Before this tour, I really have never got the chance to watch matches at a stretch due to the interference that my educational ventures kept presenting. However, after 13 straight years “on the mill”, I’ve finally got a 2 month break, which happened to coincide with this tour.
Watching the innings MS Dhoni played in the 2nd ODI (which, sadly, was in a losing cause), it really did leave my mouth gaping for the best part of 3 hours (and let a family of flies breed in my plentiful stomach).
Come’on, you have to admit, his technique is so ugly that you might be well off donning a pair of shades when he’s batting in order to protect yourself from permanent eye damage (which could also result in you mocking VVS as disgusting).
However, that shouldn’t be an excuse to diss him as he still gets runs, and that’s all that matters. If I really need to give you an example of how even a bad technique isn’t so bad, look at Rohit Sharma. People purr when he bats, but does he perform?
If I’m not wrong, this horrendous technique infiltrated his mind ever since he was made captain. He decided to cut down on the slogs (which, IMO, looked much more pleasing) and decided to start prodding at the ball.
Add to this prodding, his ability to run lightning fast runs, and the end result is that he manages to push back the field.
It, honestly, is awe-striking to see the way he sets off as soon as he prods it. It really does put the fielding captain on the defensive, which just makes it easier for him to take singles.
Getting the stats from Cricinfo’s Statsguru, it’s worth noting that his numbers haven’t taken such a huge dent since he donned the captaincy (i.e. after he start his prodding).
When not as captain, he scored 2,477 runs in 75 innings @ an average of 44.23 and a SR of 96.26, with 206 boundaries and 71 sixes.
When he got the captaincy, he has scored 2,656 runs in 61 innings @ an average of 59.02 and a SR of 84.15, with 184 boundaries and 39 sixes.
He’s actually scored nearly 200 runs more in 14 less innings so far. You could say that the only notable dent in his figures is the number of sixes he’s hit. However, I’d be willing to exchange sixes with reliability, any time of the day!
I suppose his super-fast sprinting is down to the supposed 8 or 10 glasses of milk he allegedly drinks every day. Whatever it is, it’s working and I just wish that some of the SL batsmen could at least try to emulate him with regard to the running-between-wickets.
I’m not trying to pigeon-hole Dhoni as a limited-overs batsman, but I’m penning this post to emphasise exactly why Dhoni is the batsman every limited overs player should aspire to be.