Top 3 batting performances of MS Dhoni for India
MS Dhoni was undoubtedly one of the most influential cricketers in the history of Indian cricket and also in the whole world. The only captain to win all three major ICC trophies, Dhoni led the Indian side through their most successful phase.
He was the architect of India’s modern team and paved the way for several youngsters to find their place in the team and make their presence felt on the big stage. Thus, there is no doubt that this man had the greatest influence on Indian cricket than any other player of all time.
The man who took the world by storm with his incredible hitting, captain’s wicket-keeper and a dozen other skills announced his retirement from all forms of the beautiful game exactly two years ago on this day .
Two years today, all his fans in India and across the world can’t quite forget the countless moments of pride and happiness he gave them during his illustrious cricketing career.
It’s time for us to take a look at three of Dhoni’s best batting performances for India during his international career.
3) 45*(52) vs Sri Lanka (ODI Tri-Series final – 2013)
One of Dhoni’s most memorable innings for India came in 2013 in the final of a three-game series against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, the game’s first batter, was dismantled by the Indian bowlers as they were grouped for just 201 runs.
India have a slow and rusty start to their pursuit as they lost two opening wickets from Dhawan and Virat. Although Rohit Sharma looked solid at one end, he found no competent company among the rest of his friends at the other end as India continued to steadily lose wickets. MS Dhoni came on to bat at No. 6 after the sacking of Rohit Sharma who returned after half a century of fighting.
Just when it looked like Dhoni and the lower middle order batsman would bring India home, another serious meltdown began as India lost 5 wickets in a space of 28 runs inside of 10 overs. With all recognized hitters back in the clubhouse, Dhoni took matters into his own hands and started leading the innings single-handedly. The match went to the wire, with India needing 15 runs from the last six balls, with only 1 wicket in hand.
Dhoni swung and missed the first delivery which was dismissed by Eranga. However, he was not unsuccessful the next time around as he finished things off with two sixes and a limit in the next three balls to help India register an emphatic victory in an impossible game. The skipper was also named man of the match for his extraordinary performance with the bat.
2. 113*(125) against Pakistan (1st ODI – 2012)
Another memorable innings from MS Dhoni’s bat came in the first of ODI’s three-game series against Pakistan in 2012. India had all sorts of problems after being asked to strike first by the visitors . The top order was completely demolished as India were down to 29/5 in the first 10 overs.
It was then that the Indian skipper came on at bat at No.7 and started to help India get back into the game. He first started rebuilding the Indian sleeves with a very careful partnership with Suresh Raina. India had just managed to reach 100 when Raina left for 43.
MS Dhoni did not let the momentum drop however as he continued to brilliantly counter opposing bowlers and find boundaries at regular intervals. He displayed an astonishing range of daredevil slashing and punching from all parts of the pitch.
It also took on the on-demand attack tempo that had previously dismantled the first Indian command. MS Dhoni finished with an incredible 113* from 125 balls including 7 fours and 3 sixes and helped India to a respectable 228/6 tally. Although India did not win the match, Dhoni was awarded man of the match for his brilliant innings.
1. 91* (79) v Sri Lanka (2011 ODI World Cup Final)
The top spot on this list is taken by MS Dhoni’s magical batting contribution in the 2011 World Cup Final against Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka, first at bat in the final, had posted a fantastic 275 goal for India. India in response did not have a perfect start as they lost their first two games with 31 points on the board.
Gambhir and Kohli re-stabilized the Indian innings slightly but the position was again broken before it became a threat to the opposition. With 3 wickets down for 113, Dhoni entered the field. He brilliantly analyzed the situation and played risk-free shots to advance the Indian innings.
He found brilliant company of Gambhir at the other end. The duo added 111 good runs for the 4th wicket before Gambhir was fired for a well done 97. The MS Dhoni then began to take bowlers and smash them more often for boundaries.
He took advantage of his well-placed position in the crease as he never let Sri Lanka bounce back in the game. With 10 balls to go and 6 wickets in hand, Dhoni crushed Nuwan Kulasekara for a mammoth six longer to bring home the world cup after 28 years. MS Dhoni was declared Man of the Match for his outstanding contribution to India’s magical win that night.
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