With his strike dipping alarmingly in the last one year, Mahendra Singh Dhoni faces a tough battle to retain his place for the 2019 ODI World Cup.
Rajneesh Gupta presents the complete statistical picture.
Following his below-par showing with the bat in the ODI series against England, a lot of questions have cropped up about Mahendra Singh Dhoni's capabilities with the bat, especially looking at the 2019 ODI World Cup in a year's time.
At 37, the former captain is not getting any younger, but what is worrying everyone is the alarming dip in his batting stocks.
Gone are the days when Dhoni was considered as one of the best finishers in the game, when he won matches for India from impossible situations with his swashbuckling batting and his brilliant acumen.
Dhoni tallied 79 runs in the ODI series in England but the most striking factor is his lowly strike rate of 63.
In a first, he was even booed by Indian spectators during his painstaking knock of 37 from 59 balls when he struggled to get the big hits at the end as India virtually surrendered the match at the end.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has asked the struggling Dhoni to up his game if he wants to be part of the World Cup next year.
'If Dhoni has got to play (in the 2019 World Cup) then he has got to get in a position where he keeps hitting. If it is 24-25 overs and he has got to build an innings, he is struggling at the moment,' Dada said.
'He may turn it around as he has been a great player for India, but at the present he is not turning it around enough and this has been going on for more than an year,' Ganguly added.
If you see Dhoni's stats in the last one year since the Champions Trophy, Ganguly's observations are bang on.
Even though Dhoni has scored 704 runs in 23 matches at an average of 58, his strike rate has dipped to 77 as compared to 89 before the Champions Trophy.
Dhoni in One-Day Internationals:
|Till Champions Trophy 2017||251||67||9342||183*||50.77||89.04||10||62|
|After Champions Trophy 2017||23||11||704||79||58.66||77.53||0||5|
Interestingly, once regarded as the Master of the Chase, Dhoni's biggest problem is now chasing down totals.
In nine innings since the 2017 Champions Trophy, Dhoni's strike rate has dipped to 65 when India have batted second.
Dhoni in One-Day Internationals (Batting first):
|Till Champions Trophy 2017||127||27||5223||148||52.23||95.05||8||34|
|After Champions Trophy 2017||14||5||462||79||51.33||85.55||0||3|
Dhoni in One-Day Internationals (in chases):
|Till Champions Trophy 2017||124||10||4119||183*||49.03||82.44||2||28|
|After Champions Trophy 2017||9||6||242||67*||80.66||65.76||0||2|
Also, another interesting comparison throws light on Dhoni's recent struggles.
With the helicopter shots and the big sixes coming down considerably in the last few years, Dhoni has preferred to bat in the middler order where he gets a chance to build the innings, but he has not been able to get going.
As was seen in the England ODI series, he struggled to hit boundaries or rotate strike consistently in the middle overs against the spinners.
In the last one year, his strike rate in the middle overs has never crossed the 60s, while in the final overs, it has gone down to 110 from 131 in the period before.
Dhoni's batting in different phases of the innings:
|1st to 20th||1696||1180||59||69.57|
|21st to 30th||2797||2081||80.03||74.4|
|31st to 40th||3463||2758||51.11||79.64|
|41st to 50th||2535||3323||39.09||131.08|
After the ICC Champions Trophy 2017:
|1st to 20th||70||28||-||40|
|21st to 30th||189||125||-||66.13|
|31st to 40th||336||206||103||61.3|
|41st to 50th||313||345||34.5||110.22|
Dhoni's strike rate is among the lowest in the last 20 overs in the last one year at 84.
Batsmen with highest scoring rate in overs 31-50 in ODIs
(after ICC Champions Trophy 2017, Min.250 balls faced)
With capable wicketkeeper-batsmen like Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant waiting in the wings, it remains to be seen how long a rope Dhoni is given, especially looking at the World Cup next year.