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Michael Clarke praises MS Dhoni, says he always rises to the occasion

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who has always been a Dhoni loyalist, underlined the difference Dhoni's innings made for the important clash

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Michael Clarke and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Twitter)

MS Dhoni always saves his best for the most crucial stage. And we saw that once again in IPL 10’s first qualifier between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant at the Wankhede Stadium.

MS Dhoni (40 off 26) finished off the first innings in his trademark style as he hit Jasprit Bumrah for two huge sixes in the final over to take RPS to 162/4. Although it was Mumbai’s home ground, the chants of Dhoni made it feel like Pune’s home ground. In his cameo, MSD hit 5 huge sixes out of the park and Mitchell McClenaghan was at the receiving end.

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Man for a crisis

Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke, who has always been a Dhoni loyalist, underlined the difference Dhoni’s innings made for the important clash.

“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.

Dhoni’s wicketkeeping went unnoticed

Clarke further went on to say that Dhoni’s real value as a wicketkeeper has been lost in the too much focus on his batting skills.

“What has gone unnoticed is his wicketkeeping. 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.”

Clarke also pointed out how Dhoni stands up at the most challenging times and delivers. Be it World Cup 2011 final or the qualifier against Mumbai.

“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.

Dhoni can win Champions Trophy once again

Clarke also opined that Dhoni will be the key figure in India’s quest to retain the Champions Trophy. He won it in 2013 and has enough charge left in him to repeat history.

“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 have made a smart decision in picking him for the tournament.”

“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 are to win the trophy,” he said.

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