MS Dhoni loves Chennai and Chennai Super Kings. When he walked out to bat at the Chepauk on Sunday against Rajasthan Royals, the CSK fans gave him a warm welcome. It was a difficult phase for the Super Kings, who had been reduced to 27 for 3 inside the first 5 overs.
But MS Dhoni knows how to soak in the pressure. He was first involved in a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket without taking too many risks.
When Suresh Raina fell to a risky shot, Dhoni was none too pleased at the non-striker’s end but he wasn’t perturbed.
Dhoni watched from the other end as Dwayne Bravo played a nice cameo to give the Super Kings some momentum. Once Bravo departed, the onus was on Dhoni to give his team a strong total.
Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) March 31, 2019
The Chepauk crowd waited in anticipation. The rebuilding had been done and now it was time for MS Dhoni fireworks. The last 3 overs yielded 60 runs. MS Dhoni smashed 4 sixes in his innings including 3 in the last over off Jaydev Unadkat.
MS Dhoni finished with an unbeaten 75 – his second highest score in the IPL and his highest in Chennai.
CSK looked calm (they always do) when Dhoni was batting in the middle with Raina.
They knew he would make up later. During the 20th overs in all IPL, MS Dhoni has scored 503 runs and hit 36 sixes. A staggering 12.2 per cent of his total IPL runs have come in the last overs.
This was vintage MS Dhoni. Over several years, Dhoni has modelled his game to suit the team’s needs and Sunday was an example of how destructive he still is.
Last year, MS Dhoni led from the front with 455 runs as Chennai Super Kings won the IPL for the third time.
It was also last year that Dhoni made his IPL best – an ubeaten 79 againsgt Kings XI Punjab. His IPL form had pleased Virat Kohli but Dhoni failed to replicate that on the international arena.
In Australia earlier this year, MS Dhoni was on fire with three fifties in three ODIs. Weeks before the World Cup, MS Dhoni is as fit as he has always been and this can only mean good news for India.