There were question marks hanging over MS Dhoni’s selection before the ODI series started and after his performance in the first match but the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman pretty much silenced those critics by leading India to victory twice and ending the series as top scorer. He was promoted to number four in the third ODI and score an unbeaten 87 as India won the match by seven wickets.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) 18 January 2019
Cricket.com.au tweeted out a video of India’s celebration after the win and in it, MS Dhoni can be seen carrying the match ball and giving it to batting coach Sanjay Bangar. “Ball lelo nahi to bolega retirement le rahe hain (take the ball or they will say I am retiring),” he can be heard saying as he does so.
Dhoni was referring to an incident during India’s England tour in July 2018 when he asked for the ball from the umpires after lost the third ODI. This was compared to him taking the stumps with him after what eventually turned out to be his final Test match in 2014 despite that match ending in a draw.
Coach Ravi Shastri late quashed those rumours “That’s rubbish. MS is not going anywhere,” he had said.“MS wanted to show the ball to Bharat Arun. He wanted to show him the wear and tear the ball had endured, to get a general idea of what the conditions were like.”
MS Dhoni ended the ODI series against Australia as India’s highest runscorer with 193 runs. He was unbeaten in the second and third matches and ensured that India got over the line. While he hit the winning runs in Adelaide, it was Kedar Jadhav who did so in Melbourne. Dhoni won the man of the series for his efforts.
It was earlier reported that the selectors had told the 37-year-old that he would no longer be required in the Indian T20I setup but then they did a u-turn by selecting him for the upcoming New Zealand series. Although his powers seemed to be on the wane before the Australia series, captain Virat Kohli has consistently backed him and said that he remains a vital part of India’s plans for the World Cup.