Three things in life can never yield any comfort, whatsoever.
First, having one’s data stolen from a device. Second, sitting through a root canal procedure. And third, stepping out to a bowler in a play and miss, only to realize that MS Dhoni is keeping the stumps.
The third is actually stupid. It’s cricket’s version of Forrest Gump.
And the modern world has varied ways in which to make one realize that “stupid is what stupid does!”
This sport, however, only makes this easier.
There are red herrings that clearly demarcate a zone that states: ‘no-way’ don’t do this sort of thing.
For instance, don’t bowl short to Gayle. Do not pitch it on Kohli’s legs.
And when it comes to a certain MS Dhoni- then, well don’t attempt a shot you can’t hit- with “Thala” manning the stumps.
You just need to ensure that something of that sort doesn’t happen.
But then we often tamper with danger, isn’t it? To some mortals, it signals some form of a kick. Something about flirting with danger makes us feel larger than life even as it’s something you’d much rather avoid.
A reference to the context takes us to the other evening, where Delhi Capitals found out it’s a foolish idea to be unguarded about the man who’s behind.
Even as the Capitals have majestically qualified for the playoffs, they didn’t understand the red-herring involving MS Dhoni. Did they?
Ask Chris Morris and Shreyas Iyer.
Although, one’s not sure whether they’d smile or feel glad whilst narrating their sorry state of affairs.
At the bowling end was Ravindra Jadeja, not always the easiest bloke to pick. On the strike was Chris Morris, the tall and ebullient big-hitting all-rounder.
This one turned a bit, inviting Morris to attempt a shot that saw him put his foot in the air but only just.
Little did he know that this fraction of a tiny second would be enough for MS Dhoni to dislodge his stumps!
The scorecard didn’t look that pretty in the end for the Capitals, bowled out for a rather lowly 99.
But the star moment of the game came in that Jadeja over.
This was for the simple reason that MS Dhoni ensured their captain Shreyas Iyer would be a goner as well.
We saw yet another play and miss and Dhoni doing the needful.
At times, it does occur that Dhoni races time, akin to a rally driver albeit not wearing racing gloves or being seatbelt strapped in some zoom car meant to set the fastest lap.
In reality, however, it never takes him that much effort- does it?
It’s a combination of the batsmen’s own undoing aided effectively by Dhoni’s split-second reaction at the faltering. The end result goes in favor of the fielding side.
This is both interesting and worth talking about.
After all, how often does one see a 37-year-old cricketer display such athleticism even in formats that are easy to consume akin to some big-screen ‘time-pass’ drama.
But that is where MS accounts for the difference-does he not?
In a game renowned for the batsmen’s ability, he factors in with agility.
This year alone, he’s accounted for 5 fascinating stumpings, which is incredible for purely from a statistical narrative, the 2019 IPL has seen Dhoni execute a seventh of his overall (39) IPL stumpings in the ongoing season.
Only time will tell how many are there to follow?
For now, CSK have qualified for the Playoffs.
But obviously, you may say.
But all that told, one can say that approaching 38, an age that makes MS Dhoni about as youthful as is Sam Curran ‘experienced’ at 22, it may not be all that easy even as it appears exhilarating on the TV.
And maybe given the form he’s been in, of late, MS Dhoni has rightly earned the right to question those who doubted his selection for England.