The moment MS Dhoni handed Joginder Sharma the ball in the 20th over against Pakistan in the World T20 Final in 2007 changed the future of world cricket.
India’s thrilling victory not only galvanised the shortest format of the game, but also set up the IPL – Lalit Modi’s baby which would go on quickly establish itself as the premier T20 tournament in the world. What the Britishers though, the Indian executed to perfection.
And IPL became synonymous with MS Dhoni in the Chennai Super King colours, to the extent that when he played for Pune, it actually felt like watching a whole different person.
The people of Chennai love accepting outsiders – from Jayalalithaa to Rajinikanth – and making them their own. ‘Thala’ as MS Dhoni is affectionally known has spent 10 years in CSK and returned the moment their suspension was lifted.
In the shortest format, MS Dhoni almost rewrote the chasing manual, plummeting teams into submission in the death overs, pulling off thrilling chases that seemed almost impossible at one point.
Here are some of his greatest innings:
1) 54* vs KXIP (2010)
A pumped-up MS Dhoni blasted 30 runs in the final two overs to ensure Chennai Super Kings secured their spot in the IPL semi-final for the third season in a row.
Chennai's chances seemed dim after Shaun Marsh's sparkling innings had powered Kings XI Punjab to a massive total of 192/3, Dhoni's onslaughts was the perfect reply from the skipper to finish the game in a tense situation.
CSK needed 16 runs off the final over bowled by Irfan Pathan, in the matter of course Dhoni wrapped the game in just four deliveries without taking any sort of pressure on his mind. The skipper remained unbeaten on 54 from 29 balls where he hit five fours and two sixes.
2) 70* vs RCB (2018)
Dhoni's designation of the 'best finisher' was on display when he hit a blistering 34-ball 70 to help his side win yet another last-over thriller in the 2018 IPL at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.
CSK were tottering at 74/4 when Dhoni came into bat. He joined forces with Ambati Rayudu to stitch together a 101-run stand that changed the game.
A six to finish things off by Dhoni was just a cherry on top of a well-executed chase.He hit one four and seven sixes in his knock, the most telling off them coming in the final over against Corey Anderson who conceded 17 runs off four deliveries to see his side lose the battle.
3) 70* vs RCB (2011)
The captain smashed an unbeaten 70 off only 40 deliveries to help Chennai Super Kings reach 128 for eight against Royal Challengers Bangalore at M. Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Dhoni had hardly got any support in his innings that included three fours and six sixes after CSK slipped to 22/4 after 5.4 overs.
Dhoni batted sensibly staying on at the crease till the end and getting his shots at regular intervals to take his side par 100 runs. However, the score wasn't enough to defend, and CSK lost the game by eight wickets.
4) 75* vs RR (2019)
Dhoni registered his best score at home with his vintage innings of 75 off 46 balls laced with four fours and four sixes. At 27/3 Dhoni, joined his fellow CSK compatriot Suresh Raina where the pair stretched the innings with a 61-run stand for the fourth wicket.
Dhoni had smashed Jaydev Unadkat's final three deliveries, all short, into the stands making it 28 runs come off the final over. CSK won that match by eight runs.
5) 84* vs RCB (2019)
Dhoni had hit 84 in just 48 balls and smashed 24 runs, including a 111-meter monstrous six in the final over, but it was still not enough for CSK to win the game despite the last-over thriller as they lost by one run.
Dhoni had denied taking two singles when Dwayne Bravo was at the non-striker's end in the penultimate over of their chase. CSK then needed 26 runs from the last over to clinch an improbable win.
Umesh Yadav, who had been impressive in his earlier spell, conceded three sixes and two boundaries in the final over as MS Dhoni took the India pacer to the cleaners. Dhoni tried rebuilding CSK's innings after their early jolts.