Even in a fleeting format like T20, there are moments of incandescence that linger after the match is long over. Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s stumpings of Chris Morris and Shreyas Iyer in the 12th over stood out, as much for the nimble glovework and slick artistry.
Chasing 180 to win, Delhi was six down for 83 when Ravindra Jadeja beat first Morris and then Iyer, with turn and bounce and Dhoni had the bails off in a flash; so quick was he that from afar, even Dhoni looked unaware of what had just happened.
“It shows just how compact he is when it comes to keeping,” Suresh Raina, whose 37-ball 59 was pivotal to CSK’s victory, later said in the press conference.
“I still remember, in 2004, when I was with the Indian team, Syed Kirmani was really happy with Dhoni’s skills. Some ex-cricketers used to say his skill lies in his brain.
“He just knows which ball is turning more from the middle stump and which is turning from the leg stump… that’s why his hand speed is so amazing. It shows his involvement in the game and the spinners too can flight the ball knowing that MS is behind the stumps,” Raina explained.
Dhoni, who was adjudged Man-of-the-Match for his unbeaten 22-ball 44, had attributed his stumpings to “tennis ball cricket.”
“You still have to do the basics and graduate to that level. If you want to keep like that you can make mistakes; so I still think basics are most important,” Dhoni had said.
CSK looks a different side with Dhoni in it. Without him in the XI, Chennai has lost against the Sunrisers Hyderabad and the Mumbai Indians. However, on Thursday night, they looked in control right from the start. Raina, though, feels Dhoni’s value as a batsman outweighs his importance as skipper.
“Losing Dhoni as a captain is not an issue, losing him as a batsman is. That’s why we struggled against Hyderabad and Mumbai. I think he gives a lot of freedom to other players and his presence also creates a lot of pressure on other teams. When he is not in the side, you can see the difference for yourself… ”
“I’ve batted at No. 4 and 5 with MS when playing for India, so he knows my game and I know how he thinks. Dhoni will always give you advice but he will let you make your own decision,” Raina noted.
Article source: https://sportstar.thehindu.com/cricket/ipl/ipl-2019-ms-dhoni-brilliant-wicketkeeper-chennai-super-kings-suresh-raina/article27008871.ece