MS Dhoni
Mohammed Azharuddin does not believe in finishers as he feels everyone should be able to finish the game. Reuters

MS Dhoni, who has dug India out of the hole a number of times with his willow, failed to help his team cross the finishing line in Kanpur on Sunday.

With 11 runs required from six balls, cricket fans in India was hopeful Dhoni would finish the game with some of his powerful strokes down the ground. However, it was not to be. Hence, India have gone 1-0 down in the five-match ODI series against South Africa.

After India failed to get past South Africa's score of 303 runs, former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin said Dhoni is no longer the player he once used to be, and also urged the skipper to come up the order. MS Dhoni came into bat at number 5 on Sunday.

"He is not the player he used to be. Obviously to make an impact he has to come up the order. Once the dressing room finds captain doing what he is required to do, others will follow him," PTI quoted Azharuddin as saying.

The elegant Hyderabadi batsman even went to the extent of stating that the selectors need to have a rethink about Dhoni's place in the team, if he does not perform for the men in blue.

"He is the captain and there will be tremendous pressure on him. If he doesn't perform, selectors will have to think about him," added Azhar.

However, it is not be fair to put the blame on Dhoni alone, as Suresh Raina, who has also been regarded as one of the best finishers in the modern day game, fell for three runs only.

There has been a lot of talk regarding a finisher in the India team, with names such as Dhoni and Raina topping the list, but Azharuddin fails to understand the term "finisher" as he believes everyone needs to posses the art of finishing the game.

"I don't understand what exactly does this word finisher means. Everyone needs to have match finishing skills. Do you mean you require 50 runs to win and someone batting on 70 plus should leave it on someone else. If you are at the crease then it's your duty to finish the game for India."

Despite the first ODI loss, not all is lost for India as they can even clinch the series with four more ODIs still to be played. India next face South Africa on Wednesday in Indore.

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