It was a vintage Mahendra Singh Dhoni on display against Bangladesh in the second warm-up game as he scored a brilliant hundred and helped India register a morale-boosting 95-run win at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. Apart from KL Rahul’s brilliant knock, Dhoni big-hitting form was easily the biggest gain for Team India ahead of the opening World Cup fixture versus South Africa. Courtesy, Rahul and Dhoni’s centuries, India registered an emphatic win over Bangladesh in their second warm-up game. Along with Rahul (108 off 99 balls), Dhoni also scored a century (113 off 78 balls) and stitched a 164-run stand which powered India to 359 for 7 against a Bangladesh attack that went off the boil.
On Tuesday, Dhoni, who came into bat when India were in a spot with 102/4, smashed a 78-ball 113, which contained seven sixes and helped his team post a gigantic 359/7. It was only poetic justice that he brought up his 100 with a six in the 49th over of the innings as skipper Kohli cheered on from the dressing room with teammates for company.
The 37-year-old also shared a crucial 164-run partnership with K.L. Rahul (108) and made sure that the Men in Blue did not suffer from yet another embarrassing batting collapse like they did against New Zealand.
However, Dhoni’s century in Cardiff might prove to be the lucky charm which Virat Kohli needs to win the coveted World Cup trophy.
In 2011, Dhoni, who was captaining the side in the World Cup, had scored a century in the warm-up game against New Zealand. He had scored 108* off just 64 balls (11 fours, 3 sixes) and helped India post 360/5 on February 16 in Chennai. The Men in Blue had won that match by 117 runs and eventually raised the Cup defeating Sri Lanka in the finals at the Wankhede in Mumbai.
So, Kohli and all the Indian fans would be desperately hoping that Dhoni’s warm-up ton proves to be as auspicious it was for the team in 2011 and they lift the prestigious trophy at the iconic Lord’s Stadium in London on July 14.