Steven Smith hails MS Dhoni, calls him a quality and dangerous player
Dhoni's 88-ball 79 was worth its weight in gold and was eventually the difference between both sides in Chennai.
Updated - Sep 18, 2017 7:28 pm
They might have shared the dressing room in the IPL for two successive seasons but MS Dhoni and Steve Smith are pure professionals when they don their respective national jerseys. While his time at the Rising Pune Supergiant, Smith time and again lavished praise on the former Indian captain and Sunday was no different when the No. 3 called Dhoni a quality and dangerous player.
India slid into deep mire in Chennai when Rohit Sharma was walking back to the pavilion in the 16th over. India had slipped to 64 for 4 that is when MS Dhoni came to the rescue for the umpteenth time in his career. He, first with Jadhav, then with Pandya, lifted India from the shambles to a score of receptivity before the bowlers came to the fore to help India take a 1-0 lead in the series on the back of a 26-run win in the truncated second innings.
Dhoni lets his bat do the talking
There has been a lot of debate on Dhoni’s immediate playing future but the former captain has let his bat do the talking this year, putting to rest the otiose debate. Recently, coach Shastri gave a green flag to Dhoni’s certainty to play in the 2019 World Cup. If you go by the stumper’s 2017 numbers, Dhoni must be the first name on the team sheet due to the sheer amount of runs he has scored this season. In 14 innings, the 36-year old has scored 627 runs at 89.57 with a best score of 134. The man from Jharkhand is certainly striking it well from his willow.
His assault at James Faulkner at the end of the Indian innings turned the momentum into India’s side. In the end, India amassed a decent 281 for 7 after 50 overs. Smith played tribute to his IPL teammate for his finishing skills. “MS (Dhoni) hit Jimmy (James Faulkner) pretty well in the end, wasn’t ideal but that’s cricket. MS is a quality player and dangerous at the end. We have got to be a bit better with our plans,” said the Australia captain.
The second game will be played at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.