MS Dhoni, who was criticised for his sluggish performance in the opening match in Sydney where he scored 51 off 96, silenced his critics with an unbeaten 54-ball 55 at Adelaide. @ AFP

Former India cricketer Nikhil Chopra has advised MS Dhoni to get back to playing domestic cricket to keep himself match-ready. Dhoni smashed an unbeaten half century, his second on the trot in India’s series-levelling six-wicket win in the second ODI at Adelaide.

“I am glad he has got two back-to-back half-centuries because this will give him a great deal of confidence. I completely agree [with voices from back home urging him to play domestic cricket]. Why isn’t he playing domestic cricket? He has been a captain, he knows exactly that he needs to play domestic cricket so that the bat flow is there for him all the time,” Chopra told India Today on Wednesday. (ALSO READ: MS Dhoni is someone who’s going to control the game from one end: Sachin Tendulkar)

Dhoni, who was criticised for his sluggish performance in the opening match in Sydney where he scored 51 off 96, silenced his critics with an unbeaten 54-ball 55 at Adelaide. After the departure of skipper Virat Kohli, Dhoni combined with Dinesh Karthik as the duo took the tourists past the finish line.

“Tremendous [Dhoni’s effort in Adelaide]. After that first game [in Sydney] where he got that half-century, little bit of rustines must have been shrugged off. Scoring a run-a-ball half-century, seeing India through, levelling the series just shows us that Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back and back with a bang, without a doubt,” Chopra said. (ALSO READ: Getting constant feedback from Ravi Shastri has been the biggest help for me: Virat Kohli)

Throwing light on the significance of the Adelaide victory with all to play for in the series decider at Melbourne on Friday, Chopra explained: “Good thing for India is that players are fulfilling their roles – Dinesh Karthik and our man, Virat Kohli who loves to chase. He set up the chase beautifully. He will be a confident player, make no mistake about it.” (ALSO READ: I would like to have both Kohli and Tendulkar in my team: Langer)

Elaborating further on Dhoni’s knock, he said, “He’s a great finisher, he has got more than 10,000 runs in ODIs. I can understand but at this moment of time. Nobody is doubting his ability but sometimes you need to keep playing according to the situation in hand. With Dhoni getting a run-a-ball 55, kudos to the unsung hero of the match, Dinesh Karthik. 25 off 14 was simply outstanding. He was outplaying the man who had been batting for a long time at the other end.”