File photo of India skipper MS Dhoni. (AP)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be livid with India's effort in the first ODI against South Africa, but his 65 runs earned him another place in the history books as the most prolific India captain in ODIs.
India batsmen surrendered tamely to a 'short-pitched' welcome in South Africa, suffering a 141-run humiliation at Johannesburg on Thursday to go 0-1 down in a three-ODI series. But Dhoni showed his 'hip-hopping' batsmen the way to bat with a well-compiled half-century, though it was never enough after the top order failed to provide a platform that was mandatory for a chase as mammoth as 359.
Nevertheless, Dhoni's fighting knock took him to 5278 runs in his 152nd ODI, eclipsing former captain Mohammad Azharuddin's tally of 5239 in 174 matches. In comparison to Azhar's average of 39.39 as skipper, Dhoni is way ahead at 58.64 and is arguably modern-day cricket's best finisher.
Dhoni sustained a thumb injury while batting which required medical assistance; however, the skipper assured that he is "fine and ready for the next game". But Dhoni was not happy with the effort on Thursday, urging his boys to pull up their socks if they have to stay alive in the limited-overs leg of their curtailed tour.
This is the ninth time in recent matches that Indian bowlers have conceded in excess of 350 runs, but Dhoni seemed worried about how they bowled with the new ball. "More than the death bowling, our bowling with the new ball was not up to the mark. Shami bowled really well as he hit the right areas but rest of the bowlers didn't. I think we need some more pace," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.