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Why Doesn't Anyone Care That We've Just Witnessed One of ODI Cricket's Greatest Innings?

by achettup

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni came in when his side was reeling at 29/5, batting with the last recognized batsman in the line-up. Against top quality pace and swing, on a pitch that offered reasonable assistance to fast bowlers early on. Raina stuck with him until the 33rd over, and while 102/6 had banished all talk of India succumbing to one of their lowest ODI scores, it was certainly nowhere near a score that offered a fight. Bowlers had economy rates that were in the 2.5 rpo range (those that bowled at the end of the innings saw those economy rates rise to around 5 rpo). Yet Dhoni toiled, refused to play strokes that offered the opposition a chance (save for a lob to midwicket when he was on 16), and then led a calculated assault that gave India a more than respectable score given the horrendous start. His first 22 runs came off 60 balls, meaning he scored 91 runs off his next 65 balls. All this while suffering cramps in the unforgiving Chennai heat and humidity.

Yet while many people acknowledge that it was an excellent, few have gone so far to call it what it was, one of the greatest ODI innings in recent times, if not ever. I can't begin to imagine how the English or Australian press would have gone overboard had it been one of their cricketers who had played such a brilliant innings. It might not be in the league of Viv Richards' 189 or Kapil Dev's 175, but its certainly right up there with Steve Waugh's 120 n.o. against South Africa in the 2001 world cup and was reminiscent of the kinds of innings that Michael Bevan (whose ODI stats are very similar) seemed to play with regularity. Dhoni is widely regarded as the best ODI batsman today, yet I'm not sure if it was because we've taken his performances for granted that this innings hasn't received nearly as many accolades as it should have.

Are we fed up with the number of cricket matches being played, like this series that is squeezed in between England's tour? (Why are even watching it then?) Are we angry with Dhoni for all that has happened over the last 18 months? Have we just lost interest in ODIs now that so many of the stars have retired? Has a pall of gloom descended upon cricket fans over how much we've lost in 2012, and particularly in the last month. Was it that the innings wasn't as valuable given we lost the match? Are we kidding ourselves into believing these innings have become commonplace? Have we lost our objectivity in appreciating excellent cricket knocks, preferring to harp on all that is wrong with Indian cricket at the moment? You see, even while he was batting, it wasn't enough. An accomplished Indian opener, whose 36* is the stuff of legends, was whining about how slow the Indian approach was. This after whining about loose strokes and poor techniques from the batsmen who we give free passes to the test side ahead of the Indian skipper based on... their alleged superior batting technique. Its never enough, and then one fine day he'll retire and the tributes will flow in and maybe, just maybe then, there'll be a mention of this innings in the light that it deserves.


Play Angry-Bird Game said...

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Anonymous said...

Definitely one of the best innings I've seen from MS Dhoni, in terms of the pitch and bowling attack. Coming in at 29/5, he played very slowly and cautiously and like you said, didn't go for any risky shots except for when he was on 16, but after that it was one-way traffic. I think the total was enough, just India's fielding was horrible and Pakistan's batsmen took advantage of that. Great post!

Sai Ram

Cricket forums said...

People will still want him sacked as soon as possible.

baseball livescore said...

Well to understand this issue that no one is paying attention to the brilliant innings played by MS Dhoni, you've to consider and understand the psyche of the sub-continent people I mean they don't care whether the skipper tries hard or perform well in the match or not the only thing that they consider is that whether their team has won or not.This is the only thing that matters to them and when it comes to losing against their traditional rivals it becomes even more intense.

Pay per head bookmaking said...

well my dear friend, nowadays people do not care about many things and some other people do not care about anything at all, that is sad, but it's life