Mahendra Singh Dhoni proved why he deserves to lead Team India when he scored yet another century – his eighth in his career. Dhoni scored a magnificent 113 runs off only 125 balls. It was his stay of 117 minutes at the crease that made the difference between a respectable score and a humiliating defeat.
It was a tough time for the Indian captain when he came out to bat. He was batting way too slowly and that was perfectly understandable. What his first priority was to keep the wickets intact. If that was achieved, it would be fine scoring runs.And that is exactly what Dhoni did.
It could be noted that out of the 7 fours and three sixes that Dhoni hit in all, only two of them came in his half-century. That score of 50 also included a six, however. He took 86 balls to score those 50 runs. It was a partnership with Suresh Raina that allowed Dhoni to settle as well. Even Ashwin supported Dhoni to remain not outuntil the end.
However, in the company of Ravichandran Ashwin, Dhoni stepped up the gas and got some big shots going. He required only 32 more balls to reach his eighth one day hundred. He took on Irfan and hit two fours and a six to bring up the much-deserved century.
All through the innings, especially in the later part, Dhoni looked in tremendous trouble. It was impossible for him to even walk when he was taking on the fielders and scoring two where he would have run only one run in normal circumstances. However, as scoring runs was important and so was keeping the strike, Dhoni lived up to his expectations.
Dhoni remained not out coming in to bat at number seven. When at one stage India was 29/5, it looked as if they would not even reach the 100 run mark. But with the way Dhoni batted, he came back to form and proved his critics wrong once again.
PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED IN DECEMBER 2012