MS Dhoni is the only senior player in India’s T20 squad for the Zimbabwe series. Understandably, the BCCI took this step to give some talented youngsters international exposure under Dhoni, someone they have seen a lot, courtesy of the IPL.
Dhoni, who is one of the best limited-overs captains of this generation, once again proved he is a good captain but a fantastic leader first. When asked why he did not promote himself to No. 4 position against Zimbabwe in the first Twenty20 International (T20I), he said that he is on his tour to guide the younger players in his side. He went on to say that if it was about him he would surely promote himself up the order but he wants the likes of Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu and others to make full use of this opportunity and same time he said he wants to understand his young teammates and their game.
Taking out positives from the game, Dhoni said that it is a learning curve for the youngsters. “They have to take it in a serious manner because whenever they will represent the country, whenever they get a chance to be part of the proper Indian team for a consistent period of time, they will feel the pressure. That will be the time when a game like this or a tour like this will really help them ease out that pressure” said Dhoni.
After an embarrassing One-Day International (ODI) series which the hosts lost 0-3, they came back hard in the very first match of the T20I series. As the fresh faces in the Indian side, who have vast experience in the shortest format due to the Indian Premier League, threw away their good starts, the match went down to the wire with Dhoni on strike and India needing four runs off the last ball. However a confident Zimbabwe ensured Dhoni did not perform his last-ball heroics as they restricted him to a single on the last ball and Zimbabwe sealed the game in style by just two runs.
Indian skipper though disappointed that he couldn’t finish the game for his side, he did not shy away from praising Neville Madziva for his fantastic last over.