When MS Dhoni finds himself in his zone, it is a tough ask for any bowler in the world to contain him from scoring runs freely. Today was one such day where the Indian keeper found his touch and demonstrated that with a huge six off a Lasith Malinga delivery after being dropped four balls earlier.
Of late, Dhoni has not been in the best of the form and received a lot of flak for his waning abilities as a finisher and his inability to find the gaps. In his heyday, Dhoni’s greatest strength was finding boundaries at the perfect time, but now his current repertoire of shots end up being harmless singles on either side of long-on and long-off. The much-fabled short-arm jab to the cow-corner and the helicopter shots have disappeared in recent times as well.
Today, however, playing his 300th ODI, MS Dhoni walked in to make the most of the historic day when he became just the sixth Indian player to achieve the feat. But as millions of Indian fans held their breath, the dream almost came crashing down in the 48th over. Dhoni tried to go after Lasith Malinga right from the first ball, but could only manage to get a top edge on the ball as the ball headed between third man and short third man. Debutant Dilshan Munaweera made up the ground and what should have been a dream catch, after sending Kohli packing as well, turned into a nightmare as the ball slipped through his fingers and gave Dhoni the break he needed.
On the penultimate ball of the 48th over, Dhoni shuffled across the stumps and unleashed the power that he possesses in abundance. Not only did he clear the rope but the ball went sailing over the barricades and into the Sri Lankan crowd who looked amazed at the sheer ferocity of the shot. Although Dhoni missed out on a chance to complete his 100th international half-century - he remained unbeaten on 49 – the former Indian skipper made the game one for his fan's to remember and answered the critics in his own style.