MS Dhoni missed a ton by eight runs in the second ODI in Indore, but that is the least of concerns for the skipper if the men in blue emerge victorious. It was Dhoni's heroic effort with the bat, which saw him score 92 runs (not out) in a difficult position that helped India come out on top and defeat South Africa by 22 runs.
"You have to understand, that it's not about centuries. It's important to get runs on the board and win games. Doesn't really matter if I get a hundred or not. It will definitely help the stats if I have more 90s and 100s," said Dhoni.
Dhoni's innings was top notch especially considering that the captain was under immense pressure coming into the match for his recent failures with the willow. After the first ODI loss, even former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin stated that the selectors have a decision to make if Dhoni fails with the willow.
Dhoni believes there is always a great pressure when you play for India, irrespective of the team you are up against.
"There's always pressure when you play for the Indian cricket team. You know, when you score a hundred, in the next game the expectations keep going up - it does put a lot pressure. You can't really get away from it. I've never played one international game where there has been no pressure. Even when we are playing teams that are ranked below us, there's pressure."
Though India only managed to pile 247 runs on the board, which looked an easy target on paper, the Indian bowlers delivered the goods in the second innings to dismiss the Proteas for 225 runs only. With it, India have tied the five-match ODI series 1-1.
Dhoni believes the second ODI victory was a huge one for India as they were playing well in their earlier matches but were not able to get positive results.
"It's a very big win. The reason being, if you see our first game in Dharamsala, apart from that one over or those 4-5 minutes, we were really into the game, but not able to win it. The same thing happened in the last game - in Kanpur. So, a lot of time, you play good cricket for 80/90% of the game, but it depends on that bad phase that happened and how bad its impact was," he explained.
Apart from Dhoni's innings, Axar Patel and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled well to take three wickets each, while Harbhajan Singh managed a couple of wickets. South Africa might have also been stunned that they could not achieve their target on a pitch, which was good to bat on.
Dhoni praised his bowlers for defending a relatively low score on that Indore pitch.
"At the same time, it's good to see our bowlers defend 250 on a wicket what was good to bat on. Although the spinners started it all, the fast bowlers spell in the middle was very crucial and it gave us the chance to break into their lower middle order. I thought they bowled really well."