Why Nehra bowled the last over

cricket blogs for Yahoo Cricket Columns

When was the last time MS Dhoni trusted a spinner to finish off a tight ODI or T20I? There's a simple, one-word answer to that: never.


Ever since he became India's captain in the 2007 World T20, Dhoni has always turned to a seamer to do the job. Most times, he has got it right.


From Joginder Sharma's over in the T20 final against Pakistan, to Irfan Pathan's cup-winning bowling in Brisbane, to all the times when Praveen Kumar and Ashish Nehra have been called to do the job, there are enough instances to show why Dhoni trusts his seamers.


The last two instances, however, have backfired.


Munaf Patel conceded a six to Ajmal Shahzad in the Bangalore ODI which ended in a tie. Similarly, Nehra conceded the six to Robin Peterson, showing their inability to produce yorkers when it matters.


The following lists show instances in ODIs and T20Is when India have gone into the final over with the mathematical possibility of all three results.


You could exclude the Ravindra Jadeja instance since it is improbable to defend one run in the final over.


As aside: Dhoni defended Harbhajan Singh's poor show against the associate teams saying he was a 'big match player'. So why wasn't he considered fit to bowl the all-important over?