MS Dhoni covered up for below par performances: Stephen Fleming
Published - May 22, 2016 12:30 pm | Updated - May 22, 2016 12:30 pm
MS Dhoni led from the front to help Rising Pune Supergiants win their last league match against the Kings XI Punjab yesterday with a herculean effort. Stephen Fleming, the RPS coach, was all pleased with the way the skipper finished off things in style.
Dhoni scored an unbeaten 64 off 32 balls, but the highlight of his knock was when he clobbered 23 runs off the last over from Axar Patel to pull off a miraculous win. Fleming didn’t shy away from admitting that Dhoni’s knock covered up for the below par performances the team had put in the tournament. “I think Dhoni is pretty remarkable, which probably covered up the performances that were below par,”
Did you miss Dhoni’s knock? – Watch: MS Dhoni thwacks Patel for 23 in the last over
He further expressed that he was shocked to see Dhoni refusing singles towards the end of the innings and taking all on himself. The former New Zealand captain said he had never seen Dhoni do this before during his time with the Indian skipper. He also added that Dhoni had unbelievable faith in his abilities and the way he finished it was spectacular.
“I have not seen that before. There might have been times that gets out of reach for the other players, today he took it upon himself in winning the game. If you don’t get across the line, you analyse it. But again, he had unbelievable faith and ability to do it. He might have done that with India but I have not seen it in my time with Dhoni. That was part of an extraordinary effort,” quoted Stephen Fleming.
He also accepted the fact that at a stage Dhoni was frustrated being not able to finish the games for the side. He said Dhoni knew his job of finishing the match. “From finishing point of view, Dhoni has been frustrated. I think that (knock) will go a long way today to give him more confidence. He has been working very hard in the nets. He knew the role he plays is to win games in the back end. We have lost games that we should have won and we won a game here today that we should not have won. That is the nature of T20 but we showed today that we still have that brilliance, we still have the ability to clear the rope when needed,” said the Kiwi veteran.
“I dare say that it was vintage performance in the sense that we have seen that and come to expect that high standards. We certainly achieved that and exceeded that today,” he added further.
In the match, the RPS chased down 173 riding on MS Dhoni’s 32-ball 64. Needing 23 off the last over, the skipper refused to leave the strike and decided to finish the match on his own. With 12 needed in the last two balls, he hit two sixes to win the match for the Supergiants.