IPL 2019: MS Dhoni is in top form and age is just a number, says Kiran More

first_imgAn MSD special is no longer as frequent an affair as it used to be in the early 2000s. But Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned back the clock once again on Sunday not just for his fans, but also for one man, who literally had to fight it out as chief national selector in 2004, to ensure that a young man from Ranchi got the nod to be part of the Indian squad for a tour of Bangladesh.Yes, skipper Sourav Ganguly too, had a role to play in the final approval, but More had hand-picked him when scouting for a bunch of talented cricketers, who were all considered the future of Indian cricket. So, when Dhoni sent the Royal Challengers Bangalore bowlers on a leather hunt at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium, More went back in time to 2006 when MSD would finish matches like he was taking a walk in the park.In a battle of nerves that went down to the wire, Dhoni failed as Chennai Super Kings lost by a run on Sunday, but this was after he tonked Umesh Yadav for 24 runs off the first five balls to nearly pull off an improbable target of 26 runs from 6 balls.Dhoni’s unbeaten 48-ball knock of 84 was made of stuff that harked back the former chief selector More to a nostalgic past.Speaking to IANS, More said that even as people have written him off in recent times, Dhoni is still a force to reckon with at 37.He went on to add that age was never a criteria, fitness of players is what counts when competing at the international level.advertisement”Oh! He was brilliant. It was an outstanding innings and only goes to show age is never a criteria. Dhoni is in top form and age is just a number. Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid all played till late in their career and with distinction,” he said.It was a vintage Dhoni knock which was studded with five fours and seven sixes. CSK needed 70 runs in the last five overs and it was almost a lost cause when Dhoni decided it was time to unleash the brute force that saw him dominate world cricket as the ultimate finisher over the last decade.”The innings took me back to 2006 and maybe, around that time when a young Dhoni took the scene by storm,” More said.MS Dhoni will be a vital cog in India’s World Cup team: MoreDhoni has been in good form this IPL, amassing 314 runs in seven innings at an average of 104.66. But the 2007 inaugural World T20 and 2011 50-over World Cup winning captain saved the best for Kohli and his charges, sending social media into a tizzy.Even though CSK lost the game, Dhoni once again showed that he is far far away from his swansong and More agreed that a lot will depend on the former skipper when India look to win the tournament in England and Wales.”He will definitely be a vital cog for the Indian team at the World Cup,” he said.Dhoni, on Sunday, also become the first Indian batsman to hit 200 sixes in the IPL. Dhoni took his overall IPL tally of maximums to 203. In the ongoing edition, he has so far clubbed 17 sixes. The CSK, despite the defeat, remained at the top of the points table with 14 points.Also Read | Will never question MS Dhoni’s final-over calculations: CSK coach Stephen FlemingAlso Read | Never expected MS Dhoni to miss that last ball: Parthiv PatelAlso Read | MS Dhoni magic leaves cricket fraternity in awe: Cricket needs Dhoni to write its scriptsAlso See:last_img read more

Christian Eriksen grabs the points for Spurs as Brighton wilt at the last

first_img 22 Montoya 7 Son 7 Kayal Zac Efron brought a touch of Hollywood glamour – the actor, who was picked out by the TV cameras, changed into a Spurs shirt for the second half – yet there was frustration around him, particularly at the delaying tactics of the Brighton goalkeeper, Mat Ryan.Duffy headed at Hugo Lloris from a tight angle on 46 minutes but the pattern was entrenched: Spurs pushing, Brighton resisting. There were lengthy periods in the second half when Lloris was the only player outside of Brighton’s defensive third.The margins were agonisingly fine. Toby Alderweireld saw a shot hit the inside of the post and roll across goal but Spurs could not force the ball home and they had other chances. Rose’s dipping long-range shot was palmed up in the air and away by Ryan, while Alli, Son Heung-min and Trippier all went close.Not for the first time, Spurs could be grateful to Eriksen. He has been tipped to depart in the summer when he enters the final year on his contract but losing him does not bear thinking about.“It is a very special situation,” Pochettino said. “The timing for him or for the club to be agreeing something is maybe different to another player. I hope and I wish Christian can be with us in the future. Christian and us – we are so open to talk and we will see what happens. It is so close, the end of the season, and [there is] a lot of time to talk after.” Quick guide Follow Guardian sport on social media Corners 16 Jahanbakhsh Share via Email 6 3 7 12 Substitutes Share on Messenger 9 Janssen (s 90′) Brighton Photograph: Chesnot/Getty Images Europe Pinterest 20 Alli (s 73′) 12 Wanyama 3Tottenham Hotspur353070 5Arsenal342566 (s 64′) 6 Stephens 8 Bissouma 2 Trippier 4 Duffy Thank you for your feedback. Read more Twitter: follow us at @guardian_sportFacebook: like our football and sport pagesInstagram: our favourite photos, films and storiesYouTube: subscribe to our football and sport channels 5 Dunk Facebook 23 Eriksen Fouls Share on Twitter BRI22TOT78% 27 Button 1 Lloris 4Chelsea352167 4 Alderweireld 9 Locadia 1 Ryan (s 86′) There were 88 minutes on the clock when Christian Eriksen picked up possession in front of the Brighton penalty area, as he had done throughout the match, probing for the solution. It had eluded him yet this time he found it, arrowing a low drive through the defensive shackles and into the bottom corner.Like Eriksen, Mauricio Pochettino had struggled to see a way through. The Spurs manager even sent on Vincent Janssen as an 80th-minute substitute; the club’s forgotten striker was given a stirring ovation on his first action of a bizarre season. But thanks to Eriksen’s flash of inspiration, Spurs remain on course.It is a curiosity that they have lost as many league games this season – 11 – as they did in the previous two combined. Yet they have drawn only once and have frequently been rewarded for their indomitable spirit. Their run-in features two home games out of three – against West Ham and Everton – and their record at their stadium remains unblemished. It shows four wins from four matches in all competitions and no goals conceded. Their other fixture comes at Bournemouth. 3 Bong (s 80′) Share on Pinterest 2Man City346586 21 Foyth 22 78 33 Davies 27 Lucas Moura 15 Dier Brighton & Hove Albion Chris Hughton has been in the game for long enough to know how cruel it can be and this was the latest reminder. At full time, he marched over to the Brighton supporters, hands held high in applause; the picture of defiance. On the inside, he was devastated.Hughton must go back to the 2-1 win at Crystal Palace on 9 March for Brighton’s last league goals; they have gone 660 minutes without scoring. But this looked like being a match when what they did at the back would fire their survival hopes. Lewis Dunk, in particular, was immense. The centre-half sank to his knees when Eriksen’s goal went in and for him and his teammates it added up to a sixth defeat in seven matches.Brighton had started the day in 17th place, three points clear of Cardiff, who had played one game more, and under no illusions about the size of their task. Their home match against Newcastle on Saturday already felt enormous and how about it now? Brighton finish with a visit to Arsenal and home game against Manchester City and the fear for them is that Cardiff may get something from their games with Fulham (away) and Crystal Palace (home). Share on Facebook match reports (s 82′) 22 Gazzaniga 17 Murray Share on WhatsApp Christian Eriksen lets fly from outside the area. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters Show 24 Spurs Off target 5 Brighton 5 Spurs On target 1 Brighton Substitutes 13 Gross Amid all the excitement surrounding Tottenham’s Champions League semi-final against Ajax it has been possible to forget their basic target for the season remains a top four domestic finish. There was no room for a slip-up against Brighton, no scope for their focus to drop and, on a dramatic night, they got the result that they wanted. Just. Shane Long scores after 7.69sec in Southampton’s draw at Watford Possession Match stats Lineups 30 Bernardo 14 Balogun Spurs Twitter Brighton’s determination was ferocious. Hughton’s men flooded the space around the Spurs attackers while they put their bodies on the line time and again, none more so than Dunk, who made some colossal interventions.It was rough and ready at times – witness Jan Vertonghen’s elbow on Florin Andone in the 25th minute, which he levered into his opponent, rather than throwing it. The referee, Christopher Kavanagh, took no action.Andone himself diced with disaster. Harshly booked for a trip on Danny Rose, as Kavanagh tried to assert his authority, the Brighton striker stamped into a tackle on Kieran Trippier in the 36th minute, missing the ball and catching the Spurs full-back. It looked like more of a yellow card than the one he received but Kavanagh disagreed.Spurs lacked invention in the first half. Dele Alli took a marvellous touch on a high ball and prodded goalwards only for Shane Duffy to clear off the line, while Vertonghen saw Dunk block a shot at close quarters. It was otherwise heavy going. Brighton could point to a one-man break from Andone that was halted by a slide challenge from Rose. 5 Vertonghen Was this helpful? Goal attempts 20 March 6 Sanchez Topics Reuse this content 3 Rose BRI TOT Share on LinkedIn 18 Llorente PosTeamPGDPts 1Liverpool355988 Premier League Hide 52 Skipp 10 Andone Tottenham Hotspur 33 Burnlast_img read more