Dhoni instils fear in bowlers: Harbhajan

March 17, 2015 09:34 AM

One of the most encouraging signs from the Indian camp in the group stages is how we’ve seen different heroes emerge over the course of their six group games. 

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That is certainly the hallmark of a good side. If it was Virat Kohli against Pakistan, then Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane shone against South Africa and yesterday seemed to be the turn of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. 

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The pair came together at a tricky time against the Zimbabweans in Auckland but quickly exerted their authority during a record 196 run fifth wicket partnership for India in World Cups.

It’s been no different with the bowlers. Whoever has found form on the day has gone on to make the most of it. India’s trio of seamers, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma were once again brilliant against Zimbabwe. 

Shami, in particular, has kept fetching important breakthroughs at the top for India. Some may be concerned about the spinners going for runs, but I would like to deem it as a rare off-day than see it as something to fret over. Come the quarterfinal, I’m sure they’ll be back to their best.

Raina’s strokeplay was marvelous. The unique thing about him is that he backs himself to get boundaries. What facilitated his innings was the fact that he had Dhoni at the other end. 

Raina could feel the backing of his skipper, who kept having a word with him every now and then, and that only helped him thrive.

In the opener, but that being a month ago, this match-winning ton will surely give him a great deal of confidence going into the knockout stages.

And what does one say about Dhoni that hasn’t already been said? There’s good reason why he’s one of the most dangerous batsmen in world cricket to bowl to.

Dhoni instils a lingering fear in bowlers who keep worrying over when he’s going to cut loose. 

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You could compare it to the fear some of us felt as kids when we were told to ‘behave or Gabbar Singh will come’. 

The best part is, Dhoni is a master at doing exactly the opposite to what’s running through the bowler’s mind. 

With his gifted ability to rotate strike, at times you feel he hasn’t done an awful lot, yet when you glance at the scoreboard you see he’s already on 30 or 40. 

And that’s when he’s at his most dangerous, not when he’s going for the big ones. 
As a bowler, I’d always prefer the latter as you know it gives you a greater chance of getting him out. 

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