MS Dhoni has used the ongoing series against Sri Lanka to refind his form as unbeaten knocks in each of the last two ODIs guided India to a series win over the home side. Moreover, Sri Lanka’s stand in skipper Chamara Kapugedara has admitted that his side have been helpless against the Indian.
A lot has been said about MS Dhoni in the recent past as the former Indian skipper endured a difficult run of form in the Champions Trophy and on the tour of the West Indies. Chief selector MSK Prasad had issued a warning to the stumper saying that the committee would be forced to look for alternatives for Dhoni if the 36-year-old continued to fail with the bat.
However, Dhoni has responded to his critics in the best possible way by leading India to wins in each of the last two ODIs against Sri Lanka. Moreover, after Dhoni’s unbeaten knock of 67 in the third ODI on Sunday, Sri Lanka's stand-in skipper Kapugedera praised Dhoni’s return to form saying, “MS showed his experience in the last two games and played (according to) the situation really well. He also didn’t give us any chances. He knows what he is doing and he has been doing it for a long time. It is up to us to come up with something new.”
Dhoni was part of a 157-run partnership with Rohit Sharma for the fifth wicket, which rescued India from a spot of bother at 61/4 before sealing a 6 wicket win for India and with it the 5-match series 3-0. However, the result was marred by angry Sri Lankan fans who threw bottles on the pitch towards the end of the game, to protest another poor display by their side - not for the first time in this series. However, Kapugedera was unmoved by the incident as he said, “I don’t know what people think. But as far as I am concerned, there is no problem in the team. All we have to do is perform and win matches.”
After the game. the 30-year-old was left to answer a whole host of questions from the media, but to his credit, he did not back down from the same. “There are no outside problems. But I think that winning formula has been forgotten. I have seen that happen to many teams. When a team is losing, even if they get close to
After being whitewashed 3-0 in the preceding Test series, the home side did manage something of a comeback in the last two ODIs as they ran India close, but Dhoni’s heroics meant that they had nothing to show for their efforts. Further, given that Sri Lanka came into this series on the back of losing an ODI series against Zimbabwe, they now need to win the last two ODIs if they are to ensure a direct spot for the 2019 World Cup ahead of the September 30 deadline. However, this is easier said than done and the 30-year-old acknowledged that such humiliating losses at a time when the team should ideally be preparing for the next World Cup
Having said this, he also revealed what the Lankan lions will have to do in order to return to winning ways. “Players must go out there in the middle and take responsibility and perform. Only then can we win. In the last two games, we have bowled well. There was a big improvement in our bowling. On the other hand, our batsmen need to lift their game. If we can go for a fair total, I think we can win.”