Mahendra Singh Dhoni has had a stellar career in Cricket, both as a captain and as a batsman. One of the most explosive batsmen, Dhoni has always been known for his ability to finish games with swagger. By swagger, we mean, his strike rate.

All of Dhoni’s best knocks have come at a rate more than a run a ball. But recently, Dhoni has come under a lot of criticism for not being able to finish games like he used to. Some even said that he’s probably finished as a player.

But this IPL has shown that it’s not the case. And sources close to him know the reason.

It’s all about the bats that Dhoni uses now.  Known for using a heavy bat, the Chennai captain, has been using lighter weight bats in this edition of the IPL. Using lighter bats mean that Dhoni gets a better swing at the ball. Dhoni has been using a bat of 1185 gm and 1230 gm and also uses different bats at different times of the innings.  The sources close to him said:

“Being in the later stage of his career, timing is more important. By using a lighter bat, he is getting the extra time. The last shot he played to finish the game against Royal Challengers Bangalore (April 25 in Bangalore) best showed he’s got the swing back. You can see that with a lighter bat the swing is better, like a golfer.”

And secondly, the willow. Dhoni has understood that the number of grains do not matter. Dhoni wants a specific ping to his bat.

“He now prefers a good ping over the look of the bat. He has understood that knots and spots are also good; it’s not just about more number of grains.”

The good ping referred to is the sound and bounce that comes off the sweet spot. The bat might have more grains but if it doesn’t have the same ping the stroke gets affected.

Moreover, it feels like donning the yellow jersey has made him feel more at home. The 2-year absence certainly affected him and now he seems more determined than ever to prove his doubters wrong.

MS Dhoni sits 7th in the orange cap standings having scored 360 runs in 10 innings at an average of 90 and a strike rate of 166. Maybe the old Mahi is back.