Veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni is always known for his good understanding of the game. He has developed this trait over time while leading the team from behind the wickets.
India faced New Zealand for the first ODI in McLean Park in Napier today. Both his wicketkeeping skills and brilliant game-reading was in full display in the game. The batsman was Trent Boult and the bowler was chinaman Kuldeep Yadav.
It was the 38th over of New Zealand’s innings and they were already down at 157/9. Tim Southee took a single in the fifth delivery of the over to retain the strike in the next over.
Dhoni was well aware of what was going to happen. As a result he immediately knew that Boult will look to defend the last ball of the over. He told Kuldeep, “Rokega. Ye aankh band kar ke rokega (He will definitely defend his ball).”
Southee might have gotten some hint about Dhoni’s awareness. As a result he immediately ran all the way to the striker’s end. Southee gave some advice to Boult, but unfortunately couldn’t avoid the mishap.
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Dhoni was spot on
Through the entire over Kuldeep was bowling over the wicket. After Dhoni’s guidance, he opted to bowl around the wicket. The move immediately reaped reward for Kuldeep.
Boult dead batted the ball as expected by Dhoni. But the wrong-un did enough to take an edge and it went staright to Rohit Sharma in the slips.
Sharma pouched the ball safely and the Kiwis were all out for 157. India chased down the target easily as they won the match by eight wickets. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were the only victims of the Kiwi bowlers.