3rd ODI: Can Dhoni avoid a whitewash?

Zee Media Bureau/Suyash Srivastava

Durban: India have had a horrendous stay so far in South Africa, and they are under tremendous pressure to prevent a whitewash against the Proteas in the third and final ODI to be played at Centurion on Wednesday.

Nothing has worked for India so far in the series. Their batsmen, who tasted tremendous success right throughout the year, are finding it difficult to spend a decent time at the crease against the likes of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Lonwabo Tsotsobe. Their bowlers too are leaking plenty of runs adding to the woes of the team.

While the Proteas openers have got their side to terrific starts in the first two ODIs by stitching 152 runs and 194 runs respectively for the first-wicket partnership, Indian openers are yet to find their momentum. The new ball is doing wonders for the hosts and India needs somebody like MS Dhoni to bat at number four.

MS Dhoni was the highest scorer for his team in the first ODI where he scored 65 runs before being bowled by Dale Steyn. The Indian skipper was hit on the thumb by a bouncer, yet he shielded the tailenders for as long as could, as the blow left him in severe pain. In the second ODI, Dhoni was confidently batting on 19 before rain interrupted play and he edged one to Quinton de Kock off Vernon Philander.

Despite scoring just 84 runs in the first two matches, Mahi needs to lead from the front and salvage some pride for his team in the final ODI. We all know what happened when Dhoni promoted himself in the batting order in the final of the ICC World Cup 2011. India were in trouble then, and India needs a similar performance from their captain cool, who is leading a clueless squad in South Africa.