Team India skipper MS Dhoni has taken the blame for the defeat against the South Africa in the opening game of the five-match ODI series. Dhoni, world's most successful match finisher, failed to take his side home as he was out in the final over when team required 11 runs to win.
India needed 11 runs to win in the final over bowled by 20-year-old paceman Kagiso Rabada at Kanpur's Green Park stadium on Sunday (Oct 11).
Dhoni was on strike and many expected him to finish the game as he has done in the past. Hopes of millions of Indian cricket fans were dashed when Dhoni fell prey to the tactics of a young and inexperienced Rabada.
Dhoni, who is under pressure after losing 3 matches in a row to South Africa, admitted to media that he should have won the game for his side.
"Yes when you bat down the order you have to take the blame. When you have finished a lot many games, people remember more about the games you have not finished," Dhoni said. [Finisher MS Dhoni takes blame for not winning 1st ODI for India]
In Sunday's match against SA, Dhoni scored just 31 runs in 30 deliveries, including just a boundary, which is so unlike Dhoni'.
This is not just a single ocassion when Dhoni failed to silence his critics and deliver when his side needed him the most in, recent times. His bat is silent for quite a long time and which is taking a toll over his team's performance.
MS Dhoni's 'poor performance' with the bat continues
MS Dhoni is not in best of his form for quite some time. The flamboyant Indian batter, who owns the reputation of most destructive batsmen in the game's history, hasn't performed up to his standards. This year, 2015, in particular has been a forgettable one for the wicketkeeper batsman.
In the year 2015, Dhoni has scored just 459 runs in 16 ODI matches he has played so far. He has averaged just 41.7 this year, which is far below his career batting average of 52.11. This shows, 'Captain Cool' is going through a lean patch in his career.
MSD, who was the man of the match in the 2011 World Cup game, failed to leave an impression with his batting skills during ICC World Cup 2015. Dhoni's highest individual score in the WC, this year, was 85*, that too against Zimbabwe. His bat was silent against Australia in the semi-final, loss in which ended India's hope of retaining the world champions' title.
With the advent of technology and critical assessment in the game, bowlers are now targetting the weak zones of the batters and Dhoni, probably hasn't yet made the necessary adjustments to his batting. This could be one of the reasons for his bad form.
High time Dhoni focusses on his batting
This year, Dhoni has been in news more for controversies than his batting skills. What's more worrying is that the Ranchi batsman, who is considered amongst world's deadliest of batsmen, hasn't performed well even in T20s and the IPLs.
He may have impressed experts and fans with his captaincy skills, but he's been seen struggling against bowlers in the ODIs as well as in T20s. This is a big reason to worry for the player himself and for millions of his fans.
Only a few days back, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar questioned MS Dhoni's individual contribution towards the side as a batsman. Even, former India skipper Mohammed Azaharuddin said 'Dhoni isn't the player he used to be once'.
These are just the signs of increasing dissension against Dhoni and it is high time that the ODI skipper pull up his socks and gets into the mode of hitting big sixes and boundaries for when he dominates the bowlers, his team performs exceptionally well.
Hope, Dhoni introspects his batting and regains his 'old' form before its too late, for there is too much of cricket still remaining in him.