Pounding West Indies to the ground on Thursday, India eased seamlessly to the verge of the semi-finals – needing just a win from their remaining three games to fasten the seat belt in place this World Cup.
As the West Indies struggled to play their last faltering hand, it was the Indian bowling trinity that once again managed to nullify the spoils of yet another middling batting performance.
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli kept some momentum as he whizzed swift singles, and became the fastest to 20,000 international runs in the process, till he fell between 50 and 100 for the fourth time. Mohammad Shami shone brightest as he smashed the Indies order by snatching four and Bumrah was practically impossible to dodge, as always.
When the baton of batting fell to Dhoni, he was seen to be fluffed and leaden, his reflexes less than quick.
However that was made up for. Carlos Brathwaite was taken by Dhoni, diving one-handed to his right, on what was a below-par wicket-keeping day for him.
A delivery bowled from wider of the crease and Brathwaite had no option but to follow the ball with bat snicked through. And here Dhoni dives to his right and takes a one-handed stunning catch. Brathwaite goes for just 1 off 5 balls.
The West Indies just suffered a blow that cost them their dreams. The broadcasters went in an overdrive. The catch was played again and again on loop. Dhoni was back.
His late flourish was perhaps most crucial to him, as Dhoni has been facing staunch criticism for putting up a damp performance this World Cup, with former team-mates Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman questioning the logic of his slow pace, arguing that it hasn't helped India's cause in the death overs.
For Dhoni fans and Indian fans in general, it was an opportunity they grabbed to boast of a catch that was better than Pakistan skipper-wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed’s stunner against New Zealand on Wednesday.
Ahmed, who recently faced all kinds of abuse with some going as far as calling him a “fat pig”, put a lid on all mouths by diving for a stellar one-handed catch behind the stumps to get Taylor. The man who once yawned and sat back to let the game drift, was now aggressive, agile and continuously on his toes.
However, the House is divided on who nailed it. Polls are being posted on which catch was better than the other. Indian fans are hailing Dhoni’s catch as the best effort, while Pakistani fans are with their skipper’s stunner. Memes of course, have been the best and most effective way for fans to reach to their respective conclusions.
Sarfaraz's catch surprised everyone while Dhoni's catch didn't because it's a common thing for him. You decide.— The Sarcastic Jerk (@The_Sarcastic_J) June 27, 2019
Today I saw multiple tweets of stupid Pakistanis comparing Dhoni's highlight catch with Sarfaraz. I mean how can you compare a legend like Dhoni with a guy who sells choco pan masala on TV? Then when I saw comments, they all were bragging how Pak military shot down IAF plane.— Kshitij Gupta (@kshitijgupta20) June 27, 2019
Dhoni got up instantly after the catch, Sarfaraz was picked up by the guy in slip. Dhoni's fitness is far better. Anybody saying Sarfarazs was better would be paki or drunk— H K SINGH (@HKSINGH90115) June 27, 2019