The Secret Behind Dhoni’s Recent Success in Australia Revealed

Dhoni had a memorable start to 2019, scoring three fifties in the three-match ODI series against Australia.

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Cricket
2 min read
MS Dhoni in action during India’s third and final ODI against Australia at Melbourne.
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MS Dhoni’s form with the bat is imperative for India’s success in England later this year when they go there to play the World Cup. The former captain’s form with the bat was a cause of concern for the team management in the run-up to the tour Down Under. With the highest score of 42 last year, Dhoni’s batting had come under lot of criticism due to lack of big scores and the poor rate at which he was striking. Dhoni scored only 275 runs in 13 ODI innings last year.

With Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant breathing down Dhoni’s neck to replace him in the limited-over squad, many had already written his cricketing epitaph and even question whether he would make the cut for the World Cup.

As it turned out, the new year changed Dhoni’s fortune with the bat. He had a memorable start to 2019, scoring three fifties in the three-match ODI series against Australia. In these three innings, Dhoni recorded an astounding average of 193.00 and went on to pick his first Player of the Series award in seven years.

It is not a surprise that Dhoni has been able to reinvent himself right in the nick of time for the World Cup but his modified bat, which caught attention of the world during the T20I series against New Zealand, is also being credited to usher in the change in form for Dhoni.

According to Hindustan Times, a source close to Dhoni’s management team, the wicketkeeper batsman made modification to suit his areas of strength and to counter the areas in which bowlers have been targeting him.

“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 must get a new plan. Or, it could be to play a particular shot better," he said.

The Australia series is not the first time Dhoni batted with a modified bat. Dhoni was seen with his modified bat even during India's successful Asia Cup 2018 campaign last year. Currently, Dhoni is using a bat of the Spartan brand.

We can never be sure whether the change in bat design did the job for Dhoni or it was pure Dhoni magic, which we are so used to. But whatever may be the reason, the Indian team management would be happy that Dhoni is finally back among runs. Dhoni is expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming limited-over series against Australia at home.

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