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Old MS Dhoni is Back With a Vengeance: Border

Cricketnext Staff |January 20, 2019, 8:30 PM IST
Old MS Dhoni is Back With a Vengeance: Border

Former Australia captain Allan Border was all praise for MS Dhoni after the Ranchi-born veteran played a key role in India's historic One-Day International series win in Australia. With scores of 51, 55* and 87*, Dhoni took home the Man of the Series award.

“I thought the one-day series was quite close. Evenly balanced... most of the games. Old MS Dhoni is back with a vengeance. Isn’t he? He played very well in all the games, particularly the last couple where he got India over the line again,” Border told ANI.

After the Twenty20 International series ended in a draw, India registered a historic double by a similar margin 2-1 win in Tests and in ODIs.

Border said he didn't expect India and their pacers to come up with this kind of performance in the Test series.

“Congratulations to India on series victory. They have deserved those series victories. No doubt they have been the better side. We had our issues over the last 12 months with few of the better players not being available but still India played tremendously well,” he said.

“We expect them to do well in Twenty20 because of the IPL factor. They are a very good T20 side, they are the No.1 Test side in the world. So, it was not unexpected to see India play so well, particularly, what’s interesting is they won with fast bowling as against the traditional way for them winning through spinners. That was an interesting change the way things normally turn out between Australia and India.

"‘We beat you with our fast bowlers in Australia and you beat us with your spinners in India’. Real change there. Virat Kohli was really fantastic with his leadership and rest of the Indian team played so well. Hats off to Pujara. What a series he had in the Tests.”

Border believes if Kohli can keep himself fit, he can break Sachin Tendulkar's records.

"Virat Kohli is on path to break Sachin Tendulkar's record, isn't he? It was quite phenomenal what Sachin achieved throughout his career but Virat Kohli is heading there fast with the amount of hundreds he's making in all forms of the game. His average is over 50 in the three forms of the game. He's just a fantastic cricketer," he said.

"He keeps himself in good shape physically, he's a very strong character mentally and he has got a great technique and everything that goes with a being a champion batsman. If he stays fit and healthy, I can see him going past Sachin Tendulkar's records."

Border also admitted that it was a tough summer for Australia in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner.

"A tough summer for Australian team. With the World Cup coming, there will be obviously some changes. Steve Smith and David Warner and all the three fast bowlers will be back in contention. It will be a different look Australian side that goes to England. At this moment, India and probably England are the two favourite teams (to win the World Cup)," Border said.

"Smith is one of the best players in the world at the moment. If you took Virat Kohli out of the Indian team and they would struggle as well. Even though Pujara was the man of the series, Kohli played some very important innings throughout the series. If you took those runs out and his leadership around the group, it's a big hole to fill, isn't it? Same with Warner out of the side, if you took Pujara out of the Indian team... you never know how these things might work out but take nothing away from India. They played fantastically well and deserved to beat Australia in Australia for the first time. That's what sports is about...the best side deserves to win."

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