Chennai, 24 February – Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s (MSD) captaincy might have been under scrutiny, but over the past year his batting always remained nothing short of magnificient. Carrying an average of over 85 in One Day Internationals in the last calender year, Dhoni needed to silence his critics over his composure as an able Test batsman. At one time, the selectors had considered dropping him for Bengal stumper Wriddhiman Saha who had scored heavily in the Ranji season.
MSD put an end to that debate here on Sunday, and how. He walked in with batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar just departed after scoring an elegant 81, with an out-of-form Virat Kohli at the crease. The Chepauk pitch had few demons, although James Pattinson got the ball to reverse and Nathan Lyon had just begun to turn some sharp ones. Dhoni took a few balls to settle and within half an hour, he was off. The 45 minutes post lunch, the duo of captain and vice-captain plundered the Aussie bowling making it look more of a limited over games. Their partnership yielded 128 runs in quick time as India comfortably crossed the 300-run mark.
Virat Kohil fell for 107 runs but Dhoni continued his attack and reached a double century towards the end of the day’s play, Bhuvneshkwar Kumar proving an able partner to Dhoni. The duo added an unbeaten stand 109 runs. India closed the third day at 515 for 8, 135 runs ahead of the opposition.
With the 200, MSD joins a list of elite batsman who have managed to go past 200 runs in a day’s play of a test match.
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