Wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni slammed a well-calculated half-century while captain Virat Kohli smashed his 53rd ODI fifty to help India post 268/7 in 50 overs in their World Cup league stage fixture against the West Indies in Manchester on Thursday.
In the final over, Dhoni took 16 runs off Oshane Thomas by hitting two sixes – off the first and last ball – and a four off the fourth ball. However, he used a special trick to score all these runs.
Dhoni changed his bat before the final delivery of India’s innings, and out came Rishabh Pant with a lot of options for the former Indian captain.
Dhoni settled on one bat and then smashed Thomas for a huge six to end the innings with a bang.
This has become a trend with Dhoni in the ongoing World Cup and has been noticed by a number of fans as well.
Oh another Dhoni bat change. #WIvIND
— Ismail Mulla (@IsmailMulla) June 27, 2019
— Indro (@indraneel0) June 27, 2019
The official broadcaster, Star Sports India, did reveal the real reason behind having two different bats with separate sponsors, suggesting that there is a usual bat which Dhoni uses at the start of his innings, but then prefers using a bat that is lighter and has a wider handle.
This new bat is generally 20 grams or so lighter than the other one. Towards the end of his innings, he generally prefers to go back to a heavier bat. It is likely that this is exactly what MSD did against West Indies too.
“Dhoni asked for a lighter bat for the World Cup. We have shaved off 10 to 20 grams from his bat,” Somi Kohli, who is the owner of cricket kit company BAS, was quoted as saying to Star Sports.
Dhoni has been seen using BAS and Sunridges as the two bat sponsors in World Cup 2019, and it appears that his earlier sponsor Spartan was discarded recently.
According to Times of India, a number of cricketers have stopped using Spartan due to a default in payment that ran into crores, which would explain why the Spartan bat hasn’t been used in this World Cup by Dhoni.