Perth, March 6: Once again bringing his street-smart side to the fore, Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni kept for a few deliveries without pads as he gave his gear to Ajinkya Rahane standing at silly mid-off against Ravichandran Ashwin in the World Cup match against West Indies here today. It was one of the rarest of instances, when a wicketkeeper kept wickets without wearing the protection for legs.
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For four deliveries, Dhoni was without pads as he gave his to Rahane fielding at silly point. While keepers wearing their pads inside the trousers has been in vogue for sometime and the biggest exponent of that of late has been South African glovesman Quinton de Kock.
But while standing upto a spinner, one never saw a keeper take off his pads but it wasn't without a reason that MSD did that. Suddenly in the middle of the 14th over, Dhoni felt the need to have a close in fielder to cash in on the bounce that Ashwin was getting. But since it was middle of the over, the umpires didn''t allow the substitute fielder to come with shin pads for Rahane.
Since a close in fielder is more prone to getting hurt by powerful shot, Dhoni opened his pads and let Rahane wear it as he stood without any leg guards. Probably gauging that a faster one from Ashwin could inadvertently hit him on the shin area, he told Raina to stand some 15 metres right behind him.
Once the over was completed by Ashwin, the umpires allowed the substitute to come out with shin pads for Rahane while Dhoni got back his own and wore it from then on.