Virat Kohli MS Dhoni India New Zealand
India superstars Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni put on a chasing clinic in the third one-day international against New Zealand, October 23, 2016IANS

When MS Dhoni strode out to the middle at No.4, with Virat Kohli already at the batting crease contemplating mastering another chase, the anticipation at the PCA Stadium in Mohali built up. This, you felt, was a chance to see India's two great limited-overs batsmen in action together – even if only for a bit, it would make the price of the ticket worthwhile.

It wasn't for a bit, though – it was for 27 overs and one ball, during which the two added 151 runs together to end any hopes New Zealand might have had of winning their second consecutive game.

The two had put on a quite brilliant alliance together in the World T20 earlier this year, coming together when India looked dead and buried only to put on a chasing clinic which had everyone out of their seats and the Australia players watching on with their mouths open, barely believing what they were seeing.

While this partnership was nowhere near that great, it was a whole lot longer – the T20 partnership lasted just 5.1 overs – and one that gave more of an opportunity to Dhoni to show he is far from a fading force.

Questions have been raised over Dhoni's viability in the international game, after the skipper retired from Test matches. The 35-year-old is constantly questioned over his retirement plans and while he might have shut those up for a while with his Australian journalist stunt, there were still plenty who wondered if Dhoni still belongs at the highest level.

The worst thing a great player can do is hang on for too long, even when those powers have waned and he is a mere shell of what made him so great.

Dhoni might not be the same batsmen he was ten years ago, but he is still one heck of a one-day player. As he showed in the partnership with Kohli, the big shots are still there and the fitness levels remain second to none.

Watching Dhoni and Kohli scamper for singles and twos is a thing of beauty, almost as beautiful as watching a Kohli cover drive or a Dhoni thump straight back past the bowler. Their timing of the run, their ability to understand what the other wants and how far the ball is likely to roll is something that cannot be taught; it comes with experience.

All the more reason for Dhoni to continue playing at the highest level, captaining this India side and leading them from the front when the Champions Trophy comes calling next year and much more beyond that as well.

Watching Dhoni and Kohli bat together is a joy for any cricket fan and the fact that the skipper has now decided to bat at No.4 increases the possibility of the two greats getting together more often. Savour it, cherish it, enjoy it – because watching the two batting together, two polar opposites when it comes to style, is one of those things that makes you want to go to the cricket ground over and over again, pay the ticket price and wonder "Ah, if only I was young again, so that I could take another crack at playing for India and emulate what these two are doing and continue to."

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