No drop in MS Dhoni's intensity after Twenty20 dropping

Oct 28, 2018, 09:05 IST | Subodh Mayure

And while cricket lovers debate that decision, they also wonder whether this will hasten Mahendra Singh Dhoni departure from the game

No drop in MS Dhoni's intensity after Twenty20 dropping
India wicketkeeper MS Dhoni dives to dismiss WI's Chandrapaul Hemraj during the third ODI at Pune on Saturday. Pic/AFP

Chief selector MSK Prasad dropped a bombshell of sorts by announcing an India T20 squad without the 2007 World T20-winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Friday night. The stalwart will not be part of the T20I series against West Indies at home followed by the contest in Australia.

And while cricket lovers debate that decision, they also wonder whether this will hasten his departure from the game. However, there was enough of Dhoni brilliance during the third India v West Indies ODI on Saturday to suggest that his ouster (if one can call it so) hasn't had a negative effect on the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Dhoni entered the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium along with his teammates in Gahunje here with the same approach and body language that he displayed in earlier several games. He tuned up for the match with a football game. And while his teammates spread across for different drills and activities, Dhoni did not chose to take catches or receive throw downs like other batsmen did.

West Indies opener Chandrapaul Hemraj (21) was blazing away and in the sixth over, slammed Jasprit Bumrah for a fours and a six. But Dhoni, 37, displayed his sharp reflexes to take a spectacular diving catch which sent Hemraj back to the pavilion. The batsman failed to tackle Bumrah's bouncer. While trying to hook, the ball hit the sticker of the willow and landed at backward square leg. Dhoni was as quick as any youngster while running towards the 30-yard circle for a successful diving catch to give Bumrah his first wicket on his return to the ODI side.

The way Dhoni anticipated the catch was astonishing and the Pune gave him a wholesome applause. His contribution in the game was not limited to this catch alone. He took a low one to dismiss Marlon Samuels off pacer Khaleel Ahmed, a dismissal that reduced the visitors to 55 for three in the 14th over. Shimron Hetmyer (37) had every chance of going on to get yet another significant score, but he was stumped in brilliant fashion off wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

After the Mumbai and Thiruvananthpuram ODIs of the ongoing series, Dhoni will play an international match next on January 12 against Australia in Sydney. Of course, that's if he is picked.

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