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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

‘He used to write notes on his thigh pad’: How MS Dhoni moulded himself into a finisher

MS Dhoni in his prime was considered as one of the best finisher in this business and the record books are a documentation of his heroics.

By: Sports Desk | October 20, 2020 6:39:42 pm
MS Dhoni six, 2011 World Cup final sixMS Dhoni had taken India to the historic win in the 2011 World Cup final with a huge six at Wankhede. (FILE)

MS Dhoni’s bat and captaincy may have remained silent in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League, but he will always be regarded as one of the smartest custodians of the game. The wicketkeeper-batsman kept himself away from the sport for almost a year before announcing his retirement from international cricket and maybe this is one factor that could have affected his game.

However, Dhoni in his prime was considered as one of the best finishers in the business and the record books are documentation of his heroics.

Former cricketer Sanjay Bangar, who was once in charge of India’s batting department, recently revealed how the Jharkhand-based cricketer crafted himself to become the best finisher. Bangar, currently a member of the “Star Sports Selectors Dugout” for IPL 2020, said that Dhoni used to write some notes on his thigh-pads and used to revise it before going out to bat.

“I came to know recently as to how – in his formative years because he is such a hitter of the ball, has that natural ability to clear – Dhoni curbed his natural instinct. He used to write on his thigh pad – 1, 2 – Tick Tick and 4, 6 – Cross Cross,” Bangar was quoted as saying on Star Sports.

READ | Dhoni’s problem areas are timing, reflexes…happens when a player isn’t match fit: Miandad

“So, every time he would go out to bat, and he’d be putting on his thigh pad, he’d probably have a look at that. It would remind him that he has to follow a process. And that is how by running those one and two he became such a great finisher,” he stated.

Bangar then went on to compare Dhoni’s gameplay with former Australia batsman Michael Bevan, who too played a similar role like the Indian for his side. Bangar stated that both the cricketers were aware of the effectiveness of running between the wickets.

MS Dhoni MS Dhoni in a practice session.

“Most finishers in world cricket have realised the importance of singles, doubles. You look at Michael Bevan, look at MS Dhoni. They have this thing in common, which helps them win cricket matches. It’s not those fours and sixes. And that is the process that MS Dhoni follows,” he added.

Returning to cricket after a year-long hiatus, Dhoni has accumulated 164 runs from 9 innings. His team too is on the verge of being eliminated from the play-off race, as they stand last on the points table with just three wins from 10 matches.

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