Ever wondered why Indian skipper MS Dhoni is not a fan of the Decision Review System? It’s prevented him from adding to his wickets tally on more than one occasion!
Indian fans were in raptures when the PA announcer said “New bowler MS DHONI” after the latter decided to bring himself into the attack, looking at the assistance his seam bowlers were getting yesterday.
The ovation that Dhoni received was akin to those reserved for a Merv Hughes at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and it only took him two balls to make an impact.
The ball swung in late and hit Mahela Jayawardene full on his pad. The crowd pleaded as did Dhoni, but umpire Aleem Dar stood his ground, thought long and hard, before raising his finger.
Dhoni’s teammates were more excited than the captain. They ran in from all directions to congratulate him. In between the celebrations, Jayawardene sought a review of the decision, and unfortunately, Dar’s decision was overturned.
Dhoni underwent similar agony in the first Test against England in 2011 when DRS denied him the prized wicket of Kevin Pietersen at Lord’s. Dhoni’s decision to roll his arm around surprised many of the fans at the venue, but it must be remembered that the captain is no stranger to bowling.
He spends close to 30 mintues bowling during the team’s net sessions. It may be recalled that even after India had thumped Australia in the first Test in Chennai earlier in the year, Dhoni sent down a few overs to Ravindra Jadeja in the nets to ensure the batsmen got practise.
His decision to bowl yesterday was further indication of Dhoni’s sharp mind and his ability to think outside the box. One went back to what he said a long time ago: “Sometimes I just have to go with my gut feel, it doesn’t always work out but I have to believe myself”.
The crowd might not have seen Dhoni wield his willow but were certainly entertained by Dhoni the bowler. One member from the crowd, Sunny Wadhwa from Newcastle said: “Everyone has watched Dhoni bat at the ground but we were lucky to watch him bowl”.
Number of bowlers who have claimed 50-plus wickets under the leadership of MS Dhoni. With figures of 3-48 against Sri Lanka yesterday, R Ashwin (52) become ninth player to accomplish this feat after Zaheer Khan (90), Harbhajan Singh (79), Ishant Sharma (78), Praveen Kumar (71), Ravindra Jadeja (61), Ashish Nehra (56), Yuvraj Singh (55) and Irfan Pathan (54).
Number of dismissals by Dhoni to become the first player — either wicketkeeper or fielder — to accomplish 50 dismissals as skipper while playing at a neutral venue. In 30 matches so far he has accounted for 40 catches and affected 10 dismissals.
Number of half centuries hit by Angelo Mathews as captain of Sri Lanka. He has so far registered 13 half centuries.
Number of overs bowled by Dhoni in his 223-match career. In a surprise decision yesterday, the Indian skipper brought himself on only for the second time in his career. He last bowled in the previous edition of the Champions Trophy in 2009 against West Indies.