Sports / MS Dhoni eyes another T20I record as India eye maiden series win in New Zealand

India Today : Feb 06, 2019, 10:39 AM
India will be hoping to finish their long trip Down Under on a high when they take on New Zealand in a three-match T20I series, starting Wednesday at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. There are quite a few records up for grabs as the Asian giants take on toughest rivals, New Zealand in the shortest format of the game. While, India haven't had a lot of success against the Black Caps in the T20Is.

Focus will be on MS Dhoni as the veteran India wicketkeeper is gearing up to play his first T20I since July 2018. Dhoni last played in the shortest format of the game for India in England last year and was "rested" for the T20I series against the West Indies at home and Australia on the road.

Dhoni has the opportunity to surpass New Zealand star Brendon McCullum's record for most runs in India-New Zealand T20Is. While McCullum is on top of the chart with 261 runs from four matches, India captain Virat Kohli is at the second spot with 197 runs from five matches. With Kohli having been rested, Dhoni, who currently has 162 runs from 8 matches, has an opportunity to get past the former New Zealand skipper.

McCullum also holds the record for the most number of runs scored in a bilateral T20I series between India and New Zealand. He had scored 125 runs in New Zealand's 2-0 whitewash of India at home in 2008-09.

Dhoni had faced a lot of criticism after some ordinary performances at the international level in 2018. When he was omitted for the T20I assignments against the West Indies and Australia, speculations were rife that Dhoni's T20I career was all but over.

Dhoni will be keen on carrying his fine ODI form into the shortest format of the game as the former India skipper looks to make best use of match practice at the highest level ahead of the World Cup. Dhoni, who won the Man of the Series award after scoring three successive half-centuries in Australia, may continue to bat higher-up the order in the upcoming series.

Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma has a chance to surpass Virat Kohli in T20Is as he needs just two more wins to become the second most successful India captain in the shortest format of the game. MS Dhoni leads the list with 41 wins in 72 matches. India have never won a T20I match in New Zealand, let alone a series. Rohit can create history if he can marshall his troops well in the upcoming series.