Dhoni Marshals The Great Escape
For 237 balls, Bangladesh rose above India. What should have been is not what transpired. Needing just 2 runs of 3 balls with 4 wickets in hand, the Bangla Tigers took a shot of adrenaline. Just a bit too much. The match turned on its head. Bangladesh tripped down the unforgiving abyss. India had snatched victory from the icy jaws of defeat.
Ravichandran Ashwin summed it. It was a roller coaster ride. Indeed! Tidy stuff from Jaspreet Bumrah in the penultimate over ensured India still held a chance. 11 to win from the final over. Team meeting. Dhoni is weighing his options. The Captain toss the ball to Hardik Pandya. This was the youngster’s baptism by fire. 1, 4, 4. The Chinnaswamy stadium was hushed. Bangladesh were celebrating. Dhoni goes over to the bowler, the plotting gets longer. Onw wonders whats buzzing in Pandya’s head. He bowls. Mushfiqur Rahim sents one staright down Dhawan’s throat. WICKET!
2 runs from 2 balls, 3 wickets remaining. This time Dhoni’s talk gets longer, more players join in. Pandya is smiling. We all know that’s nervousness. Dhoni marshals his trusted soldier Ravidra Jadeja to deep mid wicket- exactly where Dhawan was. The inform Mahmudullah steps up. Pandya runs in and bowls a full toss. The batsman swings and connects. Not one person lost sight of the trajectory of the ball. Jadeja runs in and takes a well judged catch. Another wicket. GAME ON!
2 runs from 1 ball, 2 wickets remaining. Two new batsmen at the crease. Suddenly Chinnaswamy stadium is roaring. So was 1.2 billion. The longest talk convened by Dhoni. Nehra, Yuvraj, Ashwin are all there with Pandya. The biggest question, what do we bowl next. “Just short of length” Dhoni said after the match. Would Pandya deliver? In Chess, you stay one step ahead of the opponet. Dhoni lives by the rule. The Captain took of his keeping gloves on the right hand to release the ball swifty. He visioned how the Bangladeshi batsmen would go about it. Pandya bowls, Shuvagata Hom swings. He misses and they set off. Dhoni collects the ball and charges like the cheetah on his prey. The race is on. Mustafizur Rahman was taking on the fastest runner in world cricket. Dhoni destroys the stumps before the tailender makes it. CHECK MATE! It is all over! 3 wickets from 3 balls. India win by 1 run. Amazing. Just Amzaing!
An electrifying exhibition of T20 cricket. A roller coaster ride. Spirited cricket by Bangladesh. Truth is they self destructed. All they had to do was be sensible. They were not. Dhoni was. When he collected the final ball he could have taken a shy at the stumps. No, not Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He knew exactly what he was gonna do. He backed his ability to to make sure he won the match for this team. Dhoni did what Dhoni does. Captain Cool showed us why he is the best finisher the game has seen!