The Indian cricket fans could have never imagined that MS Dhoni will not be able to finish off a game of cricket, when he was at the crease with only 11 runs required from the last six balls. It was yet another nail-biting finish, and again the visitors got the better of India.
South Africa won the first ODI against India by a narrow margin of five runs at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur on Sunday.
"My job of a finisher is a gamble and I have to take the blame when it fails. When you bat down the order you have to take the blame. When you have finished a lot many games, people remember more about the games you have not finished," Dhoni told the reporters on Sunday.
India needed seven runs off the last three balls with MS Dhoni and Stuart Binny at the crease. If this scenario popped up a couple of years ago, then it would have been meat and drink for MS Dhoni. This time, though, Dhoni could not finish the match off, with Stuart Binny also falling to the impressive Kagiso Rabada.
"It is a gamble. Sometimes it pays and sometimes it doesn't. But that is my role in the side. I remember one game England and one against Sri Lanka at Rajkot where I couldn't help the team win," Dhoni added at the post-match press conference on Sunday.
"You have to play the big shots and if the ball is coming on, you can use the pace of the bowlers and get away with it. But wickets like these, where the average bounce is low, it becomes difficult to hit. Also when you going for big shots, it works either way. Having said that, the shot selection was not great in the final over."
South Africa skipper Ab De Villiers showcased his class during the first innings. He started off fairly slowly, but once he put his foot on the accelerator then there was no stopping him. He was middling almost every ball in the last 10 overs. And looking at the result of the first ODI, even Dhoni agreed that the hosts lost the match in the last few overs of the first innings as the Indian bowlers were taken for plenty.
"We lost the match in the last five overs of either innings. It is crucial that who is batting well takes the team till the end. All of a sudden it is difficult to hit from ball one. We were positioned very well. But I felt around 35-40 overs we failed to get a move on. That would have made things easier," Dhoni said.