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Can MS Dhoni write another glorious chapter in his storied career?


"You die, you die. You don't think which is a better way to die."

MS Dhoni's philosophy, like his batting, is quirky. One suspects there's a fatalist hidden somewhere deep inside of that repeatedly ticking mind. That would provide an explanation for a few of his uncanny poise in tense situations - unlawful IPL pitch invasions exempted, in fact - whilst also making his long journey, from a cricketing backwater to the forefront of carrying success, all of the more remarkable.



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For anyone who lately said, "It's all destiny and I am a firm believer in that," there is not any one that has achieved more to form Indian cricket's destiny over the last decade and a little.

For massive portions of that journey, fate and Dhoni have looked to be hand in glove. They have been in cahoots when the seniors opted out, thrusting the captaincy on him ahead of the World T20 in 2007. They winked at every different when Joginder Sharma pulled off that closing over. They shook arms and made a bargain when Dhoni determined to stroll out ahead of Yuvraj Singh within the 2011 World Cup ultimate. They parted tactics too, but at all times amicably, infrequently right through long periods in Test fits, infrequently when - like closing 12 months - the bat refused to speak and the frame refused to listen.

Some gamers will also be born geniuses and do nothing their complete careers come World Cup time. Dhoni's profession graph has been the complete opposite. Endowed with unorthodox presents, he has honed the mind to deliver when needed most, whilst tailoring his abilities to fit the demands of the time. His profession has been formed by means of World Cups.

Now, as one closing problem looms within the twilight, the portents appear to be excellent. Almost magically, from being talked about as an getting older legal responsibility in the beginning of the 12 months, it's now obvious this Indian crew isn't entire without Dhoni, and his talent to steer a chase with practiced ease. And supply key strategic inputs in meetings. Shape ways behind the stumps. Set fields for the young spinners. Guide captain Kohli in moments of turmoil. Calm a teammate down at a essential juncture. Pull off that lightning-fast stumping. Assess whether or not to name for the DRS. Scamper for that impossibly fast unmarried.

There is not one explanation why Dhoni is within the crew. So, how will he form India's destiny in England?


"We play cricket for one year to 15 years, some play for 20 years, but in a lifespan, say you live for 70 years, 10-15 years is nothing."

This is in November 2017, after a in particular useless time out in the second T20 against New Zealand in Rajkot, in which Dhoni's 37-ball 49 left India 40 runs wanting the 197-run goal. Everyone, from Ajit Agarkar to Sourav Ganguly, suggested Dhoni will have to retire, a minimum of from T20s. It's forgotten now, but at the moment it did not look sure that MSD would play the World Cup It wasn't simply T20Is. The length between the 2015 World Cup to now noticed Dhoni plummet unfamiliar lows in ODIs too. For the first time, his moderate fell below 30 in a calendar 12 months twice, in 2016 (27.80) and 2018 (25). Also in 2018, Dhoni's strike rate went below 78 for the first time, falling to 71.42. He failed to score a half-century the entire 12 months, only breaking his lean patch with a contentiously gradual half-century within the Sydney ODI early the next 12 months. In July 2017, he had scored the slowest half-century by means of any Indian cricketer since 2001. He used to be the 8th batsman to get out, leaving India with 14 to get off the closing over against West Indies at North Sound. India lost.

In the Asia Cup ultimate against Bangladesh he pottered to 36 off 67 balls, with 3 fours, and India had to wait till the closing ball to eke out victory. By 2018, the boundaries have been without a doubt drying up: probably the most he controlled right through a unmarried innings used to be 4 hits. Who remembers July closing 12 months, when Dhoni used to be soundly booed at Lord's? He walked a unmarried to achieve the 10,000-run mark in ODIs, and no person clapped. When he fell for a 59-ball 37, having slowed the sport down beyond restore, there were loud jeers.

Lord's used to be the nadir. It used to be time to look again within the replicate. See the large image first. It used to be the MS Dhoni approach.


"It's like having 100kg put over you. After that even if you put a mountain, it will not make a difference."

This 12 months has been kind to Dhoni. He is averaging 81.75 from nine innings, with 4 half-centuries, together with 3 at the trot. His strike rate is up to 78.22. He used to be guy of the Series in Australia. India have rediscovered his relevance whilst bowlers have probed his flaws. While spinners have cashed in on an surprisingly long front-foot stride and pacers have ensured he has to fetch yorkers from broad out of doors off, Dhoni too has found a way. Some stories suggested he has shifted the sweet spot on his bat lower down. The pads have been modified. Sometimes, a new cause movement on the crease used to be presented.

Dhoni has featured in 43 ODIs in which India have chased since April 2015. India received 28 of those fits, and in these Dhoni's moderate shoots up to a prime 58, and strike rate to 76.99. In the 14 fits India lost (one used to be a no-result sport), Dhoni averages only 25.07, and his strike rate dips to 61.79. Clearly, he is still a factor when India win.

However, do these numbers cross muster by means of as of late's requirements, especially when teams are being anticipated to chase down 350-plus scores continuously in England?

Like at all times, Dhoni's strategies are inscrutable, veiled in secrecy. More and more, although, he has needed others to rally around him. There has been a minimum of one absolute best match for India this 12 months - the second ODI against the Aussies in Adelaide, Kohli's "MS Classic" sport.

India, chasing 299, have been 10/three when Kohli found himself within the corporate of Dhoni, and instantly stepped up a tools. Kohli eventually fell ahead of the win may well be reached, scoring 104 off 112 balls, but Dhoni stayed till the end, scoring an unbeaten 55 off 54 balls.


This is the template Dhoni, and India, shall be hoping to replicate in England. MSD is the flexible middle-order cog around which everything can revolve. He is aware of his recognition precedes him. He can take the sport deep, and like the perfect predator, prey at the fears of the bowler. In a cave in, he can arise and soothe frayed nerves.


"Now after 12 months, people are saying he is the most important factor in the World Cup, which is true. We knew deep down all along," Kohli said when the squad used to be introduced. Just closing 12 months, Kohli had had to reiterate that Dhoni would remain "an integral part" of the ODI squad.


For Kohli, it is time to repay the faith Dhoni confirmed in him in the beginning of his profession. For Dhoni himself, it is time to understand that during game, what you do closing can indelibly modify your legacy.


MSD should look destiny within the eye one closing time.


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