MS Dhoni: Top 10 innings in ODIs

MS Dhoni is known to be a 'finisher' in limited-overs format © PTI

Here are some of the best ODI knocks that Captain Cool MS Dhoni has played over the years for India.

MS Dhoni, India’s ODI and T20 captain has always been known more for his One-Day International (ODI) credentials. A finisher of the highest order, Dhoni has won India many games in his career. Although, he was known for his brutal hitting when he came onto the International arena, he changed his style of play when he became the captain of the Indian Cricket team in the ODI format. A quick-runner between the wickets, and an unorthodox batsman with an ability to hit sixes as per will, Dhoni is one of the best batsmen in the ODI format. He generally bats down the order and plays the role of a finisher for the side. Some of his top ODI knocks include:

1. 91 not out against Sri Lanka, 2011 

What has to undoubtedly be one of his best knocks was the one that he played in the ICC World Cup Final 2011. Dhoni in spite of not having a good tournament promoted himself up the batting order. He came out to bat after the partnership betwen Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli was broken as Kohli was out for 35. Dhoni came in and played the Lankan spinner Muttiah Muralitharan superbly. He put on a partnership with Gambhir and took India into a comfortable position. He then hit the winning six off Nuwan Kulasekara and won India the World Cup after 28 years.

2. 183 not out against Sri Lanka, 2005

After India were leading the 7-match ODI series against Sri Lanka 2-0, the third match was to be played at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur. The visitors scored 298 runs in 50 overs. Kumara Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene top scored and the former even scored a hundred. But that was never going to be enough as Dhoni came in at No.3 after Sachin Tendulkar departed. He absolutely slaughtered the Lankan bowling as they had no answer to him. He did get hurt while batting but then carried on with a runner. He won India the match with almost 4 overs to spare. It is still the highest score by a wicketkeeper batsman in ODI history.

3. 148 against Pakistan, 2005

Dhoni’s maiden ODI century came against Pakistan at Visakhapatnam in 2005 when India were playing in the second ODI against Pakistan of the 6-match series. After Tendulkar was out cheap, Dhoni came on to bat alongside Virender Sehwag. The duo put on a partnership before India lost two consecutive wickets in the form of Sehwag and Ganguly. Dhoni then put on another partnership with Dravid and finished with 148 runs off 123 balls. India made 356 in 50 overs. Pakistan tried hard but fell 58 runs short. Dhoni eventually won the Man of the match.

4. 124 against Australia, 2009

India were trailing 1-0 against Australia in the 7-match series. The second game at Nagpur saw Dhoni play a vital 124-run knock off 107 balls to take the Indian score to 354-7 in 50 overs. He hit 3 sixes and 9 fours in his innings. India eventually won by 99 runs but it was Dhoni’s century that had done the major damage. He won the Man of the match award as well for his splendid innings.

5. 107 against Sri Lanka, 2009

This was perhaps one of those Dhoni’s knocks which couldn’t lead India to a win, but was certainly a special one. India were off to a poor start as they batted first. It was 81-3 when Dhoni arrived at the crease. He along with Kohli and then Suresh Raina put on important partnerships to take India to 301 in 50 overs. He made 107 runs in 111 balls. His knock was overshadowed by Tillakaratne Dilshan’s century which was instrumental in taking the Lankans to a win in a thriller.

6. 139 not out against Australia, 2013

Another instance when Dhoni’s century ending in a losing cause was against Australia in 2013, during the 7-match ODI series. After the top-order failed, apart from Kohli who made 68, it was down to Dhoni and the lower-order to take India past 300. Dhoni made 139 off 121 balls and remained not out. India finished at 303 in 50 overs. The total though wasn’t enough as a last over finish from James Faulkner sealed the deal for the Aussies who took a 2-1 lead in the series.

7. 113 not out against Pakistan, 2012

India were playing against arch rivals Pakistan in a 3-match ODI series at home. The first match was at Chennai. India having lost the toss were asked to bat first. They were reduced to 29-5 and that is when Captain Cool knew he had to take India to a respectable score. He did just that as he played along with the lower order. He made sure India batted the full quota of 50-overs. He eventually ended up with 113 off 125 balls. The target wasn’t enough though as Pakistan reached it with 11 balls to spare. But Dhoni did grab the Man of the match award for his knock.

8. 44 not out against Australia, 2012

Having been set a target of 270 runs by Australia in the 4th match of the Commonwealth Bank Series, India had to start and finish off well too. Gautam Gambhir anchored India’s innings till 178-4 but it was then down to Dhoni to take India home. A cool, calm and relaxed Dhoni finished things in style with 2 balls to spare and made the finish look easy while it wasn’t so. He even hit Clint McKay for a massive six during his stay at the crease. Dhoni made 44 off 58 balls.

9. 92 not out against South Africa, 2015

India were 1-0 down in the 5-match series against South Africa at home. They needed to come back in the second ODI at Indore. After being reduced to 104-5, India had to reach a decent target. Dhoni with his knock of 92 that included 7 fours and 4 sixes took India to 277-9 in 50 overs. The target proved sufficient as the Proteas were 225 all out. The player of the match had to be Dhoni, and he was.

10. 45 not out against Sri Lanka, 2013

India and Sri Lanka were in the final of the Tri-series which also featured the home team West Indies. The final was being played at Port of Spain and India were asked to chase 202 runs. India needed 15 runs from the last 6 balls. Dhoni was at the crease with Ishant Sharma as India were 9 wickets down. His exceptional hitting took India home with two balls to spare and India won tri-series because of his match-winning knock of 45 off 52 balls.

Source By cricketcountry…