Dhoni has to answer the questions raised by the media after India lost the lone T20 match to England by 3 runs. MS Dhoni, who denied 3 singles in the last 2 overs just to let Ambati Rayudu off strike. Eventually, India lost the match also by 3 runs.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is regarded as arguably the best finisher the game has ever seen. He has done it many a times for India and CSK in the IPL. He is one of those cool batsman who waits till the final over of the match to finish it off. However, yesterday it just wasn’t Dhoni’s day.
From getting 46 runs in 31 balls, who would have thought the match would go in the final over with Dhoni and Raina on crease? But it did and even worse with 17 runs needed of the final over. Dhoni, captain cool deposited the first one in the stands for a six. With 11 off 5 balls needed, he took 2 on the second ball. With 9 off 4 needed, he refused to take the single and give Rayudu the strike, who didn’t even middle any of the ball he faced. Dhoni believed he could finish it off as he hit a much needed boundary on the next ball to make the equation 5 off 2. On the 2nd last delivery, he again refused the single and backed himself to clear the ground with 5 off 1 to win. However, the story was much different. Dhoni could only find a single off the last delivery.
The question arises does MS Dhoni have no faith in his fellow teammates? It was fine if the batsman at the other end was someone like Ishant Sharma or Chris Martin. It was Ambati Rayudu who was taken in the side as a specialist batsman. Moreover, Ambati Rayudu scored two half centuries in the One Dayers. Dhoni saw that Rayudu wasn’t middling the ball at all from the time he had come on the crease and that is what might be the cause of this impulsive action taken by the skipper. The last ball of the 19th over where Rayudu was asked to stay on the crease was acceptable as the bowler of the 20th over, Chris Woakes would come in pressure seeing Dhoni on strike rather than Rayudu. However the two denied singles of the last over is somewhat fishy.
I believe that England’s death bowling and India’s death bowling are the main reasons for the loss. Both the teams bowling was exactly opposite. England bowled brilliantly while Indian bowlers just couldn’t bowl the yorkers, which eventually turned into full tosses. Having said that, the over confidence of Dhoni and the poor patnership off 15 off 16 balls between Dhoni and Raina are also responsible for the loss.