Ish Sodhi is smart but MS Dhoni is smarter. Here’s proof

MS Dhoni is known to possess one of the best cricketing minds going around. Be it on-field decisions, pacing the innings during run chases or giving some crucial inputs to young bowlers from behind the wickets, Dhoni’s tactical brilliance has been one of the most-talked-about aspects of his game.

Dhoni was at it again in Auckland on Friday during the second T20 international between India and New Zealand as the wicketkeeper-batsman came up with a street-smart approach to avoid getting stumped off Ish Sodhi’s bowling.

In the 16th over of India’s 159-run chase, Dhoni, batting on 7, had stepped out of his crease in a bid to launch one over the stands. Sensing Dhoni’s intentions, Sodhi bowled a flat and wide delivery that could have troubled the senior campaigner.

However, Dhoni, realising the ball was out of his reach, tried to get back to the crease. While doing so, he also quickly let go off his bottom hand and poked the ball to the vacant area on the off-side.

Dhoni pinched a quick single after the one-handed poke that has become viral on social media.

Dhoni remained unbeaten on 20 as he stitched a 44-run stand with Rishabh Pant, who took India past the finish line with a boundary. India leveled the three-match series 1-1 in Auckland. They had lost the first T20I by 80 runs, their biggest margin of defeat in terms of runs.

Dhoni has been in phenomenal form in the ongoing season. The veteran campaigner, who was facing a lot of criticism over his inability to score quick, has begun the World Cup year with a bang. Dhoni had scored three successive fifties in India’s first-ever bilateral ODI series win in Australia.

Meanwhile, india off-spinner Harbhajan Singh credited MS Dhoni’s role in helping Rishabh Pant cut down on fancy shots that had led to the young wicketkeeper-batsman’s downfall in the first T20I. Pant remained unbeaten on 40 when India sealed the win on Friday.

“Rishabh Pant made full use of his opportunity today and batting with MS Dhoni,” Harbhajan told .

“When he hit a few casual shots, Dhoni walked up to him and explained what he needed to do. After that he played safer shots, down the ground and hit only the balls which were there to be hit,” Harbhajan said.