Mohali : Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s powerful forearms won many a matches for India and no wonder the former India captain has confidence to clear the boundary even when he is suffering from excruciating back pain.
For lofted shots, a batsman needs to maintain shape while transfering body weight into the shot. However against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday night, the Chennai Super Kings captain was in real pain but kept clearing the ropes with consummate ease.
Dhoni’s unbeaten 79 off 44 balls got CSK agonisingly close to the target before the visitors fell short by four runs. When asked how he could hit those lofted shots with a painful back, Dhoni replied: “The back is
pretty bad but God has given me lot of power and I don’t need to use my back a lot. My arms can do the job.”
However he maintained that it was not a very serious injury. “It shouldn’t be too bad as I know what happened. And when you know the extent of your injury, you know how bad it really is,” he said.
MS the finisher
Despite MS Dhoni’s knock of 79 not out off just 44 balls, he could not take his Chennai Super Kings across the finishing line. As usual, it has again triggered a debate with his finishing prowess. Here are some gems from his many match winning knocks, taking our readers for a trip down the memory lane…
67 vs Zimbabwe at Harare, in 2005
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s maiden half century while chasing came in demanding circumstances. He has played many better innings than this, but it was his very first. In 2005, against Zimbabwe, India stuttered at 91 for five while chasing 251. Then Yuvraj-Dhoni association stitched 158 runs to take India home. He remained not out on 67, and… finished the match with a six.
183 vs Lanka at Jaipur
The same year, Dhoni had cemented his place in ODI team especially after 148-run knock against Pakistan. But, this terrific 183 not out against Sri Lanka at Jaipur was jaw dropping. Chasing 299, India lost Tendulkar in the first over and MS walked in at No. 3. What followed was carnage. Sri Lankan bowlers, pacers and spinners were clobbered. Dhoni hit 15 fours and 11 sixes, taking India home with almost four overs to spare. The next highest score of an Indian batsman was 39!
Asia Cup Final 2016
The Asia Cup final in 2016 became a talking point, as somebody had uploaded an edited image of Taskin Ahmed, Bangladeshi bowler, carrying MS Dhoni’s severed head. India needed 22 runs off 14 balls in the final and were in a spot of bother, but Dhoni finished off the chase with an unbeaten six-ball 20 as India won with seven balls to spare.
Some IPL moments…
With Chennai Super Kings on the verge elimination from the IPL, MS Dhoni, the captain cool once again played a knock of 54 runs against the Kings XI Punjab in Dharamsala, a cool place which had became very hot for the CSK. As a finisher, he smashed 18 runs off 4 deliveries in the last over bowled by Irfan Pathan.
With 23 runs required in the last over to give Rising Pune Supergiants a consolation victory against the Kings XI Punjab, the onus fell on MSD to finish the game. After 11 runs off the first four balls, Pune side needed 12 off 2. Dhoni then finished, smashed two sixes off Axar Patel’s final two balls to win the match for his side.
A six in the last over
In a rain-shortened encounter vs West Indies at St Lucia, 3rd ODI, in 2009, India were chasing 159 in 22 overs. Dhoni walked in at No. 3 and took charge of the situation. However, West Indies fought back with wickets. India finally needed 11 from the last over. Dhoni smashed Jerome Taylor for a huge six over the leg-side. The last four runs were knocked off with ease.
44 not out vs Australia, Tri-series, 2012
Needing 13 off the last over, Ashwin took strike to Clint McKay and managed to give it back to Dhoni only on the second ball, India needed 12 to get off four balls. McKay’s ball on a decent length was smashed with all his energy over long-on by Dhoni. It easily cleared the longish straight boundary at Adelaide. With six needed of three, Dhoni knocked them off with two balls to spare, thanks to a no-ball.
Winning the World Cup
This has to remain Dhoni’s most iconic innings. A run-chase in a World Cup final, under pressure! Chasing 275 to win the title in Mumbai, India lost Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag early. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir steadied the ship, but the score on 114 for three in over number 22. Dhoni made a surprise entry to the ground as No. 5 batsman, ahead of Yuvraj Singh who was in sublime form. Dhoni held his calm and finished the chase with that big six over long-on. The 91 not out is showcase of his calmness till date.