Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the 39-year-old skipper of Chennai Super Kings in IPL, still has the agility of a newcomer. Displaying why he’s considered one of the greatest sprinters on the 22 yards, Dhoni produced a full-stretch dive to save his wicket in an encounter with Rajasthan Royals on Monday. The incident occurred in the 15th over bowled by Rahul Tewatia when Dhoni pushed one of his deliveries to the cover region. The skipper made a run for a single but was promptly turned down by Ravindra Jadeja. Quick on his feet, Dhoni returned to safety with a full-body dive and the replays showed the CSK leader had indeed made his ground safely.
Seeing Dhoni in his full element was a photograph that travelled long and wide on microblogging site Twitter.
However, the skipper’s commitment to CSK was also directly compared to his efforts during the heartbreaking run out in the semi-finals of the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup against New Zealand.
Here’s some context: A moment of brilliance on the field by New Zealander Martin Guptill denied India’s chances of bringing the third World Cup home in a nail-biting semi-final at Old Trafford Stadium in 2019. Team India lost the thrilling encounter by 18 runs when they failed to chase New Zealand’s target of 240 after putting up a determined run chase.
Still needing 32 runs from 13 balls, the hopes of everyone supporting the Men in Blue shattered in a million pieces when Dhoni chipped for a double. A slight hesitation between Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar saw the former struggling to get back to the striker’s end. Guptill, out of nowhere, charged in and returned a lightning-quick throw aimed directly at the stumps that saw Dhoni short of his crease.
Dhoni’s exit was soon followed by India’s exit from the World Cup – their second consecutive semi-final loss to New Zealand.
That photo of Dhoni falling short of his crease in the CWC contest was brought back to life on Monday during the IPL contest, with some not going too easy on the CSK skipper.
However, with the questions raised and the comparisons made, the loyal Dhoni fans arrived at the scene to “remind” the questioning folks of his contributions to the country.
Meanwhile, a combined effort by their batsmen followed by a spin choke helped Chennai Super Kings beat Rajasthan Royals in an IPL 2021 match at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday. Batting first, CSK posted 188 for 9 in 20 overs. RR were going strong in their chase at one stage before Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-28-2) and Moeen Ali (3-0-7-3) combined to keep them to 143 for 9 in 20 overs for a 45-run win.