MS Dhoni's explosive batting bailed India out of trouble for years now whereas his mature head guided India to numerous accolades. On his 37th birthday, we at MyNation bring to you his 10 most memorable innings so that you can walk the memory lane with MSD!
Mahendra Singh Dhoni or as his fans know him, Mahi, is the calmest and most collected player on the field and has donned various caps of responsibility with equal integrity, calm and finesse. Arguably India's greatest captain of all time, world's best finisher and one of the hardest hitters of a cricket ball, MS Dhoni is in a league of his own. His explosive batting bailed India out of trouble for years now whereas his mature head guided India to numerous accolades. On his 37th birthday, MyNation brings you his 10 most memorable innings
72* vs Pakistan, Lahore, 2006
India's tour of Pakistan in 2005/06 can be said as a breakthrough series for MS Dhoni as a batsman and as a successful chaser. Chasing 289 at the Gaddafi Stadium is never an easy task and the Men in Blue were left crippled at 190 for 5 at one stage after 35 overs. It was on Yuvraj Singh and MSD to then act as saviours for the team. Dhoni was akin to a destructive storm as he completed his half century in just 35 balls. An expert partnership between the two meant India chase down the total with 14 balls to spare. MS scored 72 from 46 balls which included 13 fours. This match is best remembered for its post-match press conference where the then Pakistan president Parvez Musharraf praised Dhoni for his brilliant batting and also advised him to keep his famous long locks.
76* vs England, Lord's, 2007
The Test innings against England at Lord’s in 2007 stand out as one of MSD’s most memorable innings. India were given a target of 380 to win the test match. On the final gloomy day of the test match, India were looking down the barrel at 180/5 with 80 overs to go. MS Dhoni walked out to bat with VVS Laxman at the other end. The duo managed a sixth-wicket stand of 86 runs and played out close to 30 overs. In testing conditions after lunch, Dhoni saw out some 20 overs with tail enders with India playing for a draw becoming clearer with each passing over. This match was saved by the combined grace of the weather as well as MSD’s innings and India went on to win the next match and register an iconic series win!
224 vs Australia, Chennai, 2013
Australia posted 380 on a dry Chepauk wicket with India needing a big total in reply. India was at 196/4 when Dhoni took guard. First, a 128 run stand with Virat Kohli and then a brilliant 140 run partnership with debutante Bhuvaneshwar Kumar set the stage for the Men in Blue. He scored 224 runs from 265 balls which included 24 fours and 6 sixes. It turned out to be a match-winning knock from Dhoni as India registered a famous eight wicket Test win. Individually, this was Dhoni's highest ever test score and the first double hundred from an Indian wicketkeeper. This 224-run knock also happened to be the highest score ever by an Indian captain in Tests.
64* vs Kings XI Punjab, Vizag, 2017
The 2017 edition of IPL saw MSD turn back the cogs of time and give a glimpse of his vintage game! Dhoni came to bat when Pune needed 95 off 51 balls. Wickets at regular intervals meant Pune never got the opportunity to dominate the bowlers. Last over was given to Axar Patel with Pune needing 23 from six deliveries. Dhoni was on strike and used all his might against the left-arm spinner to guide his IPL team home. Two sixes on the last two balls gave Pune an unlikely win.
44* vs Australia, Adelaide, 2012
An inning where MSD struggled to find his footing with Gautam Gambhir giving India a solid start and Suresh Raina holding the fort at the other end, Raina’s dismissal urged MSD to rise up to the occasion and lead the Men IN Blue to a win. 13 were needed off the last over with Ravi Ashwin on strike against Clint McKay. Ashwin managed just one run from the first two balls with the equation now being 12 from 4 balls. Dhoni was on strike, McKay pitched it on a good length and what followed was the most iconic six ever hit at the Adelaide Oval. The ball sailed over long on as India then scored their remaining runs with ease and scripted another fine run chase with Dhoni at the helm.
5. 113* vs Pakistan, Chennai, 2012:
While his spectacular innings usually lead India to a win, this interestingly is one inning which bore testimony to a losing cause! In the first match of the series, India were asked to bat at Chennai. They were reduced to 29/5 when Dhoni arrived at the crease. The Captain played a mature innings, making sure that India completed their 50 over quota. An inning of 113 not out from 125 balls had seven fours and three sixes in them. A 75-run partnership with Suresh Raina and then a 125-run stand with Ravi Ashwin led India to a respectable total of 227/6. India lost by four wickets but Dhoni's innings that day proved his commitment to building the batting front of the team.
45* vs Sri Lanka, Port of Spain, 2013
In a tri-series final against Sri Lanka at the Queen's Park Oval, India were chasing 202. At the scoreboard reading 139/3 in 32 overs, it was a comfortable position for the Men in Blue. However, at a tough track the wickets fell like a stack of cards with Rangana Herath picking up 4 wickets. India, from a commanding position, were now in need of 17 runs from 2 overs with Ishant Sharma, the last Indian batsman on the crease with MS Dhoni. Fortunately, Sharma stayed at the pitch for the crucial over before handing the final over to MSD India needing 15 from the last six balls. Shaminda Eranga was the Sri Lankan bowler with Dhoni on strike and while Dhoni missed the first ball, the second one went for a six with the next two balls going for two fours and Captain Cool sailed India to another win.
183* vs Sri Lanka, Jaipur, 2005
This was the game that announced his arrival in the most explosive way possible. He was considered already as a dangerous batsman but this inning at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium made him one of the most feared batsmen in the world. Chasing 299, India's inning started in the worst possible way with Sachin Tendulkar departing in the first over. In a surprising decision by Ganguly and the team management, MS Dhoni was sent in to bat at number three. What followed was annihilation! No bowler was spared by the hard hitting of Dhoni. He scored a mammoth 183 runs off 145 deliveries and got India home with four overs to spare. His innings included 15 fours and 11 huge sixes. This was a run chase unheard of by the Indians with Dhoni's master class being noticed by the entire world. His exploits in that game can be best expressed by the statistic that after him, the next highest score by an Indian batsman in that game was 39! It appeared that India had found its magician at number 3.
54*, Kings XI Punjab, Dharamsala, 2010
Known for his calm demeanour on the field, this Match saw Dhoni celebrate the win in a manner unlike him. In a do or die game for the Super Kings at Dharamsala, the Punjab side gave Dhoni's men a tough target of 192. The captain came after 10 overs when CSK needed another 104 runs. MSD was on fire that day as he scored 54 from 29 balls which included five fours and two sixes. The last 47 runs in the chase came in just 18 balls with Irfan Pathan conceding 18 in the last over of the match. His first four balls (2,4,6,6) ended the match with MS Dhoni sending two humongous sixes with one of them crossing the boundaries of the stadium.
91* vs Sri Lanka, Wankhede Stadium, 2011
To bring home the World Cup is undoubtedly the singular most important achievement for any sportsperson! India needed 275 to win their second ever World Cup and this time, on home soil. At number five, Yuvraj Singh - the man of the tournament was supposed to come on to bat. But Dhoni decided to promote himself and what followed was the most important inning of his career. Dhoni handled the spin duo of Muttiah Muralitharan and Suraj Randiv pretty well and kept the scoreboard ticking. The match was won with a trademark Dhoni six off Nuwan Kulasekara and India were the winners of the 2011 World Cup! This inning by Dhoni will be forever etched in every Indian cricket fan's memory and that six will be remembered as the most important one in India's history.
Happy birthday Captain Cool, may your passion for bikes and awe-inspiring innings never fade!
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Last Updated 7, Jul 2018, 5:52 PM