The Dhoni crawl

There is a stark difference between Dhoni’s batting statistics in wins and losses.

M. S. Dhoni... an innings so unlike him in the fourth ODI against the West Indies.   -  AP

During the fourth ODI of the recent bilateral series between India and West Indies, M. S. Dhoni scored a painful 54 runs from 114 balls, at a strike rate of 47.36, which would have been considered a crawl in any era of ODI cricket. India was chasing a meagre target of 190 runs, but with Dhoni getting out in the 49th over of the chase, India went on to lose the game by 11 runs. There is a stark difference between Dhoni’s batting statistics in wins and losses. While Dhoni has the highest batting average in ODI history in wins (min. 5000 runs), his batting average in losses is about 40 runs worse than his average in wins, and his strike rate also drops by about 25 runs (per 100 balls) in losses. It is almost indisputable that while Dhoni’s method of taking games deep has won India numerous games, this has also resulted in a few losses, like this game against West Indies.

Dhoni’s ODI batting statistics in wins and losses

 

Inns

Runs

Ave

SR

100

50

Wins

133

5637

73.20

98.05

7

38

Losses

113

3452

33.19

76.50

3

22


The sluggishness of Dhoni’s innings is clearly illustrated by the fact that it is among the five slowest ODI innings, by any batsman, in the last five years (min. 100 balls). Interestingly, three of these five slowest innings have come in the West Indies, at Providence, Gros Islet and now North Sound.

Slowest ODI Innings in the last 5 years (min. 100 balls)

Player

Runs

BF

SR

Opposition

Ground

Date

Noor Ali Zadran (AFG)

43

106

40.56

v Zimbabwe

Bulawayo

Jul 2014

Misbah-ul-Haq (PAK)

52

121

42.97

v West Indies

Providence

Jul 2013

MN Samuels (WI)

46

106

43.39

v Pakistan

Gros Islet

Jul 2013

DM Bravo (WI)

51

108

47.22

v Bangladesh

Dhaka

Dec 2012

MS Dhoni (INDIA)

54

114

47.36

v West Indies

North Sound

Jul 2017


Dhoni’s innings of 114 balls included just a solitary boundary, a four off Roston Chase very late in the innings. There have only been a couple of innings by Indian batsmen where they have played 100-plus balls without a single boundary, with the last of those coming almost 35 years ago. Dhoni almost made this the third such instance.

ODI Innings by Indian batsman without a boundary (min. 100 balls)

Player

Runs

BF

SR

Opposition

Ground

Date

AD Gaekwad

78*

115

67.82

v Pakistan

Sahiwal

Nov1978

M Amarnath

80

139

57.55

v West Indies

The Oval

Jun 1983


 

Q&A

I noticed that Walter Hammond of England/Gloucestershire took 10 catches in a first-class match, playing for Gloucestershire against Surrey in Cheltenham in 1928. Is this a world record in first class cricket (excluding ’keepers)?

— B. K. Harinath, Mysore, Karnataka

The 10 catches taken by Walter Hammond, playing for Gloucestershire against Surrey in 1928 is, in fact, a first-class record for the most catches in a match. Second on this list is Rikki Clarke who took nine catches in a first-class match, playing for Warwickshire against Lancashire, at Liverpool, in 2011. Clarke took seven of those catches in the second innings of that match, which is a (joint) record for the most catches in a single first-class innings. Hammond took four catches in the first innings and six in the second innings. Interestingly, Hammond also scored a century in each innings of that match.

In a recent T20I between England and South Africa, three English players had the same first name — Liam (Dawson, Livingstone and Plunkett). When was the last time that three or more players with the same first name or second name played in the same match for any team (any format)?

— Ariz Bokdawalla, Ahmedabad, Gujarat

That’s an interesting question, though I’m not sure the answer can be conclusively determined based on centrally available data. However, the same-named trio who have played (international cricket) most often together in the recent past are probably Australia’s Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc. They played 14 Tests and 20 ODIs together, with the last of those being a Test against New Zealand in Perth in 2015. Interestingly, in 2001, there was a Sunday League match between Yorkshire LPS and Amarmilan, where all 22 players had the same second name — Patel.

Ajinkya Rahane has made a 50-plus score in each of the first four ODIs in the ongoing series between India and West Indies, in West Indies. Has any other Indian made four or more 50-plus scores in a bilateral ODI series away from home?

— Suvojit Halder, Kolkata, West Bengal

While there have been 22 instances of a batsman scoring four or more 50-plus scores in a bilateral series away from home, this has only been achieved twice previously by an Indian. Before Ajinkya Rahane, this feat had been achieved by Sachin Tendulkar who scored four fifties in a seven-match ODI series against England in 2007, and by Virat Kohli, who scored two fifties and two hundreds in a five-match ODI series against Australia in 2016.

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