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India made a smart decision in picking MS Dhoni for Champions Trophy, says Michael Clarke

MS Dhoni's match finishing capabilities were tested several times in the tournament but on the required day it all fell together nicely.

By: Express Web Desk | Updated: May 17, 2017 10:48 pm
M.S. Dhoni, Michael Clarke, Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians, RPS vs MI, IPL 2017, Indian Premier League 2017, ICC Champions Trophy, Manoj Tiwary, Jasprit Bumrah, sports news, cricket news, indian express Michael Clarke believes that Dhoni will perform at his best in the Champions Trophy in England next month. (Source: PTI)

During the first qualifier, Rising Pune Supergiant had managed to score 121 for three in 18 overs against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday. M.S. Dhoni was at the crease with just 14 runs of 17 balls with Manoj Tiwary on the other end.

That was a stage where Pune seemed helpless as they were setting up a below par score for the two-time IPL champions, playing at their home ground. With a blistering batting line-up of Pune, something else was expected at that moment.

But with Dhoni at the crease, things were bound to change in a whisker. As expected, he exploded in his typical style as Pune hammered 41 off the last two overs giving Mumbai Indians a challenging total.

MS Dhoni’s match finishing capabilities were tested several times in the tournament but on the required day it all fell together nicely for the best finisher of limited overs and T20 format.

Former Australian captain Michael Clarke has always praised Dhoni for his game and he expressed his opinion on how Dhoni’s innings made the difference for Pune in the first playoff.

“That changed the game. The fact that Pune managed to get over the 160-run mark, the confidence in the change room was different. Pune took that momentum walking in to the field. The pitch was such that it took batsmen some time to get in and MS did take some time but he knew he could change it in the end,” Clarke told India Today.

Clarke said Dhoni’s true value has been lost while focusing too much around his batting skills.

“What has gone unnoticed is his wicket-keeping. That’s his primary job and he has been the best in the competition.
Secondly, he is a batsman and you want him to bat well because you know how good he is and on Tuesday night he did that.

“The other thing about great players which MS does is to stand up when the team needs you the most. He is one of the few who stands up on big occasions consistently. Tuesday night was another example,” he said.


Clarke believes that Dhoni will perform at his best in the Champions Trophy in England next month. “I think he is still as good as he has been. I have said this through the IPL and will continue to say that through the Champions Trophy, India has made a smart decision in picking him for the tournament.

“He deserves to be there. He is the best wicket-keeper in the country. His batting is still as good as it always was. He has shown form in patches in the IPL and I have no doubt he will show us (what he can do) in Champions Trophy,” he said.

Clarke suggests that Kohli should make Dhoni bat at No.5 on a consistent basis to have the kind of impact Andrew Symonds did for Australia.

“I am really interested to see where Virat bats him in the Champions Trophy. I would bat him at No.4 in T20 cricket and 5 in ODIs like Australia did with Andrew Symonds. His experience, his skill will play a huge role if India is to win the trophy,” he said.

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  1. C
    May 19, 2017 at 2:02 pm
    Very poor decision.....and you know this very well Michael. Stop kissing to preserve your job in the silly IPL commentary box..start being true to your Aussie roots. India will be knocked out early in the champions trophy....
    1. A
      May 18, 2017 at 9:05 am
      And he missed 6 balls throwing the kitchen sink...If he had connected them like he normally does, it could have well been a 60 of 26 balls
      1. C
        May 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm
        Do not agree... Most overated cricketer ... Suspected match fixer along with Raina Jadeja and Bravo.
      2. M
        MKS dri
        May 18, 2017 at 8:07 am
        Yes, MSD is still a good choice although backup wicket keepers are there in Saha, Pant Dinesh and Partiv have all pla well in IPL. But the selection of Yuvaraj and Rohit sharma is not at all based on playing credentials but politics seems to have come into play!!! They have had a horrible IPL season and are clearly past their prime.
        1. S
          May 18, 2017 at 7:51 am
          The awesome decision our best wishes to MS he will prove that he is the best.
          1. C
            May 19, 2017 at 3:16 pm
            You need to see a shrink...very poor decision to take this old horse .. dia knocked out for sure.
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