During the ODI series opener against Sri Lanka at Dharamsala, Indian batsmen were found wanting under pacer-friendly conditions as the hosts got bowled out for 112 in just 38.2 overs. However, amidst the bizarre collapse, former India captain MS Dhoni once again stood tall to perform yet another rescue job.
At one point in time, the ‘Men in Blue’ were tottering at 29/7 after being put into bat by the Lankan captain Thisara Perera. Thanks to Dhoni’s gritty 87-ball 65, Indian ended up crossing the 100-run mark.
MS Dhoni made 58.03% of team runs today (65 out of 112) - highest contribution ever by an Indian batsman in an ODI where all 11 players batted.— Rajneesh Gupta (@rgcricket) December 10, 2017
Previous best: 56% by Virender Sehwag (112 out of 200/9) vs NZ at Auckland in 2003.#INDvSL #SLvIND
Talking to India Today, legendary India captain Sourav Ganguly termed Dhoni’s innings as ‘terrific’ and also said that this is the reason why Virat Kohli still persisting with the Jharkhand Man in 50-over format.
"It was a terrific innings from MS Dhoni. He hit when he needed and rotated the strike when needed and that is why Virat Kohli persists with MS Dhoni in 50-over cricket," quoted Ganguly.
Dhoni’s innings, however, wasn't enough as Sri Lanka completed the chase in just 20.4 overs and consequently took 1-0 lead in a three-match ODI series.
Talking about the match, Ganguly made it clear that there is nothing to be worried about as it was just an off day for the hosts.
"I feel it's a one-off. India went in with young players in Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. This a lesson for India to learn from here," he said.
However, the Prince of Kolkata added that India must go with Ajinkya Rahane and KL Rahul in ODI cricket as they are key players and better than other alternatives.
"The likes of Rahane, Rahul must play consistently in ODI cricket. Yes! Iyer will be a good player down the line. Even Pandey but at the moment the have been found wanting. They (Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Pandy) were found different in application on this surface. Iyer and Pandey were hanging back. Dinesh Karthik found one jabbing back. I feel India need to find a solution and persist...Rahane and Rahul are my choices for the middle-order," Dada said.
“I hope Rahane is back because he is quality. In the last few series he has been among runs consistently. I was surprised that he was left out. You cannot compare Test form with one-day form. He needs to be there in them especially when Virat Kohli is not there," he concluded.