Celebrating MS Dhoni’s 7 best knocks in international cricket
Bengaluru: MS Dhoni retired from international cricket after scoring more than 17,000 runs across the formats. As tributes for him still continue to pour in, Asianet Newsable lists out Dhoni’s 7 best knocks in international cricket. Find out which all of his innings made the cut.
91 not out Vs Sri Lanka in Mumbai (April 2011) (India won by 6 wickets)
On top of the pile among Dhoni’s best knocks, is this historic innings from the World Cup 2011 final against Sri Lanka on April 2, 2011, at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Promoting himself to No. 5, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni hit an unbeaten 91 (79 balls, 8x4, 2x6), finishing the game with a six, the shot is etched in every Indian cricket fan’s memory. Dhoni won the Man-of-the-match award for bring home the World Cup after 28 years.
“I took a quite few decisions tonight, if we hadn’t won I would have been asked quite a few questions: Why no Ashwin, Why Sreesanth. Why no Yuvraj, Why did I bat ahead?! That pushed me and motivated to do well. The pressure had got to me in the previous games. In this game, I wanted to bat up the order and Gary (Kirsten) backed me and by the senior players. I had a point to prove to myself. Virat (Kohli) and Gautam (Gambhir) batted brilliantly; lots of singles. Then with the help of bit of dew , we put pressure on the spinners. I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred,” Dhoni said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
148 Vs Pakistan in Visakhapatnam (April 2005) (India won by 58 runs)
Just a few months after his ODI debut, Dhoni was pushed up the batting order, to No. 3.
And he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. He smashed a 123-ball 148 with 15 fours and four sixes, against Pakistan. This was his maiden ODI ton, and Dhoni announced his arrival on the international stage with this big knock.
He won the Man-of-the-match award.
183 not out Vs Sri Lanka in Jaipur (October 2005) (India won by 6 wickets)
In the year 2005, twice, bowlers were at the receiving end from Dhoni. After blazing to 148 in April, Dhoni, again, at No. 3, smashed his best ODI score of 183 not out as India chased down 299.
Dhoni blitzed 15 fours and 10 sixes in his 145-ball knock. He won the Man-of-the-match award.
148 Vs Pakistan in Faisalabad (January 2006)
Test hundred is always special for any cricketer. Dhoni brought up his maiden Test ton in 2006, against Pakistan. His 148 at No. 6, helped India make a strong reply to the hosts’ 588. The Rahul Dravid-led team posted 603. The match ended in a draw. VVS Laxman has now revealed on Star Sports that Dhoni was so thrilled with his maiden Test hundred that he said he wanted to retire. He made that shock announcement in the dressing room after returning from his innings.
224 Vs Australia in Chennai (February 2013) (India won by 8 wickets)
Dhoni’s only Test double ton came in 2013 against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Thanks to his 224 (265 balls, 24x4, 6x6), India won the game. Also in the same match, Virat Kohli hit a century (107) and Sachin Tendulkar made 81. Dhoni won the Man-of-the-match award.
After his double-ton knock, Dhoni said, “I love the people out here (Chennai). Fantastic crowd. Good to see people come for Test matches in India. It was important to play some shots. If you have those extra catching fielders, you might make one mistake and end your innings. I had to play a few shots to try and spread the field. The first partnership was important. Sachin (Tendulkar) and (Cheteshwar) Pujara batted for a period of time. Virat (Kohli) and Sachin (partnership) was crucial. It tired the bowlers a bit. Those partnerships were crucial. Ashwin bowled brilliantly. In the second innings, he was well supported by Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh). Ashwin stuck with his offspinners, which was good. He was willing to bowl in one area, and that's a big positive. It's important to be focussed now, but at the same time it is important that the bowlers take some time off now. Never dreamt I would get a double in Tests. I had never even dreamt of playing for the country. Let’s just keep it simple.”
139 not out Vs Australia in Mohali (October 2013) (Australia won by 4 wickets)
From 76/4, Dhoni lifted India to 303/9 in 50 overs with his century (139 not out off 121 balls, 12 fours, 5 sixes). However, this innings was not enough as Australia successfully chased down the target. But it was one of Dhoni’s best ODI knocks.
56 Vs England in Bengaluru (February 2017)
It took more than 10 years for Dhoni to register his maiden T20I fifty. That came in Bengaluru against England. He hit 56 off 36 with five fours and two sixes. He batted at No. 4. However, the match belonged to Yuzvendra Chahal who bamboozled the English batsmen with 6/25. Dhoni’s other half century in T20Is came in 2018, against South Africa in Centurion.
Now, Dhoni is preparing to play in IPL 2020. He will lead Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the T20 tournament to be played in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.