Dhoni has proven time and again that he is still India’s pillar of strength despite criticism.
Even before the Umpire could rule Bumrah out as he was wrapped on the pads by Lankan spinner SS Pathirana, there was a pair of hands in the background that had already signalled for a DRS. At the non-striking end was none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the master of the review system.
The ball-tracker showed that the ball was hitting Bumrah outside the off-stump and the decision had to be reversed. But it did not come as a surprise to anyone. After all, the Dhoni Review System is seldom off target.
Just a few balls after that, it looked liked Bumrah was aiming to hit the ball out of Dharamsala as Pathirana’s delivery crashed into his stumps. If it had been Kohli at the non-striking end, he would have let out a shriek, or stared at the Baroda pacer in anger. But Dhoni did none of that. Aware of the camera angles by now, he just turned around with a shake of his head.
Such had been the story since Dhoni’s arrival at the crease. He saw one Indian batsman after other departing in quick succession as he fought hard to take India to a respectable total.
His valiant effort of 65 prevented India from the embarrassment of scoring its lowest total in ODIs. Had it not been for Dhoni, India looked pretty much on their way of being bundled out at less than 78, which is the current lowest Indian total in ODIs scored in Kanpur against the same opposition.
It was not long ago that as India failed to cross the line in the 2nd T20 against New Zealand, Dhoni was made the scapegoat. After scoring 49 off 37 deliveries, Dhoni had to face severe criticism from all quarters due to his low strike rate.
The same critics now have nowhere to hide as even they cannot help but laud the effort of the veteran keeper. As Sri Lanka finally have a feel of an ODI victory after their losing streak of 12 games, India has to bounce back in the 2nd ODI at Mohali if they have to keep their chances alive in the 3-match series.