The form of Mahendra Singh Dhoni was rather patchy last year which forced people to question his position in the Indian side. The former Indian captain was even booed in one of the matches against England at Lord's owing to his slow innings which had no intent. However, he has received the constant backing of the captain and management and things have started to work out for the seasoned campaigner.
In the recently concluded ODI series against Australia, scores of 51, 55*, 87* in the three matches have once again vindicated his position in the side. Commentators and cricket pundits observed that there was a specific change made to the shape of Dhoni's bat and that it was more rounded towards the bottom.
"He has made the modification to suit his areas of strength and to counter the areas in which bowlers have been targeting him," said a source close to his management team in conversation with Hindustan Times.
More wood towards the bottom to counter the threat
In the recent series, the bowlers have targetted Dhoni by bowling the full ball outside off stump and this has impeded his scoring rate. Now this modification was specifically made to counter this threat by thrusting more wood towards the bottom of the blade in order to generate more power in the strokes.
"Basically, it is more wood at the bottom and back of the bat. Earlier, it was mainly about the sweet spot. The basic idea is to have more wood behind the ball in your preferred shots. More wood at the bottom will help in elevation and generate more power. When your game is set, bowlers come up with a plan to counter and the batsman has to get a new plan. Or, it could be to play a particular shot better," the source further added.
Considering the success Dhoni has had with this modified blade, it could well mean that a similar bat will now be used for the upcoming home series against Australia on entirely different pitches. If the results continue to be positive, an in-form Dhoni will be a massive shot in the arm for Virat Kohli and co as they enter the World Cup later this year.