MS Dhoni had a horrible outing in 2018 with only 275 runs in the 20 ODIs along with his worst-ever strike rate and average in a calendar year since his debut in 2007. However, that all changed in the series as Australia as the veteran scored three consecutive fifties to guide Virat Kohli & Co to a historic series win in Melbourne.
Dhoni scored an unbeaten 87 off 114 balls to anchor India to a seven-wicket victory in the third ODI here to clinch the series 2-1. India won their maiden bilateral ODI series triumph in Australia.
Australia had won the first match in Sydney last Saturday by 34 runs, before Dhoni and skipper Virat Kholi combined to give the visitors a final-over six-wicket victory in Adelaide on Tuesday.
A lot of people were of the opinion that Dhoni should retire in order to make space for Rishabh Pant but former India skipper Sourav Ganguly praised skipper Kohli for his continuous support for the veteran cricketer.
“Both players have played a lot of matches for India with Dhoni currently being the senior most member of the side. Most of all, what has been notified about the relationship is that Kohli has stood by his ex-captain’s side even when he has been under fire for the past year or so. He has time and again stressed that Dhoni is a big player and one of the strengths of his team. Very few captains back their players up to this extent. I admire Kohli for not abandoning Dhoni in the last 15-16 months. This is what makes a great team. No team can become great unless there is mutual respect and camaraderie between the big players,” Ganguly said on India TV.
Dhoni was handed the Man of the Series award for his brilliant performances in the series and it was his first award of that sort in almost eight years. The last time Dhoni won a Man of the Series award was back in 2011 during the home series against England.