India v England, 2nd ODI, Kochi January 15, 2013

Dhoni 'best in world' - Cook

ESPNcricinfo staff

Alastair Cook, England's captain, described MS Dhoni as one of the hardest players in the world to bowl to at the death after his counterattacking 72 from 66 balls late in India's innings provided the platform for their 127-run victory in the second ODI. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja added 96 in ten overs for the sixth wicket, taking apart England's inexperienced attack during the closing stages of the innings, and Cook said that coming up with a field and a bowling plan for his India counterpart was extremely tough.

"He [Dhoni] is probably the best player in the world in those situations, in these conditions," Cook said. "He does it time and time again. He's incredibly hard to bowl at and with that extra man in the circle, it's very, very hard to stop on these flat wickets."

Although James Tredwell conceded just nine runs combined from the 42nd and 44th overs, Cook opted for his pace trio of Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes at the death but they failed to keep a lid on India's scoring rate.

"You're always going to have hindsight, but probably one batsman you don't want an offspinner bowling to is Dhoni," Cook said. "We've seen him a number of times and with a spinner at the end, it's very hard to bowl to him. So, look, clearly when you get hit for 68 runs in the last five overs, you think, maybe you could have done things differently. But at the time, for me, it was a very big gamble to make."

The win drew India level at 1-1 in the five-match series but, despite the emphatic result, the top order again struggled, falling to 119 for 4 just past the midway stage of the innings before Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Jadeja rebuilt. The bowlers bounced back from conceding 325 in Rajkot to dismiss England for 158 but Dhoni said problems remained in both departments and they could not hope for the dominance of recent ODI series between the two sides in India.

"We're going through a stage when we don't have the same firepower when it comes to the bowling department. Our batting department is not able to convert those starts into a big innings. But we're fielding really well, and that's a big positive for us," he said.

Dhoni described the failure of the batsmen to go on when well set as a "big problem". He said: "If three or four batsmen make 50, then it's important at least one or two of them go on to make at least 75. So that the new batsmen coming after them, when say two quick wickets fall, then they won't feel that much pressure. I think it's very important. If you look at the good side, our batsmen are getting starts. Yes, I would like them to convert their starts to a big innings so that it won't put pressure on the rest."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Harmon on January 18, 2013, 21:59 GMT


    One final thing. Even at Sydney where as per you run making is easy and so should not count for much, we should see just how many did SRT and RT made.... After all, making the most of an opportunity is also a skill, agree?

    Let's see:

    SRT: 5 Mat, 9 Ins, 785 Runs@157, SR of 61. RT: 16 Mat, 27 Ins, 1480 Runs@67, SR of 63.

    What do we see?

    We see that SRT has scored more than half the runs of RT in only one-third of tests/innings at more than twice the avg at nearly the same SR.

    So my dear, we see that in tough conditions, in easy conditions, in mutually away conditions SRT is either miles miles ahead of RT or if he is behind then he is behind by a miniscule gap.

    With this, I am done. I hope you will come up with some fresh idea to somehow give a new twist to SRT's record and make it look less nice....

  • Harmon on January 18, 2013, 21:29 GMT


    Alright let's try your "Exclude Sydney" point. ST in Aus (-Syd):15 Mat, 1024 Runs@35.31 with 3 100s & 5 50s, SR of 57.43 RT in Ind (Agg): 14 Mat, 662 Runs@26.48 with 1 100 & 5 50s, SR of 51.39

    Even though your "Exclude Sydney" point is weird, what do we see when we use it?

    We find that even then SRT has scored much more runs than RT in a similar no of matches & similar no of innings (29/25) at a higher avg (obviously) with more scores of 50+/100+ at a higher SR and has also scored more 4s and more 6s.

    If your point was that Sachin had only scored runs in the flatter/familiar conditions of Sydney then this comment proves that even in those conditions that you think were tough/alien SRT has a better record than what RT has in India AS A WHOLE.

    And if you really want to talk of the toughest wicket in Aus The WACA there too SRT's avg is 37.66 compared to RT's 38.60. Wow, what huge lead RT has there over ST, right?

    Now, let's see what RTs record is if we exclude 2002-07 :-p

  • Harmon on January 18, 2013, 20:05 GMT

    @kristee: Highly selective.

    To begin with, there is no conclusive evidence for you to say Dhoni was indeed out on 6. The sound on snicko might have come form his bat brushing the shoes or pads. Thus your contention that he was OUT is based on no evidence.

    What I do find hypocritical is that while you talk of Dhoni's so-called dismissal that wasn't given and the extra runs it gave to India, you said not a word about Yuvraj's clear wrong dismissal and the runs that Ind couldn't score as a result. Add to it that had Yuvi not been given out wrongly, Dhoni would've never been there.....So your wud've/cud've is built on weak and flawed premises. In any case subtract the extra 66 runs Dhoni got and you get 219, Eng wud've still lost even after considering your point.

    Btw, Bell was lbw in the 7th over in 1st ODI, went on to score 62 xtra runs while India lost by 9 runs - Tring Tring.

    And is Sydney not a part of Aus anymore? Why do you want to exclude it? Weird point....

  • Kris on January 18, 2013, 13:54 GMT

    Harmony111, I meant while playing in Subcon't. Dhoni was out in the last match when on 6 but got away and India won largely thanks to his heroics thereafter. And hence my sentiments on DRS. Indians seem to be fancying they get away more often without DRS; otherwise they'd have already embraced DRS. Ponting's India jinx is altogether a different subject. Exclude Sydney from the equation involving Tendulkar and you can see how much flattered is his Oz exploits.

  • Harmon on January 18, 2013, 12:12 GMT

    @kristee: So in an article that talks about Dhoni's skills you've somehow managed to bring in DRS?

    And while you are free to have your opinion about anyone or anything, what do you mean exactly by best in subcontinent? Best in subcontinent conditions or best among subcontinental batsmen? If you meant the former then let me tell you that on the same pitch where Dhoni blasted Eng bowlers the whole of Eng Team cudn't even last 40 overs or score 200 runs - so it must be tough for them to bat EVEN in subcontinent conditions. And Mr. Ponting will tell you how easy it is to bat in these conditions. And oh, Aus were 74 a.o in 26 in HOME conditions today - must be a pathetic team right that can't even bat at home.

    As for DRS, on what basis do you say that having DRS will mean Ind will struggle? It's all your fishy idea.

    So cos BCCI does not find DRS worth the cost and is not happy with its claims you say it has vicious designs? And Brisbane proved DRS will help BOTH teams so what's ur point?

  • Harmon on January 18, 2013, 12:01 GMT

    @Ashootosh Bhardwaj: Remembering does not mean I remember it frame by frame or in terms of pictures. I just know it. I'd never seen that last ball 6 by Miandad till YT came but I knew about it even as a child. I'd never seen or heard Jimi Hendrix ever in my life till a few yrs back but I just knew that he was one hell of a guitarist. I'd never heard the Godfather Theme but when I heard it the 1st time it sounded so familiar. None of us saw Bradman making that famous 0 yet we know he was out for 0 in his last innings. A very large no of Ind movie fans have perhaps never heard K L Saigal explicitly yet if you ask them they would say they know about him and would tell you about his style of singing.

    My examples talk of great ppl and not of grt performances necessarily but I hope you got the drift. :-)

  • Kris on January 18, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    One of the best in subcontinent, rather. And perhaps the very best in India. The extent to which his country depends on him is being exposed in almost every match. That's why one tends to believe India would have struggled in their latest match if DRS was there. It's a pity that BCCI's vicious designs leave cricket this miserable. Sceptics' attention is invited to what happened today at Brisbane.

  • Al on January 17, 2013, 23:08 GMT

    Dhoni is India's best ODI batsman ever!! Sure 10dulkar might have scored more centuries but he was never a match winner. But Dhoni is overworked. He needs to give up Tests or T20. His body will break down if he keeps playing all 3 formats.

  • Jo on January 17, 2013, 22:53 GMT

    @Albert_cambell : Love it

  • Jo on January 17, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    think about this article:

    Blindly take the top 12 and have a match with them.

    Wether they are lauded or not. The statistics prove how much value they bring in as a player on the filed, in a given day consistently.

    1. 60.80 Kallis J.H Saf 31.06 29.74 2. 57.42 Pollock S.M Saf 27.16 30.26 3. 56.96 Tendulkar S.R Ind 26.57 30.39 4. 55.30 Wasim Akram Pak 23.97 31.33 5. 55.17 Imran Khan Pak 28.10 27.07 6. 54.38 Kapil Dev N Ind 25.24 29.14 7. 53.48 Hadlee R.J Nzl 27.14 26.34 8. 52.83 Waugh S.R Aus 26.92 25.91 9. 52.12 Jayasuriya S.T Slk 21.50 30.62 10. 51.83 Richards I.V.A Win 23.17 28.66 11. 51.75 Botham I.T Eng 27.47 24.28 12. 50.65 Muralitharan M Slk 25.58 25.07

    This team need not have to worry about batting depth or striking bowling. Love it