Brief Scores: India (234/3; Dhoni 87*, Jadhav 61*) beat Australia (230; Chahal 6 for 42) by 7 wickets to win ODI series 2-1. Full Scorecard
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said on Friday that MS Dhoni is being able to achieve success because his mind is still at its prime
Manjrekar pointed out that Dhoni has lost a bit of physical ability and confidence but his “great philosophy” of taking the game deep into the last over is serving him well.
Dhoni on Friday won his first Man of the Match series in ODIs since 2011 after helping India achieve their first-ever bilateral series win in Australia. The 37-year-old World Cup-winning skipper hit an unbeaten 87 in the series decider at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and made sure India gunned down a total of 231 with seven wickets and four balls to spare.
Dhoni was criticised for his slow knock (96-ball 51) in India’s 34-run defeat in the first ODI but the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman managed to silence his naysayers, at least for the time being, with two back-to-back match-winning half-centuries in the second and third ODI in Adelaide and Melbourne, respectively.
Dhoni wasn’t at his vintage attacking best but he stitched crucial partnership with the likes of Virat Kohli, Dinesh Karthik (in Adelaide) and Kedar Jadhav (in Melbourne) and remained unbeaten to take his team past the finish line.
“[Dhoni is] clearly not at his prime… The software – his intention, his mind is still at its prime. He knows exactly what is needed. The hardware is not quite keeping in touch with the software. The hardware was a lot better 5-10 years back. He would hit sixes at will… he doesn’t have that ability or the confidence now but he finds ways to stay there till the end,” Manjrekar told Sony Six on Friday.
He added: “He [Dhoni] mentioned in the post-match presentation as well the calculations as to which bowler to go after and take the match deep. His great philosophy the one that has made him and all-time great is “stay there till the end”. I remember Javed Miandad also had a similar strategy take the match till the end and feed off the nervous energy of the bowler.”