Dhoni all set to create a new world record
| 06 Jul 2017
| Anshuman Tripathi, Editor, NOP

Dhoni is all set for creating a new world record in international cricket. If Dhoni bats and and stays unbeaten in the fifth ODI against the West Indies in Jamaica, he will have the most number of not out innings in international cricket. The former captain currently shares the record with Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan. Dhoni has 119 unbeaten knocks in 465 innings while Muralitharan retired with an equal number of not outs in 328 innings.

Not too long ago, India had intense belief and faith in Mahendra Singh Dhoni and on his finishing abilities, sometimes conjured up from nothing, made his chases fabled. Until just two years ago, he could toil for overs and when the most opportunistic moment demanded, he would score big ones at any time.

However, over the last few months, stats don’t favour the former captain. Selectors have been backing him, and so are the experts but in reality, what happened in Antigua a couple of days ago where despite his painstaking effort of 54 in 114 balls India failed to chase 189, throws a different picture.

Dhoni is not the same finisher of the game anymore. This has been doing rounds for a while, but has become more visible now. He has been demanding the anchor role in the middle order which he has got from the team management. The big shots he used to play have gone missing and he has been ineffective. His romance with the bat and the game seems to be dim. Now at times, it seems he is approaching the end of his career.

Dhoni said a few months ago that a final decision on his career will be taken after the Champions Trophy. He is unlikely to be in the scheme of things for the 2019 World Cup and the time has arrived to look ahead. The more he delays his departure, more scrutiny will be on him. Dhoni seems to be heading in the same direction as Sachin Tendulkar, mostly due to the way Sachin delayed his retirement, Dhoni seems to follow him.

Anshuman Gaekwad defends Dhoni, he says “No doubt, he hasn’t performed, but it’s not an easy place to be, particularly when talented players like Pant are around. His big shots are not going the distance, but the experience he brings is essential to newcomers. He should be able to take the decision.” He did in Tests, will he do it in limited-overs too?

He allowed Virat Kohli time to settle as a captain before taking over in Tests, before passing the mantle over in the limited-overs format as well. With Rishabh Pant around, and voices for change getting louder, Dhoni finds himself in a position where it has become a matter of when, not if.

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