MS Dhoni had always been phenomenal for team India. He had been the most successful captain of the team. Throughout his career, Dhoni had played the role of a finisher. Usually, When the run-rate is high and the wickets are less, MSD comes into the crease and hits the big sixes with zero pressure.
However, Dhoni had been experiencing an unfortunate time in his career over the past few years. His advancing years and decline in form had bought a severe identity crisis and some intense criticism for him.
Nevertheless, MS Dhoni got his groove back on the road to World Cup 2019. He scored four consecutive half-centuries against Australia in the first few months of 2019. Even one half-century against Australia is much easier said than done.
MS Dhoni pulling off four consecutive half-centuries against Australia proves to be a good sign ahead of World Cup 2019. Each of these half-centuries by the pride of India is ranked on the basis of the situation and the characteristic of that batting.
#4 India tour of Australia 2018/19 - 2nd ODI - Adelaide (55 runs off 54 balls)
The second ODI match India played against Australia in Adelaide featured a classic Dhoni's batting. He scored 55 runs from 54 balls with two sixes at a good strike rate of 101.84.
The former Indian skipper joined Virat Kohli after a crucial wicket of the no.4 batsman Ambati Rayudu. With adequate support from Kohli, the 37-year-old forged an 82 run partnership.
He also guided Kohli to a century. After the wicket of the captain, Dhoni supported Karthik and got a 57 run partnership. Both the finishers signed off the successful run chase for India.
The Indian captain Virat Kohli was full of praises for MS Dhoni after the match. "Tonight was an MS classic. Only he knows what's going through his mind. He calculates the game so well. He backs himself to hit those big hits." he said.
#3 India tour of Australia 2018/19 - 1st ODI - Sydney (51 runs off 96 balls)
Here it is, the first ODI half-century of MS Dhoni in 2019. Though India did not manage to chase the target, Dhoni's knock of 51 improved his confidence after some dismal performances in ODI. This match spoke loudly about his return to form.
The top order did not support the Hitman who was showing a sensible batting. The trio of Dhawan, Kohli, and Rayudu failed to get a good start. Dhawan and Rayudu were dismissed for ducks and Virat got just three runs.
MS Dhoni who joined Rohit Sharma by coming out at no. 5 displayed a very classy batting. People usually see Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the pinch hitter but the one who batted at Sydney was a bit different. He was a very mature batsman who played according to the situation.
MSD got 51 runs from 96 balls with 3 fours and a six. He guided 133 run scorer Rohit Sharma with a 137 run-partnership. Unfortunately, Dhoni's hopes of finishing the innings were spoiled by Behrendorff who trapped him right in the front for an lbw.
#2 Australia tour of India 2019 - 1st ODI - Hyderabad (59 runs off 72 balls)
MS Dhoni notched up 59 runs from 72 balls with 6 fours and a six at a strike rate of 81.94 in the first ODI of Australia tour of India 2019 ending his string of consecutive half-centuries against them.
Hyderabad crowd saw the Chennai Super Kings captain as the finisher of the game. Alongside his CSK teammate Kedar Jadhav, MSD played a crucial role in finishing the game when India's top order failed.
Kedar benefited the most from MSD by his side. He scored 81 runs from 87 balls with 9 fours and a six. If it wasn't for their 141 run-partnership India would have lost that match. Both of them stood strong in the end without giving away their wickets.
The fighting knock of MS Dhoni in such a pressure situation gets the number two spot in the consecutive half centuries of MS Dhoni.
#1 India tour of Australia 2018/19 - 3rd ODI - Melbourne (87 runs off 114 balls)
The decider match against Australia at Melbourne featured a very strong batting performance from MS Dhoni. The Indian legend turned the clock back in time and displayed a wonderful performance in such a pressure situation.
Their no.4 batsman Ambati Rayudu was not picked in the playing XI. As a result, MS Dhoni had to bat in that risky position. A lot of batsmen tried and failed to make an impact for India in that position before that match.
However, at the away condition, MS Dhoni showed his heroism in that position. He handled the role of a number four batsman very well. He did not complicate things by going for big shots but played slowly and steadily with the rhythm of the match.
As Dhoni started picking single by single the Aussies showed signs of pressure and frustration. The game gradually slipped from their hands courtesy of a 121 run stand between MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav.
MS Dhoni signed off the Melbourne game with 87 runs in the end. He faced all the 114 balls with maturity and wisdom. Dhoni was awarded the player of the series after the match.