MS Dhoni, Indian captain, arguably the best Indian captain and one of the games finest finishers.
The man who averages more than a 100 in successful run chases is the most reliable person to rely on when it gets down to the wire. Dhoni’s style of finishing games is very different. He will keep calm and remain composed till the last over. It’s in his blood to finish games in the last over.
Here are top 5 greatest run chases, where Dhoni finished it off-
1. 91*, World Cup 2011 final vs. Sri Lanka, Mumbai:
After the loss of Virat Kohli’s wicket, instead of sending the man in from Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni played a gamble by taking things in his own hands. He along with Gambhir kept things going quite comfortably until Gambhir got out. However, MS Dhoni was cool as a cucumber. He finished it off with a six over long on which saw India lift the World Cup after 28 years. The 91 runs came in just 79 balls under pressure situation.
2. 183* vs. Sri Lanka, Jaipur
The target set for India was 299 at Sawai Mansingh stadium. MS Dhoni who came into bat at no.3 bludgeoned his way to 183* in just 148 balls. It is perhaps the most epic stroke play one has ever seen in cricketing history. He hit a total of 10 sixes and 15 fours. With just 2 needed and more than 3 overs to spare, MS Dhoni pulled out his weapon, i.e. finish it with a six and he did so. He broke the record of Adam Gilchrist (172) as the highest by a wicketkeeper in ODI’s. This innings helped Dhoni to come under lime light and gave a major push to his career.
3. 72* vs. Pakistan, Lahore
Pakistan were put to bat and at one stage it looked like the decision paid off as Pakistan were tottering, but thanks to Shoaib Malik and Abdul Razzaq who pulled things back to put a formidable 288 on the board. Sachin Tendulkar departed scoring 95 runs and things were not looking good for India. However, Dhoni along with Yuvraj Singh stitched a 102 run partnership in just 78 balls. Dhoni ended on 72 off just 46 balls with 13 fours. It was a joy to watch such an innings from Dhoni. He rarely took unnecessary risks and deposited loose balls with ease.
4. 44* vs. Australia, Adelaide
Before this match India never chased down a total more than 250 at Adelaide. Australia gave a target of 270 runs. It was looking almost over for India until captain Dhoni took centre stage. He was not looking great when he came down to bat as he failed to score runs of 13 balls in the powerplay overs. With 73 required off 60, India’s hopes were on Dhoni, but Dhoni could only manage 4 runs of the second last over. That meant India needed 13 runs of the last 6 deliveries. Clint McKay only conceded 1 run in 2 deliveries. With 12 runs needed of 4 balls, Dhoni brought out his machine, the six over long-on. And then couple of three’s sealed the deal for India and captain Dhoni. It was the first time India beat Australia in Adelaide chasing 250+.
5. 46* vs. West Indies, Gros Islet.
In a rain interrupted game, the revised target for India was 159 in 22 overs. India had the control over the game for the most part of it, but as it is said, it’s not over until it’s actually over and that’s what happened when India lost wickets in a flurry. With 34 runs still required off the last 4 overs, India was once again looking at none other than MS Dhoni. It came down to 11 off 1 over. It could have been West Indies game if it was not Dhoni, as he hit a 4 on the second ball of the over. He along with Yusuf Pathan finished the game with one ball to spare.