There's no doubt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is ageing like fine wine. Most people, at 36, would like to have it easy but Dhoni is showing no signs of slowing down and is effortlessly sending the bowlers on a leather hunt.
A grimacing Dhoni pulled off a near-impossible win for Chennai Super Kings before Kings XI Punjab scraped through with a dramatic four-run victory in the Indian Premier League 2018 at the PCA IS Bindra Stadium on Sunday night.
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Dhoni, battling back pain, took the match into the last over with a blistering 79 off 44 balls. However, his valiant effort did not prove to be enough as CSK ended at 193 for five in response to KXIP's 197 for seven.
But Dhoni's exhibition of powerful hitting has left his former India teammate and now KXIP mentor, Virender Sehwag, astonished. Sehwag said he was surprised to see Dhoni's commitment for his team.
Sehwag, who is IndiaTV's cricket expert, said had it been any other player in place of Dhoni, he would have surely left the field.
"MS Dhoni is one of the players who have impressed me a lot so far in this season of the IPL. Considering his age and the fact that he had back pain, Dhoni decided to keep on batting against Kings XI Punjab. I think if there would have been any other player in place of Dhoni, he would have left the field and went back to the dressing room. But being the captain, Dhoni took the responsibility and stood there till the end," Sehwag said on "Cricket Ki Baat" show.
The Super Kings needed as many as 76 off the last 30 balls and Dhoni got his team almost over the line with an innings comprising six fours and five sixes. With 17 needing off the final over, pacer Mohit Sharma did the job for KXIP, who recorded their second win in three games this season. It was the first loss of the season for the Dhoni-led team.
Sehwag said the way Dhoni was hitting the sixes, it never looked as if he was struggling with his back.
"I was surprised not with his performance but with his attitude. Had it been any other player in place of Dhoni, he would have surely left the field. Dhoni was struggling to run between the wickets but he still batted till the end. The way he was hitting those sixes, it never looked as if he had a bad back. He never showed to the opposition that he was struggling. So, you have to give credit to Dhoni because if he wasn't there, CSK would have lost the match by 50 runs," Sehwag said.