The debate about whether former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni should be in Team India’s ICC World Cup 2019 squad or not is still going on among cricket enthusiasts as many believe the wicket-keeper batsman is no longer “the world beater”.
However, according to former Australian captain Ian Chappell, MS Dhoni is the “best finisher” in the 50-over format. After a horrendous calendar year 2018, when Dhoni was not even able to cross the mark of fifty, the 37-year-old started 2019 on a very positive note by slamming three back-to-back half-centuries in the just-concluded Australia series.
Dhoni was also awarded the Man of the Series award for his consistent performance throughout the ODI series, despite not winning a single Man of the Match award.
Speaking about Dhoni, Chappell saluted the Chennai Super Kings skipper’s nerve and longevity.
“Nobody has Dhoni’s nerve for finishing off victories. Many times I’ve thought, ‘He’s left it too late this time’, only to be amazed as he produced a couple of powerful shots to bring India a nail-biting victory,” The Australian wrote in his column in ESPNcricinfo.
Drawing comparisons with Australia’s Michael Bevan, who was counted as one of the greatest finishers of the game, Chappell said Dhoni had surpassed him.
“His outward calm is no illusion since his tactical adeptness in these situations is proof his brain continues to work perfectly.”
“Where Bevan finished matches with fours, Dhoni does so with sixes. The one area – running between wickets – where you’d expect the fleet-footed Bevan to have an advantage is debatable, because even at age 37, Dhoni is among the quickest in the game,” Chappell wrote.
“Even allowing for improved bats and the advantage of playing T20 cricket, statistically Dhoni is superior to Bevan. There can be no argument – Dhoni is the best ODI finisher.”