'Dhoni is in top form and age is just a number.'
Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More said Mahendra Singh Dhoni's innings against Royal Challengers Bangalore took him back to 2006 and he opined that the CSK captain would be a vital cog for the Indian team in the 2019 World Cup.
"The innings took me back to 2006, and maybe around that time when a young Dhoni took the scene by storm. He will definitely be a vital cog for the Indian team at the World Cup," International Cricket Council quoted More as saying on Tuesday.
Chasing a target of 162, CSK needed a near-impossible 26 off the last over bowled by Umesh Yadav. Captain Dhoni, who smashed an unbeaten 84 off 48 balls that had seven sixes, took CSK to the brink as he hit 24 from the first five balls, hitting three sixes and a four but was beaten off the last ball.
He tried to sneak a quick bye that would have levelled scores and taken the match to the Super Over but RCB wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel was quick to collect the ball and break the stumps with a direct hit as non-striker Shardul Thakur to give RCB a narrow one-run victory.
"He was brilliant. It was an outstanding innings and only goes to show age is never a criteria. Dhoni is in top form and age is just a number. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid all played till late in their career and with distinction," More said.
More, who was the chief selector of the Indian team in 2005, discovered Dhoni in 2005 and the player immediately repaid his faith as he smashed a century in his fifth game -- a brilliant knock of 148 against Pakistan. A few months later, he slammed 183 not out against Sri Lanka in Jaipur, which is still the highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODIs.
Chennai Super Kings are currently placed at the second position in the league standings with 14 points from 10 matches.