performances, its proven beyond conclusion that Ashwin is far better than Jadeja.. Only you North folks would never accept or understand it..

  • on July 23, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    don't underestimated the fact that players like Jadeja, Rohit Sharma are the highly overrated. they are only performing once in a year and peoples are praising them like Don Bradman.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on July 23, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    Excellent thinking by Dhoni, he us really showing up Cook's inadequacies as captain this series, not that that is hard.

  • on July 23, 2014, 6:59 GMT

    Dear MSD greater challenge coming your way. English team will came back hard on us. Rahane, Vijay, Bhuvi, SRJ, Ishant made significant contribution in the second test. Players needs to improve are Binny, Dhawan, Shami. Kohli and Pujara has not scored a half century so far in this series. Come on, register your names in the history.

  • ladycricfan on July 23, 2014, 6:32 GMT

    Ashwin is a conventional spinner with flight and variations. Jadeja's strength is accuracy. Bowlers hunt in pack and Ashwin and Jadeja bowling together will enhance each other's success. Jadeja bowling alone will be less effective. He is not there just to contain the batsmen on a spinning 5th day wicket.

    Ashwin also is a good test batsman with test batting average of 40., same as Dhoni. He should bat at 6 or7. Jadeja's attacking batting style is suitable at 8. Hope Dhoni is honest to himself and play Ashwin.

    Team XI: Vijay, Dhawan, Pujara, Kholi, Rahane, Ashwin, Dhoni, Jadeja, Bhuvi, Shami, Ishant.

    Play this team and 4-0 for India. Kohli is due for a big score.

  • nsrajesh on July 23, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    Dhoni is one of the finest think tanks I have seen since my childhood, he is able to read what is going on in the competitors dressing room!. When ever India have won it is more so because of his thinking. He knows strengths and weaknesses of each player and always uses it to teams advantage!

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:47 GMT

    @Salt.Bite- You absolutely nailed it mate.. They only know how to criticise Dhoni when he loses a game but forget to praise him when he wins.. Captain is as good as the team but as bad as the team as well but captain is the one who keeps the team together through good and bad times.. Dhoni is a great captain but he can only deliver when his team delivers as well.. He sets all the stratagies but It's those other 10 who has to apply it for the team's success.. Dhoni should be applauded for his captaincy..

  • MagazineReader on July 23, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    Would be better if Dhoni give chances to bench stacking squad...not only Ashwin/Rohit but Gambhir and some fresher quicks, so will be chances rather than redundant team selection [Wondering about the team management of England for this long series]

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:45 GMT

    Dhoni wants Jadeja to make use of the rough patch in front of the batsman so that the ball will have an uneven bounce and playing will be difficult. If there is an edge then the same will go through leg slip or leg gully and since he could not use more than two fielders he had to stay with only one there and therefore stood behind. Fair enough. Many of them commented that the three fields behind square is useless rule but I beg to differ on that since the original rule was kept for fielding side not to go with negative bowling and avoid batsman to score runs. By removing this rule will give fielding side an advantage and already the off spinners are using middle and leg are bowling which is not helping the batsman to play freely. If this rule is revoked then this will give the fielding side enough ammunition to attach the batsman with leg side bowling. So, I want the rule to stay.

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    @Rajeshj- Test bowling is not abt wickets all the time, Jadeja bowled 33 overs and gave away just 53 runs and took one wicket..He was given a particular role to hold on one end and cramp runs which was crucial on fifth day when Root and Ali were looking like to take the game away from India but Jadeja kept on bowling accurately and didn't gave away runs from one end..Ishant kept on taking wickets from another end, English batsmen were going for a win but Jadeja kept them down by cramping up the runs from another end and hence they were put under pressure of scoring runs and hence wickets fell one by one when Sharma started bowling short balls, They thought they could take on Sharma and score runs but failed..Jadeja did his job by stopping runs..There are many situations in a test match and Dhoni gauged it and kept on bowling Jaddu from one end and attacked from another end with a fast bowler.. Don't just criticise for the sake of it.. Understand the game first..

  • nellaiseemai on July 23, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    Great thinking by Dhoni. Whether it worked or not is a second question. What he thought was not guessed correctly by any commentators? No one came close to what Dhoni said. Everyone said about Dhoni stood there to save runs based on Dhoni's past captaincy experience. Probably this a new Dhoni. Thinking out of the box and asking Ishant to bowl short as well. He has done these kind of things in ODI and T20s but not in tests. This reminds me the incident when Tendulkar was playing against Broad Hogg. He was playing all leg side. Chappel was commenting that Tendulkar should come down the wicket and play straight. He was wondering why Tendulkar was playing like that. In the post match interview like Dhoni, Tendulkar at that time said wind was blowing from his right to left and he felt playing across was will carry the ball longer.

  • Udendra on July 23, 2014, 5:20 GMT

    This leg-side law is another baseless law in cricket. It needs to be changed.

  • sweetspot on July 23, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    The only opportunity genius has for survival is in taking risks, and doing things that it knows are right, despite all of history showing nothing to support it.

    MSD is ten times the captain he is because he is not afraid to try something, and not being dogmatic about anything. The 'experts' are not wrong to criticize Dhoni, but they're not as right as him most of the time!

    They're all busy looking at the theory of cricket. He simply sees physics and uses common sense, and knows the rules he has to follow.

    He is the boss. Make no mistake about it. It is fun playing under him, and anybody would love to have a boss like him. No wonder this is such a happy Indian outfit.

  • Salt.Bite on July 23, 2014, 5:09 GMT

    @AT1985- Why shouldnt Dhoni be applauded for this victory When people like you blame only him for the losses ( and not the other 10 ).Now this is in all the senses ......NONSENSE

  • Rajeshj on July 23, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    The truth is that Dhoni wanted to hide a very, very mediocre spell from Jadeja from public eyes.. hence he diverted everyone's attention onto this needless gimmick.. Much was expected from India's premier spinner (according to Dhoni), Sir Jadeja, and he came up with a spell with nothing to show.. the fact is that Jadeja is too ordinary spinner that he could not take even a single tailender's wicket on a fifth day pitch.. And Dhoni has done a brilliant stunt to hide this from everyone's view..

  • on July 23, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    @AT1985-Before this series began, Everyone including some "intelligent" indian fans wanted Vijay out of the team bcz they "thought" he wasn't good enough for test cricket and was only good enough for T20 cricket or in short IPL.. But as soon as he hit that 100 at TB and a crucial 95 at Lord's in the second innings..Everyone including those "intelligent" Indian fans started praising him..But who kept him in the side despite all the criticism? Who believed in his talent despite all the negative talk abt his batsmanship? Who supported him when everyone discarded him? It was DHONI who knew that Vijay is a fine fine test player and will perform.. That's what captaincy is all about.. And that's why Dhoni should be praised as well.. I believed in Vijay too..He's got the temperament which is so crucial in test cricket.. Yes, Vijay played really well in fact he's the best batsman in this series from both sides but if Dhoni had dropped him, Where would India be without him now? Think abt it..

  • AT1985 on July 23, 2014, 4:36 GMT

    Mr.FX_5... Out of all the guys commenting here, you are the only one who noted the main point. Vijay played an outstanding innings to help India post a challenging target on an uneven pitch. That is what we call brilliance and not Dhoni standing behind the stumps. I wonder if Dhoni will do anything like this in a test match with his bat. Every win India has , the credit always goes to MSD not the other 10 who also played well. NONSENSE!!

  • Chennai_Cricket on July 23, 2014, 4:22 GMT

    Current players love to play under MSD captaincy, He give all opportunities to players like vijay, rahane, jadeja and ishant. He is a role model for most of the indians.

    He is the best captain i ever seen

  • on July 23, 2014, 4:06 GMT

    Still People criticise him.....

  • on July 23, 2014, 3:48 GMT

    Proud MSDIAN supporter!! MSD rocks! Smartest ever captain, the reason why he has all ICC trophies(from each tournament at least once) in his cabinet, and not Ganguly, Ponting, or any other captains can do it! Go MSD! We believe in you!

  • Amarjitmadan on July 23, 2014, 3:37 GMT

    MSD is a thinking intelligent cricketer. He has mentioned about his noninterference with bowlers but the bowlers should understand that it is in interest of that particular match. I go with his idea of standing back the worst could have been a six runs but he did at a time when English batsmen were not taking risks in view of target and past records of chasing at Lords have been quite scarey.Vijay,Bhuvi,Jadeja,Ishant,Shami with bat Pujaara not many runs but occupying crease for 3hours in those conditions has been lauded by the commentators and the team of Verdict. Let us give credit to MSD for great captaincy as no skipper would have given another over after Ishant had been hit for three fours and margin was becoming gettable. His action was super because in that over he set the fielding for shot pitched and rising balls compelling Ishant to resort to that which he did a move that paid of and the match was over in one hour's time. (stated by MSD himself).

  • on July 23, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    I have seen a keeper do this before for precisely the same reason.

  • on July 23, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    IN fact he came up to the stumps towards the end of the day on Day-4. Moen Ali was hit on his body and in the follow through the back of the bat hit the ball, which went on to 'hit' dhoni. He was too surprised by it all and was unable to catch it in second attempt, after which the ball simply lobbed between him and Kohli. Had he stood behind, that would have been the simplest of all catches and for the first time that any can remember a catch like that would have been taken. More importantly it would have resulted in England a crucial wicket before the close of 4th day and the 5th day could have been much shorter. So many Ifs that 'could' have happened. But what happened in the end was the English batsmen could not figure it out Or were simply incapable of doing anything about it. Either ways it worked for India, and I am sure we will see this tactic been adopted by a number of wicket keepers. Jos Butler? I am not too sure about that.

  • on July 23, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    That's why he's is in the team, Just as a captain he's a deadly weapon for opposition's game plans..He destroys them by such "alien tactics"(for the commentators) that nobody would have thought is possible.. Jadeja bowls really fast so no batsman is fool enough to step out to him..He doesn't provide any flight, It's practically impossible to get under the ball with such a trajectory, Dhoni knew this and took a gamble and it paid off, As Ganguly has already described him as a "Gambler" and this is why he's so successful in limited overs cricket and test cricket in Sub-continental conditions(His sub-continental record is second to none)... Commentators are there to criticise, It's their job description but they must think twice before dismissing any move by an international test captain..

  • Divinetouch on July 23, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Thinking out of the box more often than not brings rich results. Dhoni, the master tactician did the unusual and reaped a sumptuous reward for BharatMa.

  • FX_5 on July 23, 2014, 0:09 GMT

    Vijay...the main man behind forgotten easily....not many praise him for his stay on the pitch. Had he not been there for playing 45 overs, India could have been all out in less than 200 on the 3rd day itself....Eng winning easily.....appreciate him for his BIG BIG .....contribution

  • PFEL on July 22, 2014, 21:41 GMT

    England's batsmen really missed a trick. It was blowing my mind that Moeen Ali wasn't using his feet at all. really bizarre.

  • on July 22, 2014, 20:39 GMT

    MSD Always best in any form of cricket

  • GermanPlayer on July 22, 2014, 19:33 GMT

    Good thinking but could easily have badly backfired...have to say no one figured it out at first...

    As for Dhoni being judged after retirement, surely the best for India in limited format. In tests, has yet to prove himself but a captain is only as good as his team and Indian bowling is sadly not good enough for test matches against good opposition...

  • Oracle_Magus on July 22, 2014, 19:30 GMT

    It's always easy to comment from the pavilion, but we need to keep in mind that if we were as good as any of these players, we would be on the field. Our emotions does get the better of us at times, but none of us can really comprehend what goes on in the mind of the Captain or the players out there. They are professional cricketer's. We maybe professional viewers of the game, but then our comments should not be directed at players who in every way are better than us in this game. Let's enjoy the game and wish them the very best. Cheers!!!

  • on July 22, 2014, 18:59 GMT

    continuing on dhoni's captaincy; I have no idea how will he be rated after retirement. To some die hard fans,the greatest cricket captain to walk on the planet and yet to some blind haters, a complete failure and a disgrace to test cricket. As with such statements the truth will always be somewhere in the middle ground. In my book though he will go down as a street smart cricketer and one of the beat out of box thinker regardless of success or failure. All his tactics, however strange they might be, always have a sound thinking process attached; something which I have always admired in him. So to all those saying 'pure luck' I say 'rubbish'.

  • iamgroot on July 22, 2014, 18:55 GMT

    Now that is what you call Genius. Ok I didnt know that rule of cannot have 3 fielders on the leg side but what about commentators? Shane warne , Atherton, Strauss? All these guys have played enough cricket to know the rules and they didn't know? Strange. Yeah, Dhoni did fox them with his "out of box" thinking. Clearly you can see some exceptional thinking by Dhoni. That is why he will always succeed. Those failures in 2011 were stepping stones for success. Now we can see lot more of it. India is in safe hands. Excellent Dhoni! Continue the good work. all the best

  • on July 22, 2014, 18:43 GMT

    I'm sorry but it still doesn't hold water...he's just lucky there were no nicks either. The biggest weapon for a spinner is the ability to induce slight nicks close to the stumps. Why did Dhoni need such a packed leg side field anyhow? Jadeja was hardly turning it that consistently to warrant that. It also doesn't explain why he pushed his slip on the off side that far back as well. He just wanted to feel clever that he was ahead of the rules and had found a loophole. England should have just been clever and marched down to Jadeja to hit him over the top, negating the rough.

  • on July 22, 2014, 18:11 GMT

    Dhoni has always been good captain to spinners. its just his captaincy while pacers are in action becomes defensive sometimes. that has been a problem a few times in past. lack of consistent quality from pacers hasn't helped either. but then we have to give credit where it is due. dhoni has always been an 'out of box' thinker. his tactics have shocked and confused opponents( everyone in this particular case) which has been one of the primary reason for his limited over success. In tests,though, it is difficult as there is a lot of time with the opposition to assess any such strange tactic. his limited over batting also is so good(one of all time greats) that it helps him to be bolder in t20 and Odis. sadly this also limits his test captaincy given his test batting limitations.

  • on July 22, 2014, 18:03 GMT

    The 19 that MSD scored in the second innings was also extremely crucial. The English bowlers were on top and in the midst of an aggressive spell at that time. If he had not doggedly struck, and got out trying to attack at that time, it could have meant 2-3 wickets falling quickly and India folding for a lead of about 200. That he see out that spell, ensured that the likes of Jadeja and Bhuvi came back fresh the next day for batting.

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    Interesting to know what Richie benaud would have sed about this move. Did any commentators mention the rule?

  • indianzen on July 22, 2014, 17:45 GMT

    Very good thinking.. this is what is a cricketing brain... Everything legal and thinking about winning and attacking ALL the time... Dhoni is clearly the best man to lead at the moment...

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:37 GMT

    haha...that was a 'desi jugaad' from Dhoni..he is a genius..commentators were even against the short ball when the two overs after lunch conceded 20 runs, but finally it was Dhoni's day that decision was a complete game changer!

  • on July 22, 2014, 17:29 GMT

    When something new happen, it can only be commented by the person who invents it not by the traditional players who becomes commentator.

  • iamjai on July 22, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Often Dhoni is criticized for his captaincy in Tests and many call out for sacking him as they claim he's not good enough to be in the playing XI. I wasn't too happy with him standing back to Jadeja, but I really appreciate the guts he had to do that in Lords as he would have been heavily criticized if India had lost the match. Stats argue that he's the best No.7 batsmen for India and behind the stumps he has been awesome. He may not save those extra byes down the leg side against pacers and his technique looks bad but surely its efficient enough when it comes to catches & stumping's. Reason why he isn't easily replaceable is not because of keeping & batting skills but because of his captaincy and the control he has over players. Imagine Virat Kohli having a poor run of scores going to Ishant and asking him to bowl short vs the stature of Dhoni doing it. Dhoni can just play as Captain, after looking at plight of Cook, India should be proud of Dhoni and back him till Virat matures.

  • lovarajesh on July 22, 2014, 16:42 GMT

    Cool and genius leader.....

  • ladycricfan on July 22, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    It was a good ploy to Jadeja's kind of bowling. Jadeja bowls fast and when it spins and deviates the keeper needs super reflexes to catch the ball. Dhoni dropped few catches off Jadeja. When he stood back he had better chance to sight the ball and take the catch.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    the genious dhoni is

  • OttawaRocks on July 22, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    The scorecard reads as follows: Dhoni 1 Commentators 0.

  • nirvana_1959 on July 22, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Taught the commentators a lesson. They are at times judgmental. Sitting in the commentator box you are insulated from what's going on int he field.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Great home remedy by Dhoni. Commentators had no idea what Dhoni was up to and surely they would have been at Dhoni's throat if there was any missed stumping chances.

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    80% effort 20 % luck. In this case 20% luck was provided by England.

  • rock.rockyin on July 22, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    COOK now know who is Jadeja... Cook is under impression that Jadeja has been specifically bought to bring down Anderson..... Jadeja's laurels - (1) In the historic 4-0 home Test series win against Australia in February-March 2013, Jadeja took 24 wickets, dismissing the Australian captain Michael Clarke five out of six times in the series which cemented his place... (2) played an important role for India in lifting the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.He made 33* with bat and took 2 wickets in the final against England. (3) He is ranked as the No.1 bowler in ODI Cricket by the ICC in August 2013. Jadeja is the first India bowler to top the rankings since Anil Kumble,

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    stick to the basics...keep calm

  • Kulaputra on July 22, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    Good technical assessment by Dhoni that left all commentators grease faced ???

  • yoohoo on July 22, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    "The good thing was, they didn't really step out and miss one because that would have been a perfect thing for the commentators to talk about." - That is the best summation of the commentators. Very little knowledge and appreciation, and all ready to criticize.

  • yoohoo on July 22, 2014, 15:39 GMT

    "The good thing was, they didn't really step out and miss one because that would have been a perfect thing for the commentators to talk about." - That is the best summation of the commentators. Very little knowledge and appreciation, and all ready to criticize.

  • Kulaputra on July 22, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    Good technical assessment by Dhoni that left all commentators grease faced ???

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    stick to the basics...keep calm

  • rock.rockyin on July 22, 2014, 15:43 GMT

    COOK now know who is Jadeja... Cook is under impression that Jadeja has been specifically bought to bring down Anderson..... Jadeja's laurels - (1) In the historic 4-0 home Test series win against Australia in February-March 2013, Jadeja took 24 wickets, dismissing the Australian captain Michael Clarke five out of six times in the series which cemented his place... (2) played an important role for India in lifting the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.He made 33* with bat and took 2 wickets in the final against England. (3) He is ranked as the No.1 bowler in ODI Cricket by the ICC in August 2013. Jadeja is the first India bowler to top the rankings since Anil Kumble,

  • on July 22, 2014, 15:51 GMT

    80% effort 20 % luck. In this case 20% luck was provided by England.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:09 GMT

    Great home remedy by Dhoni. Commentators had no idea what Dhoni was up to and surely they would have been at Dhoni's throat if there was any missed stumping chances.

  • nirvana_1959 on July 22, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    Taught the commentators a lesson. They are at times judgmental. Sitting in the commentator box you are insulated from what's going on int he field.

  • OttawaRocks on July 22, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    The scorecard reads as follows: Dhoni 1 Commentators 0.

  • on July 22, 2014, 16:19 GMT

    the genious dhoni is

  • ladycricfan on July 22, 2014, 16:32 GMT

    It was a good ploy to Jadeja's kind of bowling. Jadeja bowls fast and when it spins and deviates the keeper needs super reflexes to catch the ball. Dhoni dropped few catches off Jadeja. When he stood back he had better chance to sight the ball and take the catch.