India ended their memorable tour of Australia with a historic win at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Chasing a target of 231, it was MS Dhoni who shepherded the chase and forged crucial partnerships with Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav.
Three 50s in three matches, Dhoni has signalled form this year and this bodes well for India leading into the World Cup. The pitch at MCG was tacky, sluggish, and slow and was not too conducive for stroke-making, which forced Dhoni to hold fort and take the innings deep.
"It was a slow wicket, so it was difficult to hit whenever you wanted to. It was important to take it deep," Dhoni said in the post-match presentation where he was adjudged the man of the series.
Picked the bowlers to attack
The seasoned campaigner who has finished off many tricky chases in his glittering career, said that he had to make a decision based on the conditions and hence, did not see any reason to go after bowlers who were bowling well. He, thus, did not attack leggie Adam Zampa and Jhye Richardson, but made amends against Marcus Stoinis and Peter Siddle.
"No point going after the bowlers who are doing well, so that was the gameplan. Of course, supported brilliantly by Kedar, who plays unorthodox shots," he added.
Dhoni's batting position and the ever-revolving number 4 position has dominated headlines over the last 15 months and it is nowhere close to being resolved, but the former captain maintained that he is happy to bat anywhere in the batting order according to the needs of the team. He walked out at number 4 today and saw off the chase.
"Whether I play at 4 or 6, we need to see if the team balance can be retained. Important thing is for me to bat where the team needs, I'm happy to bat lower down at 6," he added.
India's next assignment is against New Zealand and they will now hop islands after a successful trip of Australia. The upcoming series in New Zealand could throw a few more surprises as far as team combinations are concerned as captain Virat Kohli has already said that they are looking ahead to the World Cup.