Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni finally found form in the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, slamming three consecutive half centuries to guide India to their first ever bilateral ODI series win on Australian soil. Dhoni finished as the highest run getter in the series for India with 193 runs and was rightly adjudged the man of the series as the men in blue beat the hosts 2-1 to clinch the series.
The former Indian skipper, who is regarded as one of the best finishers the game has ever seen, has been subject to a lot of criticism for his inability to finish games for India in the recent past. Dhoni however silenced all his critics with his performance in the three match series as he stayed unbeaten on two of the three occasions to take India past the finishing line.
Former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar was all in praises for the 37 year old and explained how the veteran managed to stay on top of his game despite no longer being in his prime. Manjrekar mentioned that Dhoni’s mind was still functioning as well as it used to a decade ago despite his fading physical abilities. Dhoni’s body has clearly taken a toll which is quite evident from the fact that he is unable to clear the boundary at will as he used to do a few years ago.
“[Dhoni is] clearly not at his prime… The software – his intention, his mind is still at its prime. He knows exactly what is needed. The hardware is not quite keeping in touch with the software. The hardware was a lot better 5-10 years back. He would hit sixes at will… he doesn’t have that ability or the confidence now but he finds ways to stay there till the end,” Manjrekar told Sony Six on Friday.
Manjrekar pointed out the veteran wicket-keeper’s ability to take the game deep was what helped him to get on the bowler’s nerves before taking the attack to him.
“He [Dhoni] mentioned in the post-match presentation as well the calculations as to which bowler to go after and take the match deep. His great philosophy the one that has made him and all-time great is “stay there till the end”. I remember Javed Miandad also had a similar strategy take the match till the end and feed off the nervous energy of the bowler,” Manjrekar added.