The Times of India have alleged in a report that Indian skipper MS Dhoni was awarded the Man-of-the-match in Sunday's ODI against Pakistan by the panel of television commentators in order to 'boost his morale'.
The MoM awardee is chosen by a jury of commentators. Sources said the commentators who voted for Dhoni claimed that the choice was unanimous. However, one former cricketer who voted in favour of Dhoni told TOI that Dhoni was given the award to boost his morale at a time when the time wasn't doing well.
The decision so surprised some commentators — who were not involved in the decision-making — that they questioned the rationale of giving the skipper a 'consolation prize' when others deserved it more.
Dhoni's selection as Man-of-the-Match surprised many cricket fans. The Indian captain had top-scored for his side with 36 runs but he had dropped a crucial catch of Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.
Other contenders for the prize included Ravindra Jadeja, who contributed with an all-round show - 27 while batting, the wicket of Umar Akmal and a tight spell while bowling and a sharp catch in the field. Pakistan's mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal posted career-best ODI bowling figures with five for 24 while India's new pace find Bhuvneshwar Kumar produced a lethal opening spell.
Dhoni's captaincy has been under intense speculation in recent times due to India's poor performance over the past 18 months. Several journalists, former cricketers and fans have been demanding that he be replaced.
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