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Asia Cup: Bruised India face resurgent Sri Lanka

News4u-Sports Desk-MIRPUR: Desperate to restore their battered reputation after the recent debacle in Australia, title holders India would be hoping for a positive start to their campaign in the Asia Cup when they take on Sri Lanka on Tuesday.

The Asia Cup will provide India a chance to make amends for their dismal performance in the triseries in Australia where they won just three out of eight matches.

After having flopped in two consecutive overseas tours in England and then Australia, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni knows the importance of a good start that will hold them in good stead in the regional tournament.

“Over the years the format has changed in the sense now there are four good sides. It is a very short series, and it is very important to start with a positive note because it’s not very often that you play in a tournament where all the Asian countries are playing together,” Dhoni said.

India are coming into the tournament with just a few changes in the squad that played in Australia with hard-hitting batsman Yusuf Pathan and pacer Ashok Dinda drafted into side, while Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Umesh Yadav have been ‘rested’ due to injuries.

The Asia Cup is also an ideal platform for Sachin Tendulkar to record his much-awaited 100th international ton after having missed the feat in the Test series against Australia and the subsequent triseries.

The tournament will also provide another opportunity to young players like Rohit Sharma,Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja to prove their worth after producing a below-par performance in tough Australian conditions.

Young Virat Kohli, on the other hand, will be oozing with confidence following his impressive showing in Australia, which earned him the post of vice-captain in Sehwag’s absence.

But looking at India’s inconsistent showing in Australia, Dhoni has a lot to ponder ahead of his side’s tournament opener against Sri Lanka at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.

“It’s not that we have done really badly. Of course, we had a patch where we have not done consistently well. Especially when it comes to the ODI format, I think we have done quite well. So we are hoping that we will stick to it and be consistent throughout the tournament,” Dhoni said.

The series will also see a keen contest between Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan for the lone all-rounder’s spot in the playing eleven.

“Unfortunately he’s (Virender Sehwag) not there. We will miss him, he is one of the most dangerous openers. But this means we have one space in the playing eleven right now. It may go to somebody like Yusuf Pathan so that we can balance the flair and the firepower and the stability that’s needed.

“I think it’s an opportunity for someone like a Yusuf or a Ravindra Jadeja to do well and grab that number six position,” Dhoni said.

On the bowling front, India boasts of a relatively young pace attack in R Vinay Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Praveen Kumar and Irfan Pathan, while the spin department will be led by Ravichandran Ashwin and will have leg-spinner Rahul Sharma for company.

On paper there is nothing much to differentiate between the two sides, but going by present form Sri Lanka undoubtedly hold an edge over the Indians.

Sri Lanka have been a resurgent side this year. They narrowly lost the five-match series in South Africa 2-3 early this year and reached the finals of the just-concluded triseries in Australia, only to lose it but not before giving a tough fight to the home team.

But the Sri Lankans have come here as a tired side after the long triseries in Australia, where they played five matches in the last 10 days.

“The intensity (of the CB series) was really high because we were performing at a very high level. Even though we lost the finals I thought the commitment of the players and the energy level was very good,” Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said.

“International cricket is such now, you need to adapt very quickly mentally and physically to the schedules that we have,” he said.

If the islanders wish to win their fifth Asia Cup title, they will have to rejuvenate themselves in no time as one bad day in office can hurt their cause.

Teams (from):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Sachin Tendulkar, Manoj Tiwary, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Ravindra Jadeja, Praveen Kumar, Irfan Pathan, Yusuf Pathan, Rahul Sharma, R Vinay Kumar.

Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (Capt.), Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Nuwan Kulasekara, Suranga Lakmal, Farveez Maharoof, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Seekkuge Prasanna, Kumar Sangakkara, Sachithra Senanayake, Upul Tharanga, Lahiru Thirimanne.PTI

SACHIN DHONI KOHLI.

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Dhoni banned for one ODI after India’s 2nd over-rate offence

News4u-News Desk- Indian captain MS Dhoni has been banned for one ODI after his side was fined for a second minor over-rate offence within a year during the cricket tri-series match against Australia in Brisbaneon Sunday.

The Indian side was ruled to be two overs short of their target at the end of the match against Australia on Sunday when time allowances were taken into consideration.

Andy Pycroft of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Match Referees imposed a 40 percent fine on Dhoni while each of his players received 20-percent fines.

Dhoni has been suspended from India’s tri-series game on Tuesday against Sri Lanka in Brisbane as this was India’s second minor over-rate offence after they were fined for a slow over-rate in the 2011 Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka in Mumbai on 2nd April.

The charge was laid by on-field umpires Steve Davis and Billy Bowden, both from the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires, as well as third umpire Bruce Oxenford and fourth umpire Paul Reiffel.

Dhoni pleaded guilty to the charge and the subsequent penalties were accepted both by Dhoni and India. As such there was no need for a formal hearing.

The Indian captain also acknowledged that he had been kept informed of the position regarding over-rates on a regular basis throughout the match and therefore accepted the decision.

This is Dhoni’s second suspension in the ongoing Australian tour as he was banned for one match in the Test series afterIndia’s slow over rate during the third match in Perth.

Sunday’s offence is contrary to Article 2.5.1 of the Code which relates to over-rate offences and reads: “where the actual over rate in any Test Match or any other International Match of at least four days in duration is up to (and including) five overs short of the Minimum Over Rate, or, in any One Day International Match, Twenty20 International Match or any other International Match of fifty (50) or twenty (20) overs per side up to (and including) two overs short of the Minimum Over Rate, such an offence shall be considered a ‘Minor Over Rate Offence’.”

At its meeting in June 2011 in Hong Kong, the ICC Executive Board had discussed the issue of slow over-rates and accepted the recommendation of the ICC Cricket Committee that a captain of an international side should be suspended for one match if his side is guilty of two minor over-rate offences in the same format over a 12-month period.



 

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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Dhoni, the finisher, draws praise from rivals

News4u - Sports Desk : BRISBANE: He may be under pressure as a captain but as a finisher lower down the batting order, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is considered one of the best in ODI cricket even by his rivals.

There is compelling evidence by way of figures and comparison that Dhoni is a class finisher. Add to this the mix 189 catches, 63 stumpings, countless run-outs and captaincy to boot.

Sri Lankan skipper Mahela Jayawardene was left shaking his head in disbelief on Tuesday when Dhoni snatched a tie.

“One inch here and there and a guy like Dhoni could take you apart. He is a great finisher, he is cool and calm and backs himself. He is a strong character.”

Figures present the strongest claim in its support. Dhoni has been unbeaten in 30 of India’s 49 successful chases and scored runs at an average of 104.89 in them. The best in the business - Michael Bevan, Lance Klusener, Abdul Razzaq and Jonty Rhodes - are nowhere close.

In his 200 matches, Dhoni has been unbeaten 50 times or in every fourth innings of his career. With 44 fifties and seven century, Dhoni is scoring at least a half century in every four innings.

He averages 51.41 for his 6632 runs with a strike rate of 88.32. Bevan betters him in average - 53.58 - but his strike rate of 74.16 lets him down. Yuvraj Singh has a similar strike rate - 87.60 - but then his average of 37.62 is nowhere near.

Australian captain Michael Clarke was left ruing his team’s fate after Dhoni chased down the 13 runs required in the final over on Sunday.

“Dhoni is a class player. His statistics show it. He is a very good striker of the ball and you saw that in the last over with that six he hit off McKay,” said Clarke.

Dhoni, however, is awestruck by the vitality of Yuvraj as a finisher.

“The only one consistent lower down the order was Yuvraj Singh at number six. It’s a very difficult position to bat,” Dhoni has said.

Indeed, no job in one-day cricket is as difficult as that of a finisher. The player ought to be able to hit big yet be capable of manoeuvring the field with deft placements. He needs to be an excellent judge of a run and must have the speed to convert a single into a brace.

Most of the time, the run-rate is climbing, the best bowlers are back in operation and the field is strategically placed.

There is frustration when the lower-half isn’t able to rotate the strike. Risk is ever present.

Dhoni, over the years, has worked out a method. First and foremost, he’s cool at all times. He isn’t premeditated. He directed his partner Ravi Ashwin to square up to the threat of a yorker from Lasith Malinga on Tuesday.

“Malinga has a yorker and a very good slower one which he disguises very well. It’s difficult for the lower order to pick him up consistently. All I said (to Ashwin) was to wait for the ball but don’t plan for a yorker. If you see it, then react to it.”

“Basically you keep the mind blank. For example, Malinga can bowl yorkers at will. It’s important to be blank and back yourself to hit those for runs. You see the ball and look to hit it,” Dhoni said.

Barely 10 months old in international cricket, Dhoni once smashed 183 off 145 balls with 15 fours and 10 sixes against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005.

His early flamboyance has given way to nudges and pushes and big hits are rare - he has only hit two sixes in the present series - yet his strike-rate doesn’t suffer by way of comparison.

Men like Adam Gilchrist (96.95), Viv Richards (90.20) and Kapil Dev (95.07) have better strike-rates than Dhoni. A few like Sachin Tendulkar (18,176), Sanath Jayasuriya (13,430) and Ricky Ponting (13,695) would always remain out of his reach by way of runs.

But it’s difficult to think if these legends could have donned as many hats as Dhoni does - a batsman, keeper, captain and a finisher - and done as well over a period of time. He also hardly misses a game. PTI

 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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I believe in finishing game be it 47th, 48th or 50th: Dhoni

News4u-News Desk- ADELAIDE: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it clear that his take on how and when to finish a game is different from Gautam Gambhir but each one is entitled to have their own opinion.

Gambhir after India’s last over victory against Australia had said that he prefers not to stretch it till the end and finish atleast a couple of overs earlier.

Quizzed on Gambhir’s viewpoint, Dhoni replied, “I am not in a hurry to finish the game in the 47th or 48th over. I am happy, if I can do it in the 50th over. I don’t have the luxury of batsmen behind me. I like to finish the job.”

The skipper made it clear that it’s about “different individuals.”

“It’s different with individuals. Some like to finish early, take risk and finish it off. It’s difficult to play big shots (on big grounds). When you go for it, it really has to pay off. Otherwise, it looks as if this shot wasn’t needed at that stage,” he explained.

On a lighter note, he said that somebody like Virender Sehwag wouldn’t mind finishing off the match in the 35th over.

“If you ask Viru paaji (Virender Sehwag), he would look to finish it off in 35 overs! He believes the ball is there to be hit. So it’s a difference in perspective. There is nothing wrong between us.”

On the issue of Lasith Malinga bowling a delivery less in the 30th over, Dhoni said, “It’s done and dusted. We have seen in the past the third umpire interferes (if the over is short). It has happened to us. Three individuals, the two umpires and the third umpire, and the fourth umpire and the match referee the scorer (it escaped all).

“But humans do make mistakes. We don’t want a controversy. Hopefully it would not happen to us again or to any other side.”

Dhoni now has established credentials as a top-class finisher in ODIs.

“Basically, it’s (the mind) blank. For example, it’s difficult to pick Lasith Malinga. He can bowl yorkers at will. It’s important to be blank. What you do is to back yourself to hit those four runs. You see the ball and look to hit it. The more you play in these circumstances, the better you get.”

Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin added crucial 28 runs and the skipper said that he had advised the offie not to play thinking about the yorker.

“Malinga has yorker and a very good slower one which he disguises very well. It’s difficult for the lower order to pick him up consistently. All I said (to Ashwin) was to wait for the ball, but don’t plan for a yorker. If you see it, react to it. But he was deceived by a slower delivery and got out.”

Dhoni’s burden with the lower-order has only increased because Suresh Raina hasn’t fired to the extent his talent demands.

“The only one consistent lower down the order was Yuvraj Singh at number six. It’s a very difficult position to bat. Raina has done decently well. That’s a position you have to chip in with 25-ball 30-40 runs. You need to get the game closer (towards the target). If one of the top order batsmen is around, you look to win the game.”

Dhoni had words of praise for Gambhir and also a few words of consolation for getting him run out.

“Once he gets going, he really comes up with big scores. He looks to bat 35-40 overs. He plays spinners very well and runs between the wickets well. It was a wrong call (to get him run-out). It was difficult for him to come back. It really changed the game for us. He was using the pace of the bowlers and we were running really well.”PTI

DHONI

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I am the main culprit, says MS Dhoni

News4u-Sports Desk-PERTH: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhonitook the blame on himself for a disastrous performance of his team against Australia, saying that he was the main culprit as the captain.

“I need to blame myself as I am the leader of this side. Of course, I am the main culprit, so of course I blame myself,” Dhoni said at the post-match press conference on Sunday.

Dhoni also defended the seniors’ batsmen who have come under sharp criticism for consistently failing in Australia as well as preceding series in England.

Asked whether the seniors should be phased out, Dhoni said that should come up only after the end of the series.

“We will have to see what is the thought of the seniors. It has to be a very careful decision that needs to be taken. They have the experience and they can share it with the youngsters,” he said.

The 30-year-old skipper said the main reason behind India’s flop-show has been there failure to score enough runs consistently.

“I can only talk about the game so far and if you see the games that we had played in England, the Test matches here, it is only the one reason — we have not put enough runs on the board, something that we need to be careful about because we want to give the bowlers that amount of runs to get the opposition out,” he said.

“One or two bad innings, it can happen in Test cricket, but overall, the seven Test matches, this is a bit too long for the batting line up to flop,” Dhoni added.

Dhoni said it was one of the worst phase for Indian cricket and blamed the batsmen for failing them.

“The amount of cricket that I have seen, this is definitely one of the worst phase where we have not done consistently well. We have not put runs on the board. Bowling, I think because of injuries, we suffered a set back, over here, we have not been as consistent,” he said.

“Overall, I don’t think bowling is a real worry, we have not been consistently batting well, our line-up flopping consistently.”PTI

Dhoni appologises

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India eye maiden Test series win in Australia

News4u -  Sports Desk- :BANGALORE: India have fought some epic battles with Australia but now embark on a Test tour with what many believe is their best chance of humbling the wearers of the baggy green caps in their own backyard for the first time.

The average Indian fan will be viewing the series with a sense of apprehension, wondering if the team are good enough to conquer the final frontier.

They will also hope the four-Test series can represent a coming-of-age for the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin and other stars of the next generation.

This is most likely the last stand Down Under for the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman,Rahul Dravid and Zaheer Khan, who will want to bow out by guiding India to its first ever Test series win in Australia.

After the drubbing at the hands of England earlier this year, a series victory would be redemption of sorts and go some way to proving India are not just a force to be reckoned with in the shorter formats of the game.

Roughly half of the Indian squad was not part of the England series and it will also be the first tour of Australia for them, so the rookies can expect a stern Test.

And while Australia’s slump in form presents a golden opportunity, India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains cautious.

“Some people think that the last Australian team was much better than the current Australian side. To judge them is quite a difficult task,” Dhoni told reporters in Chennai on the eve of departure for Australia.

“(Because they are) missing big names in the present setup, some people think that this is our best chance. But we did well that time also (in 2007) and quite a few things happened in the series.”

A series win, or even a tightly contested one, would also help the Indian young guns ensure there is life beyond one-day internationals and the instant gratification found in Twenty20s.

To many Indian fans, drawing the 2003-04 series in Australia felt as special as beating them back home but the young faces in Indian cricket are not content with, or used to, coming off second best.

BATTING FORCE

Virender Sehwag, fresh from his recording the highest individual score in a one-day match, will look to combine with Gautam Gambhir at the top of the order and provide the launchpad for a formidable batting line-up that follows.

Tendulkar, of course, continues the search for the elusive century of centuries. Could it be karma that the hunt leads him to Aussie shores?

As Dravid looks to continue a good run of form that started against the West Indies earlier this year, Laxman will hope to continue what is now, almost, his birthright, a good run of form against the Aussies.

With the top five picking themselves and Dhoni taking the seventh spot, the toss up will be between youngsters Kohli and Rohit Sharma for the number six spot, which has been up for grabs since Sourav Ganguly’s retirement.

No one among Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and a host of other youngsters have managed to cement the spot in the much-vaunted Indian batting line-up.

Dhoni will bank on the experience and guile of pace bowling spearhead Zaheer to take advantage of Australia’s new found tendency for batting collapses and hope that Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Abhimanyu Mithun and Vinay Kumar give a good account of themselves.

The onus of tying up the Aussie top order will fall mainly on the capable shoulders of Ashwin, whose off-spin will lead the slow bowling attack in the absence of Harbhajan Singh and the retired Anil Kumble.

“Ashwin has just made his debut in the series against West Indies and nobody knew what Ashwin can do. But he ended up winning the man-of-the-series in the Tests,” Dhoni said.

“Even when Shane Warne or Glenn McGrath made their debut they started from zero wickets.”

Like Australia did recently, India will soon approach a period of transition as they lose world class performers to the inevitability of retirement.

Whether they claim the four-match series or not, India is hoping the tour will sow the seeds of building a team that can eventually win a Test world title just as the one-day side did back in April.Reuters

Dhoni-Sachin

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It’s our best chance in Australia: Dhoni

News4u-Sports Desk-

Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni reckons that the upcoming four-Test series is his team’s “best chance” of upstaging Australia in their own backyard but will not take them lightly despite their recent slump.

 

India and Australia will square off from December 26 in a highly-anticipated series in which the visitors seem to have a good chance given the struggle through transition that Michael Clarke’s men are enduring.

On a day the Indian players head Down Under, Australia were upstaged in a Test at home by New Zealand for the first time in 26 years.

“Even last time we had a very good chance and we did perform well. It is not like that the opposition is not doing well (but) it will be the best chance for us,” Dhoni told reporters in a pre-departure press conference in Chennai.

“We have to play to the kind of talent that we have got and not worry about such things. We need to work on our strengths and weaknesses. We are more concerned about where we need to work on and not worry about what kind of opposition we are playing,” the skipper stated.

India’s two first- choice pacers-Praveen Kumar and Varun Aaron were ousted even before the tour started but Dhoni insisted that led by the experienced Zaheer Khan, bowling will click Down Under.

“Our bowlers are talented. Of course, when you do not have your main bowlers you need a bit of time. Once the youngsters play more and more games, that is how they get experienced at the top level.

“I think talent wise we are there. We have a good exposure for the youngsters who are part of the side now touring Australia,” he said.

Dhoni took a break from cricket by opting out of the just-concluded ODI series against the West Indies at home and he said he is back a rejuvenated man.

“I needed the break and I am happy that I got it. The team also did really well. I am looking forward to the Australian tour,” he said.

“We had enough time for some preparation also before the start of the first test match that we play. Looking good as of now. Hopefully we do not have too many injuries before the start of the Test series,” he added.

Asked which aspect of the game the Indian team needs to improve on, Dhoni said, “You want to improve in all departments always. You have seen cricketers who have been part of international cricket for more than 10 years still believe in improving and they keep improving. It is a constant process and everyone is part of it.”

But he did hope that Indian fielders, certainly not the best in circuit by their own admission, would latch on to catches that come their way in Australia.

“We would like to improve in all the three departments. Catching will be very crucial. Last series that we played in India we did not have so many catching fielders. We need to have a bit more catching fielders. They say catches will win matches”.

“It is true so that will be one of the areas where we have to work on. On big grounds, running between wickets and trying to keep the batsman on strike are also necessary. All these small things help you put pressure on the opposition,” he explained.

Dhoni and Sehwag

Dhoni and Sehwag

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Dhoni goes past Kirmani as Indian ‘keeper with most dismissals

News4u-Sports Desk   -   India  captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni  on Sunday completed another milestone as he pipped Syed Kirmani to become the Indian wicket keeper with highest number of dismissals in his kitty. 

 

 

Dhoni stumped Kraigg Brathwaite off Pragyan Ojha’s  bowling to bag his 199th victim in his 62nd Test match — one more than Kirmani who represented India in 88 Tests. 

Among Dhoni’s 199 victims, 173 are caught behind and 26 are stumpings. 

Apart from Dhoni and Kirmani, only Kiran More and Nayan Mongia are the other two wicketkeepers who have  recorded more than 100 dismissals. More had 130 dismissals from 49 Tests while Mongia had 107 victims from 44 Tests.PTI

DHONI

DHONI

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It’s ‘Mission Save Dhoni’ for Team India pacers

News4u - Sports Desk : Team India have a “Save Dhoni” campaign ahead of them if they want to pre-empt a ban on their skipper in the Lord’s Test against England, beginning July 21.

Dhoni must not have his team turn up slow on the over-rate in the third Test against the West Indies in Roseau (Dominica) from Wednesday, for it would incur an immediate ban of one Test match on him.

The Indian team follow their Caribbean odyssey with a star-billed series in England this summer and if Dhoni’s team is not alert, it could make him sit out in the Lord’s Test.

Dhoni has already been twice guilty of breaching ICC Code of Conduct, rule 2.5, which states that a captain who is pulled up for three offences of slow over-rates in a 12-month period, would suffer an automatic ban in the next match of the same format.

Dhoni and his men were deemed to have bowled three overs short during the recently-concluded Barbados Test, which was the second such offence in 2011, following a similar breach of rules in the Cape Town Test against South Africa earlier this year.

The onus is now on India’s three premier bowlers to avert such a fate befalling their skipper.
Ishant Sharma is fantastic form with a 10-wicket haul in the drawn Barbados Test but he takes unusually long time to finish up his overs.

“Ishant takes a long time to return to his bowling crease and it sometimes stretches his over to seven minutes,” said an insider from the Barbados Test.

The case with Praveen Kumar is a little different.

Praveen does return to his bowling mark briskly but he has the habit of standing and looking at the batsman, after a delivery has passed the bat and gone to the wicketkeeper.

Even Harbhajan Singh, though a spinner, is not much of a help in making up for slow overs.

“If he bowls 20 overs in a day, you would still find the slow over-rate hasn’t improved by much.”
To be fair to Harbhajan, he got to bowl only 14 and 19 overs from the two innings in the Barbados Test.

In contrast, Ishant and Praveen bowled the bulk of the overs — 42 for the former, 39 for the latter — which makes it 81 overs bowled from the 145 overs in two West Indies’ innings.

“Bowlers like Glenn McGrath, if you remember, used to wear a watch on their wrist while bowling,” said the source.

“To be fair, it is not easy for a genuine fast bowler to finish his overs in time. Teams which have had Brett Lee and Shoaib Akhtar usually struggle to keep up with the over-rates.”

In the Barbados Test, Dhoni knew all along that he was behind the required rate in a stipulated time but even he was guilty of not rushing up the matter.

Dhoni, being an innovative captain, keeps shuffling his fielders constantly and it doesn’t help in finishing the overs in time.

He did try getting Suresh Raina to bowl his off-spinners on the last afternoon in a bid to speed up the rate but it only marginally helped the matter.

Thus, Indian bowlers are required to win the Dominica Test and win the three-Test series but if it comes at the cost of a ban on their skipper, they would have paid a heavy cost for their efforts.

 

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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MS Dhoni’s Rs 645 tax cheque bounces

News4u - News Desk : RANCHI: Team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni may be ducking bouncers from Caribbean pacers in West Indies, but back home his cheque for civic tax has bounced.

One of the highest income tax payers of the state, Dhoni has landed in trouble as his cheque for Rs 645 in favour of the Ranchi Municipal Corporation(RMC) as holding tax has been returned by the bank. According to Section 35 of the Negotiable Instrument Act, an FIR can be lodged against a depositor if his/her cheque bounces. However, theRMC seems reluctant to lodge a case against the cricketer describing it as a case of human error and oversight.

The money which was to be paid for Dhoni’s house number 141 at Kunwar Singh Colony under Doranda circle of the RMC on Airport Road has to be deposited annually to the civic body as holding tax of the property.

“Dhoni had issued a cheque (number 550703) of the State Bank of India, Doranda branch, from his savings account 01190108959 amounting to Rs 645 on March 15,” said R N Jha, the tax collector of Wad 52. The cheque was issued in the name of RMC CEO and handed over to Jha.

The cheque was signed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni and was deposited by RMC on March 16. However, the cheque was returned by the SBI, Doranda branch, on Thursday citing “insufficient funds”.

Revenue officer S K Ghosh of Doranda circle of the RMC, who confirmed the return of the cheque, said it might have been a mistake and an oversight by Dhoni. S K Tiwari, the in-charge of Doranda circle, said Dhoni owned the property for long and had been paying the holding tax, a very nominal amount, regularly. “It is for the first time that his cheque has bounced,” said Tiwari.

Ironically, the Team India skipper had paid more than Rs 1 crore as income tax and is considered one of the highest tax payers in the state. TOI

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni

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