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MS Dhoni averages 89.75 after stepping down as India ODI captain

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 20-09-2017
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MS Dhoni has stamped authority in international circuit with both his captaincy skills and batting abilities. Dhoni, who is the only captain to lift all three ICC trophies, decided to step down as India's ODI, T20I captain in January this year. The decision did come as a surprise but it has certainly eased the burden off his shoulders and it's reflection in his run with the bat since then.

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After stepping down, Dhoni has so far played 14 ODI innings where he has notched up 627 runs at an average of 89.57 and strike rate of 85.65. The right-hander even scored a brilliant hundred against England during their tour of India in the second ODI of the three-match series in Cuttack. He scored 134. Apart from that hundred, he has also scored five fifties.

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Dhoni's calm head was on display when he bailed the side out of trouble on numerous occasions recently. The former India skipper showed his abilities of handling pressure and having partnerships with middle and lower order batsmen. One such instance came during India's first ODI against Australia when he stitched a 118-run stand with Hardik Pandya for the sixth wicket against Australia in Chennai. Dhoni went on to score 79 while Pandya smashed career-best 83 at Chepauk which guided India to 281/7 in 50 overs.

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Something similar happened in Sri Lanka when Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar put on an unbeaten 100 runs for the eighth wicket and helped India win the match by 3 wickets in Kandy. Kumar went on to score a half-century while Dhoni remained not out on 45. India were handed a target of 231 runs in 47 overs after rain delayed the start of their innings. After a partnership of 109 runs for the first wicket from Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, India were left tottering at 131/7 but the Dhoni and Kumar rescued the visitors and guided them to a 3-wicket win over the home side.

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