Glenn Maxwell Backs MS Dhoni Says, 'It Was Difficult To Score For Any Batter'

| February 25 , 2019 , 21:14 IST

The legendary Indian wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again draw attention due to his slow strike-rate against Australia in the first T20 International on Sunday.

But Dhoni has found support from an unlikely person as Glenn Maxwell feels that on a low and slow track, that was all the former India captain could have done.

MSD managed 29 off 37 balls at a poor strike-rate of 78.38 in India's below-par 126/7 on a track where the ball was not coming onto the bat. To be fair to Dhoni, a clutch of wickets fell and he also had to stem the rot with Yuzvendra Chahal at the other end.     

Speaking to media in defence of Dhoni's knock, Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said it was a difficult wicket to bat on.

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It (farming the strike) was probably fair enough with the way the wicket was - being difficult to score for any batter, let alone a guy who is not known for his power-hitting in Chahal," Maxwell said.

In the final three overs, Dhoni refused singles on eight occasions with India scoring just 17 runs in that period. In his 37-ball knock, Dhoni had just one boundary - a six off the bowling of pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.

"MS is obviously a world-class finisher and even he was finding it hard to hit the middle of the bat. So, I think it was right of him to try and farm the strike. He hit a six in the last over and I think that's the sign - he hit one six and they only got seven of the over. Shows you how difficult it is. If you hold MS to one boundary in the last few overs, it's a pretty big effort," Maxwell added.

Barring a half-century from KL Rahul, no batsman could make a meaningful contribution which saw India being restricted to 126 for seven after being put into bat.

The Australian all-rounder also lauded his bowlers for keeping Dhoni under a tight leash. "If you are holding MS to one boundary in the last few overs, it's a pretty good effort and also a sign of the conditions as well."

Chasing a target of 127, Australia were cruising before Jasprit Bumrah's (3/16 in 4 overs) brilliant 19th over nearly won the game for India.

However, Pat Cummins came to Australia's rescue with a 3-ball 7-run cameo that got the visitors across the line on the final ball.

Australia won by three wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the series.