MS Dhoni is a World Cup winning captain and also winner of all ICC tournaments. He is a brilliant wicketkeeper. He is one of the best finishers in ODI cricket. He is as quick as lightning when it comes to a stumping. Dhoni, along with his tactical acumen and cool captaincy, also knows how to read the mind of the batsmen accurately. He can also predict the future. All these factors were out in full display as India steamrolled New Zealand in the first ODI in Napier. Mohammed Shami had wrecked the New Zealand top order and Kuldeep Yadav had run through the lower order. With New Zealand on the verge of getting bowled out for a low total, it was time for Dhoni to show he could predict the future.
In the previous over bowled by Yuzvendra Chahal, Trent Boult was struggling to read the wrong-un and when Kuldeep came to bowl and with Boult on strike for the final ball, Dhoni correctly predicted the mindset of the batsmen and had a hilarious conversation with the bowler which was caught on stump mic. The conversation was, “Yeh aankh band karke rokega. Dusra waala daal sakta hai isko (He will defend with his eyes closed. You can bowl the wrong un)”. As per the script, Kuldeep bowled a wrong un and Boult edged to Rohit Sharma at slip as New Zealand were bowled out for 157. Kuldeep’s reaction summed up the disbelief in how Dhoni got it so correctly. Shikhar Dhawan’s 75* helped India win the match by eight wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
This is not the first time that Dhoni has predicted the outcome accurately. His cryptic messages in Hindi have often resulted in the bowler getting the wicket as per the plan. During the Mohali Test against Australia in 2013, India were going for the kill and Michael Clarke held the key on a pitch assisting the spinners. Ravindra Jadeja had gotten the better of Clarke in four out of the previous five innings and Dhoni correctly predicted Clarke’s mindset. “Pehli ball thoda tez daalna, ye pehle hi ball aage badhega (Bowl the first ball fast, he (Clarke) will step out of the crease,” Dhoni said. It proved to be correct as Clarke danced down the track first ball but was stumped for a first ball duck as Jadeja continued to work his magic.
During another Test match between India and Australia, Jadeja was bowling and Dhoni was heard on the stump mic saying, “Taarak Mehta daalta reh.” Taarak Mehta ka Ooltah Chashmah is one of the most popular comedy shows on Indian Television and the meaning of Ooltah Chashmah means upside-down glasses. Perhaps Dhoni was telling Jadeja to bowl the delivery that spins away as compared to the normal arm ball that comes back in.
Dhoni’s ability to predict what the batsmen could do, combined with his brilliance in taking the Decision Review System makes him a class act. When it comes to predicting futures, it may not be long before people ask Dhoni what must they do as he can predict the future brilliantly.