MS Dhoni
Wicketkeeper Dhoni was at his best on Wednesdsay, December 20IANS

At 36, MS Dhoni is not as explosive as the long-haired middle-order batsman, who could clear boundaries at will, of the past.

His finishing abilities are on the wane, but there is no doubting his skills behind the wickets. Margins are small in cricket and when the veteran stumper is behind the stumps, it becomes even smaller for batsmen.

The magician was once again in action on Wednesday, December 21 as India crushed Sri Lanka by 93 runs at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack to go 1-0 up in the ongoing three-match T20I series.

Also read: Rohit Sharma wants Dhoni to bat freely; here's how 

Apart from a crucial 22-ball 39 that helped India reach 180, Dhoni played a pivotal role behind the stumps, affecting four dismissals, including two stumpings. Dhoni thereby went past AB de Villiers record of 72 to become the man with most T20I dismissals.

Numbers though don't always tell us the entire story. On a dewy evening in Cuttack, Dhoni's inputs to Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav made the spin twins' job easier.

'Dhoni an amazing cricketer'

The all-round performance from Dhoni impressed quite a few and television commentators Russel Arnold and VVS Laxman were no exception.

The duo went on to analyse what makes Dhoni so successful behind the stumps. The former Sri Lankan all-rounder shed light on how the celebrated wicketkeeper manages to excel with an unconventional style.

"Dhoni has got his own style. If you watch his style, you wouldn't think he is safe. But he knows how to catch a ball, his reflexes are good. He knows where the stumps are, he gets the bails off in a flash. He is an amazing cricketer," Arnold told during a post-match show on Star Sports.

MS Dhoni
File photo of MS DhoniJIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

He added: "He knows their [bowlers'] minds inside out. MS [Dhoni] is good at reading the batsman as well. He generally tries to give a cue to the bowler about changing the line or pace. The bowlers tend to trust him. There is a great understanding between the bowler and the keeper, which is doing wonders for India.

Dhoni invaluable asset to Indian cricket: Laxman

"The rapport between the keeper and the bowler is very important, especially in T20 format. MS has always been a bowler's captain. He has the best vision from behind the stumps," Laxman said.

"The way he educates the bowler is impressive. That's why he is an invaluable asset to Indian cricket."