MS Dhoni has been under the scanner for quite some time for his declining finishing skills over the last two or three years. The 37 year old, who is undoubtedly one of the best finishers to have graced the game, has struggled to find form with the bat in 2018 in which he could manage only 275 runs from 20 matches without a single half century to his name. The veteran wicketkeeper batsman, however, managed to silence his critics with his performance in the three match ODI series in which he slammed three consecutive half centuries and ended up as the highest run scorer for India with 193 runs.
The former Indian skipper remained unbeaten on two out of three occasions to take India over the line, giving a tight slap to all his critics who doubted his finishing abilities. He was rightfully adjudged the man of the series for his match winning knocks which helped India beat the hosts 2-1 to clinch their first bilateral ODI series win on Australian soil.
Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell was all praises for MS Dhoni for his ability to win matches on a consistent basis for India. Chappell reckons that the 37 year old is still the best finisher in the game and also regarded him as miles ahead of former Australian cricketer Michael Bevan, the only other name that is taken frequently when it comes to the best finishers in the history of the beautiful game.
“Nobody has Dhoni’s nerve for finishing off victories. Many times I’ve thought, ‘he’s left it too late this time’, only to be amazed as he produced a couple of powerful shots to bring India a nail-biting victory. His outward calm is no illusion since his tactical adeptness in these situations is proof his brain continues to work perfectly,” Chappell wrote in his column in ESPNcricinfo.
“Where Bevan finished matches with fours, Dhoni does so with sixes. The one area – running between wickets – where you’d expect the fleet-footed Bevan to have an advantage is debatable, because even at age 37, Dhoni is among the quickest in the game. Even allowing for improved bats and the advantage of playing T20 cricket, statistically Dhoni is superior to Bevan. There can be no argument – Dhoni is the best ODI finisher,” Chappell added.
Chappell even slammed Dhoni’s critics for doubting him. Chappell pointed that the 37 year old’s lofted hit over long on in the scorching heat to clear one of the bigger boundaries at the Adelaide Oval was a clear indication that his finishing prowess was still intact at the highest level.
“His trademark lofted on-drive comfortably cleared one of the longer Adelaide Oval boundaries to settle the issue in that particular finishing effort. It was a clear reminder that any thought that his power might be waning was only wishful thinking on the part of opponents. That he achieved the feat in stifling heat only added to the lustre of his performance,” Chappel mentioned.