HomeCricket NewsMS Dhoni’s Epic Masterstrokes - Part I

MS Dhoni’s Epic Masterstrokes – Part I

MS Dhoni’s Epic Masterstrokes- Part I:The only captain to win every ICC Trophy. A leader with 9 T20 titles and numerous ODI trophy wins. MS Dhoni as a captain was something else. There are very few in the game who are as good as Dhoni when it comes to captaining spin. He applied spin choke as soon as he detected a weakness among the opposition.

Dhoni was always a sharp reader of the game. His ability to soak pressure was peerless. He continued to pseudo-captain the side even after stepping down. There have been a lot of instances wherein his decision-making paid off rich dividends.

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We look at 3 of his epic masterstrokes:

#3 2016 T20 World Cup 

It is one of the most replayed games in the history of the T20 World Cup. India’s home World Cup campaign was on the line. A shock defeat to New Zealand in the tournament opener gave India the jitters. They were just one hit away from being knocked out of the tournament. Hardik Pandya defending 11 in the final over was taken for runs. Bangladesh needed just 2 runs from 3 balls. 

Pandya was asked to bowl the hard length. He picked up two wickets in two balls. It was down to the final ball. Dhoni anticipating that the batters will go for a bye removed his gloves. He pre-empted a run-out at the striker’s end. To everyone’s surprise, that is what happened. Dhoni collected the ball as the batter missed the swing. He outran the non-striker to run him out. India prevailed and eventually made it to the semis!

#2 2011 IPL Final 

The Chennai Super Kings made it to consecutive IPL finals in 2011. It was their third final in 4 years. CSK in fact was the defending champions in 2011. They got the better of Royal Challengers Bangalore in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2011. RCB won the second qualifier to set up a dream final with CSK. The final was played at Chepauk in Chennai owing to them winning the title in the previous year. CSK had posted a tall score batting first. But no total in IPL 2011 was safe owing to Chris Gayle. He had a belligerent season belting bowlers of all kinds for fun.

Captain Dhoni though found a chink in his armour. He handed the new ball to Ravichandran Ashwin. Dhoni wanted an off-spinner to take the ball away from Gayle’s hitting arc. The move paid off brilliantly as Ashwin induced an edge from Gayle. RCB lost their main weapon and the championship in the very first over of their reply!

#1 2007 T20 World Cup Final

Dhoni’s move to handle the last over to Joginder Sharma is highly talked about and rightly so. Sharma a complete rookie at the international level was tasked with bowling the final over. He bowled an innocuous ball that won India the trophy. Dhoni’s decision to give Sharma the final over was lauded. But in all fairness, Sharma was the only logical option left. Misbah-ul-Haq had targeted Harbhajan Singh and all the front-line pacers had completed their quota. 

There was one decision though that Dhoni doesn’t get enough or no credit at all is the move to play Yusuf Pathan. The hard-hitting allrounder was asked to open in a big final. It was Yusuf’s debut game and it came at the biggest stage. Pathan staying true to his nature smashed a six in the very first over calming the nerves of a billion Indians. There is little possibility of any other captain risking such a move in such a big game!

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Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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T20 WORLD CUP 2024 POINTS TABLE

GROUP A

TEAMMWLPTNRR
IND22041.455
USA22040.626
PAK31220.191
CAN3122-0.493
IRE2020-1.712

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TEAMMWLPTNRR
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SCOT32052.164
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PNG2020-0.434
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TEAMMWLPTNRR
SA33060.603
BAN21120.075
NED21120.024
NEP2011-0.539
SL3021-0.777

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