MS Dhoni – The Finisher!

MS Dhoni is set to play the 5th and final ODI against New Zealand. With King Kohli now resting, and the debacle of the previous ODI, India will be more than willing to welcome the veteran’s services. But, it was not long ago people were questioning his place in the team. Even when he won two matches for the team, people are making suggestions that he is playing under the shadow of other players. I heard Harsha Bhogle saying on air that he is finishing games either paired with Virat, DK (2nd ODI in Australia) or Kedar (3rd ODI in Australia).

In the recently concluded Australia vs India (2nd ODI), Dhoni scored the winning runs just before hitting a six (and scored unbeaten 55 off 54), the way he likes to win games for India! But, people are calling Dinesh Kartik – The new finisher in town. No doubt, he played really well in that partnership with Dhoni. A partnership of 57 runs off 34 balls in which he made 25 off 14 is a tremendous achievement (especially when you compare the strike rate of both the players at the end). DK, 178.57 and MS, 101.85. Yeah, DK came and finished the game for India! At least, that’s what I have been reading/hearing/watching all over the internet since that game. That prompted me to do an analysis of that partnership ball by ball. Just a quick fact about that partnership before we dive into that analysis:

  1. Partnership: 57 off 34 167.64
  2. DK: 25 off 14 with the strike rate of 178.57
  3. MS: 32* off 20 with the strike rate of 160

I won’t deny that I am a big MS Dhoni fan, which actually prompted me to do this article but I don’t want to take anything away from DK. In fact, this is an honest attempt at depicting how they complemented each other and finished the game for India after the dismissal of Kohli.

Alright let’s dive into it:

Here are the three takeaways from the above partnership:

  1. When we look at the partnership ball by ball, the first thing we notice is they needed 1.5 runs/ball when they both came together at the crease. It was Dhoni who scored during the first 10  balls (13 off 8 balls to be precise), which was also complemented by DK at the similar pace – 15 off 8 balls.
  2. If we look at the required RR/ball which started with 1.5 was brought down gradually to 1.3. Initially, it was Dhoni who took the risk to hit a six off Nathon Lyon and bring it down to 1.4, which was maintained by DK. During the second half of their partnership (after 20 balls) they started running well and brought it down to 1.3.
  3. Dhoni finishing off in style!


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