RP Singh, who saw MS Dhoni from close quarters during his playing time, has stated that Dhoni’s inability to not finish games while chasing might have prompted his retirement. He also recollected an incident, where Dhoni’s tactical acumen helped India overcome a determined Pakistan side.
Throughout his playing career, MS Dhoni’s ability to finish off games for the Men in Blue separated him from the rest of the pack. Batting lower down the order, Dhoni packed quite a heavy punch when it came to chasing down totals, including getting India home in the memorable 2011 World Cup final amongst the others.
However, during the fag end of his career, the Midas touch with the chasing started to deteriorate, with India not being able to bring the game home against England in the 2019 World Cup. Having watched Dhoni from close-quarters, former Indian pacer RP Singh stated that the right-hander’s inability to not finish games is what might have prompted him to retire from the game.
“In the 2019 World Cup, he may have wanted to bat at number 4 but that was not done because of team management, and in the lower order, he barely got a chance until the semi-final game. Oddly, he also was not able to finish off games the way he used to earlier. Maybe that also gave him the signal that he was reaching his end and he needed to take a call on his future,” Singh told Cricket.com
Recalling an incident from the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa, Singh revealed how Dhoni had a tactical ploy to dismiss Pakistan’s top-order batsman Mohammad Hafeez. On top of that, Singh also praised the former skipper’s knowledge, calling it as one of the best in the game.
“He (Dhoni) posted a fielder in between the third and fourth slip. I told him that the slip position is not right but he said it’s a floating position. You either have a 3rd slip or 4th slip because a slip fielder rarely jumps and gets the catch. However, MS told me that Hafeez’s release shot was his tendency to play at balls which go away,” Singh recollected.
“That was the moment when I thought his knowledge was incredible. He knew how to control the game. He never led Bihar or Jharkhand or India A but that hardly mattered. If you talk about the last over of Joginder Sharma, people say it was a fluke but it was in fact a strategic decision. He knew that he would require Sharma in the last five overs. He had that foresight to see what was going to happen.”