India v Pakistan, 3rd ODI, Delhi

Dhoni doubtful for third Pakistan ODI

ESPNcricinfo staff

January 5, 2013

Comments: 189 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni is attended to after feeling some pain in his side, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
The back trouble is back for MS Dhoni © AFP
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MS Dhoni's participation in the final ODI against Pakistan is in doubt after he complained of soreness in his back during practice at the Kotla in Delhi. Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik has been called up as back-up for the Indian captain.

"If at all somebody is doubtful, it's me," Dhoni said when asked about the absence of Yuvraj Singh at the practice session. "Since it was an optional practice session, Yuvraj did not come."

The issue of who will take over the captaincy will come to the fore if Dhoni misses out on Sunday. Over the last year, India have had three alternatives: Virender Sehwag when Dhoni was out with over-rate bans in Australia, Virat Kohli was vice-captain in Asia Cup, Gautam Gambhir in Sri Lanka, and now there is no official vice-captain. When asked, Dhoni said, "Let's hope that I play. We'll see tomorrow."

The final decision on Dhoni's fitness will be taken on the morning of the match.

The news will be a setback for the Indian side who have already lost the series to Pakistan, and are looking to avoid their first home ODI series whitewash since 1983-84.

Dhoni was the only India batsman who showed form in the previous two matches. He has scored 167 runs - 106 more than Suresh Raina, who is second - in the series without being dismissed.

Only twice in his career before he has been ruled out due to injury. Both times, it was the back problem that kept him out - once against New Zealand in Napier and against Bangladesh in Chittagong. In 2012, Dhoni missed two matches because of over-rate penalties, but played every other series, including the IPL and Champion League Twenty20.

Karthik, who has 1008 ODI runs against his name, last played for India in August 2010.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Shajahan.P on (January 7, 2013, 6:53 GMT)

I like this comment and that is my opinion too "Dhoni is a politician. In WC 2011 he promoted himself ahed of Yuvi just because he want to be hero, couldnot yuvraj able to score in final match when he is doing well in all WC, Yuvraj is the real hero of both the WCs india won under dhoni,s captaincy.Why not Dhoni promoting himself now when all other guys are struggling.He is a selfish guy,playing for himself and his average not for India."

Could Dhoni face the 1st spells of new ball bowlers!

Posted by Shouldas-Wouldas-Couldas on (January 6, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

Difficult times for Team India ! Media has (probably) gone over-board condemning Dhoni & Co. Imo, the think tanks ( Selectors, Coaches, Management & of course Captain) are responsible and must take the blame for present fiasco. What were/are their short & long term strategies/plans to repair the situation ? Why persist with players whose shelf life is nearly over and why delay the integration of young talents ? India/Pakistan are always high intensity/pressure cooker games that bring out the best out of individuals. It was disappointing to see Team India throwing towel so early in the matches ! Players need to be reminded they are playing for their country, they must strive hard, sweat/bleed - it's their pride at stake. Results are part of the game but for pete's sake, give your 100% even if you lose - go down fighting ! Red hot Team Pakistan is simply DYNAMITE ! Go Paki Go - ya beaut ! Do it again !

Posted by Solid_Snake on (January 6, 2013, 6:11 GMT)

@Javed Iqbal->Laughing so much..Typical Conspiracy theories :) Do you think that fixing is so easily done..A man just comes & asks PCB to lose the Semifinal match..& Pakistan agrees just like that?& then India loses this current series just like that..It's not that simple... Now tell me.. Was 1992,1996,1999,203 all those WC matches were fixed? & if yes then what Pakistan got in return? Ps->If Pakistan gets defeated,we say that the match was fixed.If we Win,still we say that the match was fixed..What should we do..Start playing Cricket or what

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 5:35 GMT)

Its extremely naive on the part of some Indian fans who are saying that having pujara and rahane would have changed the result in the favor of India. when your most experienced players could not save you from the humiliation then a new comer who has least international experience can also not save you from it.sehwag was hailed as a dominating batsman but he couldn't perform and gambhir ,yuvraj,raina, were the core of Indian batting for the past 2-3 years and kohli has been earmarked as the future captain...this is the best possible team india could have...if these batsmen cannot perform then what can pujara or rahanay do...just admit that the opposition played better and get on with it...and i am shocked that indians say that they are in a transition phase but to be honest they were not even winning when tendulkar was playing and most of the people were calling for his head...same crying was going on for the removal of dravid,laxman, ganguly. Once the player retires you want him back.

Posted by   on (January 6, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

Dhoni is a politician. In WC 2011 he promoted himself ahed of Yuvi just because he want to be hero, couldnot yuvraj able to score in final match when he is doing well in all WC, Yuvraj is the real hero of both the WCs india won under dhoni,s captaincy.Why not Dhoni promoting himself now when all other guys are struggling.He is a selfish guy,playing for himself and his average not for India.

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