The decision to name Indian captain MS Dhoni Man of the Match in the third and last one-day international between India and Pakistan has surprised most of the watchers and experts.

[caption id="attachment_209" align="alignright" width="234"]Saeed Ajmal could not get player-of-the-match award despite career’s best performance (Photo: BCCI) Saeed Ajmal could not get player-of-the-match award despite career’s best performance (Photo: BCCI)[/caption]

Though Dhoni made most runs from the Indian side but they were only 36 off 55 balls. His wicket-keeping was also ordinary and he dropped the catch of Pakistani skipper Misbah-ul-Haq at a very critical moment.

Now even the Indian experts are finding it difficult to digest the rationale behind the decision.

The decision of giving man-of-the-match award is taken by a jury of commentators. The jury that chose Dhoni for the award was unanimous in their decision, The Times of India reported, citing sources. However, one member of the jury, who voted in favour of the Indian captain, told the newspaper that the jury awarded Dhoni to boost his morale in hard times.

It’s surprising that the award is normally given for batting, bowling and sometimes for fielding, but it’s the first time in the cricket history that despite a mediocre performance a player is awarded only “to boost his morale”.

If encouragement was the real issue then youngsters Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be the better options. Jadeja not only made useful 27 runs and took a brilliant catch, but he also got the wicket of Umar Akmal on a very crucial moment of the match.

But the truly deserving player for the award in this match was Saeed Ajmal, who took five Indian wickets on a score of only 24 runs, achieving his career’s best bowling.

There was no different story in the first ODI of the series when Dhoni was preferred over Nasir Jamshed, who scored a match-winning century.

Though Pakistan won the series, only one Pakistani player was awarded Man of the Match. This fact is sufficient to illustrate the jury’s bias towards Pakistan.
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