MS Dhoni announced his return to form with a vintage knock of 61 runs off just 34 balls against the Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday that ensured victory for Rising Pune Supergiant. The former Indian skipper, however, believes that no required rate is high enough while chasing in the IPL.
Having been facing flak for his lack of form in his last few innings, MS Dhoni answered his critics in typical fashion with a match-winning knock of 61 off just 34 balls against Sunrisers. Dhoni’s contribution is even more noteworthy given that he had scores of 12*, 5, 11, 5, and 28 in his previous five visits to the crease.
Yesterday, however, Dhoni played the perfect innings - one you would expect Dhoni to play. Having scored 25 off 22 balls, the former Pune captain unleashed the beast within scoring
"What matters (in those situations) is keeping your calmness,” Dhoni told TOI.
Fittingly, Dhoni was adjudged man of the match for his efforts and after the game admitted that Pune's plan was to see out Rashid Khan's overs and target the rest of the bowlers at the end.
"It was a difficult chase. Since we had strikers at the back of the innings, it was important we take Rashid out of the game. And on one side we could hit with the breeze. You can't always win games like this. I think we did very well. Manoj Tiwary contributed, which was very important because he didn't eat too many deliveries," Dhoni added.
Over the years, Dhoni has earned a reputation for being one of the best finishers in the game and yesterday’s heroics shows exactly why. Current RPS skipper Steve Smith praised Dhoni for the way he managed his innings saying, "MS did what's he's done for such a long period of time. Under pressure, he comes good again". While Tahir said, "I don't have words to praise Dhoni. He is a player meant for such situation. We are all excited that henceforth (in the IPL campaign), we will see this kind of Dhoni."
Shikhar Dhawan, on the other hand, said, that Dhoni’s previous experience of handling such pressure situations is what helps him keep pulling it off.
"He has gone through such situations (so many times). We dropped catches that cost us. Yes, the end was exciting... it was a close game. But we knew that since Dhoni is in the middle, he can pull it off," the SRH opener was quoted saying by TOI.
Dhoni’s innings took the shine off Rahul Tripathi's contribution of 59 runs in 41 balls at the top of the order for Pune. And even though Pune came away with maximum points from the game, Smith was honest enough to admit that the team, apart from Doni and Tripathi, had not played as well as he had hoped.
"It was a 160-165 wicket, we probably didn't execute our plans well Tripathi at the top and MS did what he's done for such a long time," concluded the Pune skipper.