New Delhi: Minutes after Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit that winning four against Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday to help Rising Pune Supergiant to their third win in six matches in the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Bollywood actor Sushant Singh Rajput posted a tweet asking where are the experts who had questioned the former India captain's Twenty20 credentials.
Those who have been following the recent crisis in MS Dhoni's career – downgrading from RPS captaincy to the slump in the form which resulted in some sections of cricket fans running #Dhonidropped campaign — would know that former India captain Sourav Ganguly was one of the 'experts' who had doubted the Ranchi man's utility in the shortest format of the game.
And it's evident that Rajput, through his tweet, took a dig at Ganguly for his comment on Dhoni. "Dhoni is not a .... " what did you say ?? Wonder where are the Experts now," the actor wrote. Rajput interestingly posted the tweet as a continuation of his previous tweet, supporting Dhoni.
"Dhoni is not a .... " what did you say ?? Wonder where are the Experts now. Proud of you mahi!! https://t.co/KPEpxeGhJr
— SHIV Sushant Rajput (@itsSSR) April 22, 2017
"The fact that Dhoni is so harshly scrutinised shows his class &the standard he has set. It's a matter of time ¬ hope his bat will answer," he tweeted when #Dhonidropped campaign was gaining traction.
The fact that Dhoni is so harshly scrutinised shows his class &the standard he has set.
It's a matter of time ¬ hope his bat will answer.
— SHIV Sushant Rajput (@itsSSR) April 15, 2017
For the uninitiated, Rajput played the role of reel-life Dhoni in biopic based on the cricketer's life. The movie 'MS Dhoni: The Untold Story' did well, and Rajput himself earned praise for his energetic portrayal of arguably India's most successful captain.
Ganguly, who witnessed the growth of Dhoni as India's future captain, had earlier said that the wicketkeeper-batsman is a "champion ODI player", but added that he is "not too sure if Dhoni is a good T20 player."
"In 10 years, he has got one fifty and that's not the best record," the former India captain added. In fact, Dhoni was without a T20I fifty until early this year. He scored his maiden half-century, 56 off 36 balls against the visiting England team at Bengaluru.
But he has had 16 half-centuries in the IPL, scoring one each in the last three seasons, and the 17th fifty coming yesterday at Pune.
As expected, the comment enraged Dhoni fans. And Rajput was one of them. With Dhoni finally coming good with the bat, his fans had a field day.
Dhoni produced a marvellous innings under pressure to help struggling RPS to a last-ball thriller against defending champions from Hyderabad.
He hit the winning runs – a four – to remind his fans that they can still bet on him. And at the same time, the Ranchi man also silenced his critics.
Chasing 177, Dhoni scored an unbeaten 61 off just 34 balls with the help of five boundaries and three sixes, to steer the Pune to a thrilling victory in the last ball, reaching 179 for four in 20 overs.