Dhoni got most things right in the third ODI. First, the playing 11 was perfect, given the available resources. Although India again could not finish off the Lankans after getting them down 94-7, the bigger problem remains the batting with four out of seven failing. So I hope Dhoni ignores the exhortations of the TV commentators led by Tony Greig to play five bowlers. But, if he does induct a fifth bowler, it should be RP Singh, because Pathan has become too slow to be able to take wickets. Four pacers bowling the first 20 overs at the brittle Lankan lineup seems tempting, but whom would you drop? By rights, it should be Yuvraj, but that's too tough a call at this stage. Maybe in the fifth ODI if India lose the next one.
The second thing Dhoni almost got right was the batting lineup, with Yuvraj moving up to number three. But sending Badrinath ahead of Rohit was wrong. Rohit's just had a couple of failures. He shouldn't lose his batting position so easily, after having shown his class over the past year.
The third and most important thing was to win the toss and bat because the ball did more for both the pacers and spinners in the cool atmosphere of the evening. And he topped it up with a captain's knock to rescue the team. It's a pity he ran Raina out, though, when he was looking set for a big one.
The one area where Dhoni continues to expose his rawness in captaincy is the field placement. Munaf bowled without a slip to Mahela even though that was the last recognised batsman standing. And Bhajji had no forward short leg for Mahela even though the ball was turning and jumping. The Indians allowed the Sri Lankan captain to bat himself back to form with a 94, and he can make them pay for it in the next two ODIs.