MS Dhoni’s freakish powers need no introduction. His wicketkeeping skills and his ability to effect lightning-quick stumpings and run-outs with the back-flick are legendary stories in cricket. However, in the series-deciding clash in Hamilton against New Zealand, Dhoni increased his freak quotient to another level which resulted in a key wicket and get India back in the contest after New Zealand were inserted into bat and the likes of Tim Seifert and Colin Munro gave the hosts a fast start. Kuldeep Yadav came into the attack in the eighth over with New Zealand scoring at over 10 runs an over and immediately, he got a wicket thanks to some more brilliance from MS Dhoni.
In the fourth ball, Kuldeep got a delivery to break away outside off stump and Seifert lunged forward as he was beaten. As he came forward, his back foot came out of the crease slightly but Dhoni, behind the stumps, whipped the bails off in a flash. Seifert’s foot was on the line and the third umpire gave it out as India finally got the breakthrough. The reaction time that was shown on TV by Dhoni to effect the stumping was 0.099 seconds, less than 1/10th of a second.
Lighting speed ⚡⚡February 10, 2019
This is not the first time Dhoni’s freakish wicketkeeping abilities have come to the fore. In the fourth ODI against West Indies at the Brabourne stadium, Dhoni effected a stumping in 0.088 seconds as he got rid of Keemo Paul for 19 off Ravindra Jadeja. India won the match by 224 runs. In the 2016 World T20 clash in Bangalore against Bangladesh, he got Sabbir Rahman stumped in less than a second and he bettered his record which he achieved in Melbourne in 2016 when he had George Bailey stumped off Jadeja.
Dhoni entered a special 300-club in the Twenty20 format during the game in Hamilton. The former India skipper became the first Indian player to play 300 Twenty20 games. In his Twenty20 playing career, he has played for Jharkhand, Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League apart from T20Is for India. Rohit Sharma is the other Indian batsman who has played the most Twenty20 games with 298 games.
After this effort in Seddon Park, it is difficult to judge how big will be Dhoni’s freakish powers as a keeper.