Pune: Back in form with a marauding knock, Mahendra Singh Dhoni says no required run rate is too high in a chase if one manages to keep calm the way he did during Rising Pune Supergiant’s IPL clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Faced with a target 177, Pune were on the backfoot and required 47 runs off the last three overs when the premier finisher in world cricket played an unbeaten knock of 61 off 34 balls to take his team home.
Dhoni clinch a last-ball thriller with an imperious cover drive and the entire Pune dug-out, including skipper Steve Smith, gave him a standing ovation. “There is no run-rate that is high. It boils down to how well the opposition bowlers execute. So seven, eight, nine, ten, doesn’t matter. What matters is keeping your calmness,” the Man of the Match stumper-batsman said.
“It’s about who handles the nerves well. Overall, I feel that in the last four overs, you can get close to 60 runs provided the opposition plays badly and you play well,” he added.
Calmness has indeed been a hallmark of his cricket career but Dhoni was under severe pressure this IPL for his barren run with the bat. But that was until yesterday when he finally lit up the tournament with his trademark big strokes. “It was a difficult one. But it was important that since we had strikers in the back of the innings, it was important we took Rashid (Khan) out of the game,” he said referring to Hyderabad’s top bowler, an Afghan.
“You can’t always win games like this. I think we did very well.” Dhoni was praised by Pune captain Steve Smith, who said the Indian veteran did what he has always done with tremendous consistency.
“Got pretty close towards the end, but MS did what’s he’s done for such a long period of time. Under pressure, he comes good again,” Smith said. Dhoni’s knock also became a trending topic on social media with Indian captain Virat Kohli being among the stars to laud the talismanic cricketer.
“MS Dhoni does what he’s done with so much confidence over the years. What a champion knock. Great to watch,” Kohli tweeted. “What a pleasure watching @msdhoni operate like that! I see @KagisoRabada25 ‘s making his debut for the @DelhiDaredevils tonight-exciting!” wrote AB de Villiers.