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Millennium Post

MSD dose too high for Team Australia

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni characteristically chose the right occasion to sweep his critics off their feet on Sunday. Playing at his second home, Chennai, against arguably the strongest opponent in the world, Dhoni’s unbeaten 206, the highest Test score by any Indian captain, not only brought a packed Chidambaram Stadium on its feet, it literally overshadowed a well-constructed century by Virat Kohli. Kohli carried on even after Sachin Tendulkar, once again, fell 19 runs short of a 52nd Test ton.

The brutal knock has given India a healthy 135-run lead and with two full days to go, the Men in Blue will surely go for the kill to stay a step ahead in the four-Test series.

Donning the commentator’s role for the first time, former teammate VVS Laxman made a very interesting observation. ‘Unlike many of us, you will never see MS Dhoni getting too emotionally attached with the game. His visions are very clear. This is a game and that’s it,’ said Laxman after Dhoni brought up his half-century.  We saw how true the observation was a little while later after Dhoni notched up his sixth Test ton. When most players, especially after being criticised for long, jump high and pump their fists in the air, as if to make a statement, our captain cool just walked back to the crease with a familiar swagger, exonerating a flamboyance that’s more of the rustic kind.

He looked exactly the same after being run-out against England at 99 in the last Test in Nagpur. Therein lies his brilliance. When you play cricket on a non-stop basis, you can’t score big everyday. And there’s really no point in branding a batsman as incapable just on the basis of a few poor shows. He averages around 45 in Tests as a captain, which is more than many, including Sourav Ganguly.

While Kohli was more watchful during his knock of 107, Dhoni set the stadium ablaze with his amazing strokeplay, smashing 22 boundaries and five sixes during his 243-ball assault.
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