After losing first two ODIs against India, Australia stormed back into the series with three consecutive wins, eventually winning the series 3-2 on Wednesday.
Just-concluded bilateral series against Australia was, perhaps, India’s last chance to sort out all the combinations before they head to England to play the World Cup. Perhaps, post the completion of the series, India might have sorted out their top eleven for the showpiece event, as said by skipper Kohli, however, the team ended on a losing side on Wednesday, which was their last bilateral series before the World Cup.
The team management had decided to rest MS Dhoni for the last two ODI’s in a bid to give more games to Rishabh Pant. India went on to lose both the ODIs as the fans cried, “Bring back Dhoni, Bring back Dhoni”.
Yes, the team did miss Dhoni and the result could have been in India’s favour if MS Dhoni been a part in both the ODI’s.
3 Times When India Missed MS Dhoni in the Last 2 ODIs
Following are three occasions when team India missed MS Dhoni in the final two ODI’s against Australia:
#1 India missed MS Dhoni – The Keeper in the Fourth ODI
After being left out in the first three ODI’s, Rishabh Pant finally got a chance to play in the fourth ODI in place of MS Dhoni. Pant played a good cameo of 36 runs in that match, however, the Delhi wicket-keeper endured one of the worst days behind the stumps. Rishabh Pant missed three stumping chances including Ashton Turner’s wicket who went on to win that match for Australia.
Yuzvendra Chahal bowled one down the led side to Ashton Turner who stepped down the crease only to miss the ball in the end. However, Pant failed to grab the ball and dislodged the stumps, costing India the match in the end. In the same over, Alex Carey also benefited from Pant’s sloppy glovework, who also played a vital role in taking Australia over the line.
The incidents did highlight the value of MS Dhoni behind the stumps, who certainly has the fastest hands in the east. 99 out 100 times, Dhoni would have capitalized on those chances and help India secure victory in the end.
#2 India missed MS Dhoni – The Guiding light to Spinners in the Fourth and Fifth ODI
In the first three ODIs with Dhoni standing behind the stumps, Indian spinners with the likes of KuldeepYadav, Ravindra Jadeja, and Kedar Jhadav bowled pretty well as compare to the next two ODI’s when former wicket-keeper was not around. In the first three ODI, India’s foremost spinner Kuldeep Yadav showcased top-notch performances, with the figures of 2-44, 3-44, 64-3. However, the Chinaman only got two wickets in the next two games, giving away 138 runs in 120 balls.
Also, Yuzvendra Chahal was taken to the cleaners, who went for 80 runs for just 1 in the only match he played.
The stats clearly depicted how important is Dhoni behind the stumps when India’s two most potent spinners are bowling in tandem.
#3 India missed MS Dhoni – The Finisher in the Final ODI
The opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan haven’t been in the best of forms in 2019 as India’s middle order has been exposed on a number of occasions this year. However, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has managed to get India cross the line on most of the occasions.
Once again, much like earlier games this year, India’s two out of top three got out early, and the pressure mounted on the middle-order to finish the job. But, on this occasion, veteran MS Dhoni wasn’t there. Young Rishabh Pant and all-rounder Vijay Shankar couldn’t cash in on the opportunities given to them as they too got out early, leaving Kedar Jadhav to do all the work.
Contrast to 2018, MS Dhoni, this year, has helped his side win matches in these situations more often than not, forming partnerships with other middle-order batsmen. Without a doubt, team India missed Dhoni- the finisher in the final to get them over the line.
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