Mahendra Singh Dhoni, known to be a power hitter and one of the best finishers in the world, is being criticized of slowing down the innings for a while now. Especially in the middle overs, Dhoni hasn’t been able to milk singles and keep the scoreboard moving. Most recently, he along with Kedar Jadhav, was criticized for ‘lack of intent’.
The legendary Sachin Tendulkar had also brought up the point of Dhoni struggling in the middle overs after the game against Afghanistan. “Dhoni is a senior player and should show positive intent. Afghanistan’s bowling is good but you can’t score only 119 runs in 34 overs. He did not show any positive intent against Afghanistan. Dhoni has the ability to hit but yesterday his strike rotation was not good. He faced too many dot balls and this hampered a strong finish for India. The intent could have been much better by the middle order batsmen,” Sachin said.
With another Indian legend Sourav Ganguly also raising concerns over his approach, Dhoni needs to quickly find a way before the big matches arrive. Most teams have good spinners who try to dominate the middle overs. That is where Dhoni has struggled a lot. In this World Cup, Dhoni has managed to score only 41 runs off the 87 balls he faced of the spinners. Against teams like England, who tend to go after the bowling, this kind of return in the middle overs can be a problem.
The CSK captain, who has a wonderful understanding of the game, was very rightly keen to overcome his little weakness. He was seen talking to Ravi Shastri after an optional training session which was understood as discussing playing spin bowling as Shastri could be seen turning his wrists to explain the tricks of spin bowling.
Shastri himself was a left-arm finger spinner for India with 151 wickets in Test matches and 129 in ODIs. Also an opening batsman for India and a man who has hit six sixes off a spinner in domestic cricket, he might just be the man that Dhoni needs to talk to.