In another tribute to MS Dhoni, we will now look at the numerous occasions where Dhoni stood up with some match-saving knocks.
Though India lost the game on most occasions, MS Dhoni managed to get India to a respectable position despite his batsmen’s lack of support.
65 vs. Sri Lanka ODI 2017, Dharamshala
Facing Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Dharamshala, India were put in to bat on what looked a good pitch.
Virat Kohli wasn’t playing the series, and India’s middle-order was yet to prove its strength.
The Sri Lankan fast bowlers were a talented group with a lot of heart.
They surprised the Indians and used the movement on offer to wreck the batting line-up.
Suranga Lakmal and Angelo Mathews bowled very well upfront, and India were reduced to 35-7
MS Dhoni walked in during the 13th over and was the last recognized batsman.
The responsibility fell on him when the side was seven down to ensure India gets a respectable score.
With Kuldeep, Bumrah, and Chahal for company, MS Dhoni farmed the strike and proved his ability, though his age has been questioned.
Despite the entry of young batsmen, MS Dhoni proved his worth and was the only one to provide a fight to the Sri Lankan bowlers.
He scored 65 runs with ten fours and two sixes.
His innings helped India get to 112, which was quickly chased down, completing a humiliating defeat.
In a terrible performance, the senior-most batsman managed helped India salvage some pride with a fighting knock, as he had done so many times in his career.
95 vs. West indies 2009, Kingston.
In 2009, West Indies were still a formidable unit, before the advent of T20 leagues, and played with strong line-ups.
They had a strong pace attack in Ravi Rampaul, Jerome Taylor, and Dwayne Bravo.
Playing without Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, India had to bring in Dinesh Karthik, and Rohit Sharma had to bat at three.
Early dismissals of Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, and Rohit Sharma bought Dhoni to the crease when the score was 7 for the loss of three wickets.
Dhoni had Yuvraj Singh as his partner, and the two had some brilliant partnerships in the past.
Yuvraj Singh played a counter-attacking knock but was dismissed for 35, and his wicket led to another collapse.
With three more wickets, MS Dhoni finally found support in RP Singh.
The two held the ship as MS Dhoni made 95 and was the last man to be dismissed.
India finished with 188 as only three players managed to get into double-digits.
MS Dhoni’s 95 was one of the many innings where he came close to scoring an overseas century but couldn’t.
67 vs. Sri Lanka 2010, Dambulla, Tri-series Final
Taking part in a tri-series involving Sri Lanka and New Zealand, India’s batting struggled throughout the tournament.
Virender Sehwag provides some brilliant knocks throughout the tournament as India scraped its way to the finals.
The bowling looked strong throughout the series, but the batting was faulty.
India’s highest score throughout the tri-series was 225, which came in the finals.
The bowling had done a great job, but, in the final, they failed to deliver.
Sri Lanka put up 299 on the board, and the task looked like a tough one for India.
The task became more challenging as Sehwag was out in the sixth over.
Sehwag was the best batsman of the series for India, and his early dismissal put a lot of pressure on the side.
Young Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Yuvraj Singh managed to get starts, but neither could hang around long enough.
In the end, MS Dhoni batted with the tail as he made 67 off 100 balls.
He was the lone warrior in the chase and was the last to be dismissed.
113 vs. Pakistan 2012, 1st ODI Chennai
India played their first bilateral series with Pakistan after a significant gap on a humid day in Chennai.
Rains in the city before the match resulted in lots of heat and humidity as the game went on.
It was India’s first ODI after Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement in the fifty over game.
Facing Junaid Khan and seven-foot one Mohammad Irfan, the batting line-up stood no chance.
They were reduced to 29-5, with Junaid taking four wickets and Irfan taking one.
Pakistan’s bowling contained some influential names, with Gul, Ajmal, and Hafeez yet to bowl.
The gamed seemed dead as Suresh Raina, and MS Dhoni started to rebuild on a pitch they have played many games on.
The two have been apart of CSK for many years, and they were given the job of rebuilding an innings for India.
The two batsmen started very slowly, and then come back was hit, as Raina was dismissed in the batting powerplay for 43.
The dismissal bought another CSK player, Ravichandran Ashwin.
At the time of Raina’s dismissal, MS Dhoni was on 22 off 63.
He hung around and was firm with his defense, biding his time.
Towards the last ten overs, Dhoni turned his innings around rapidly.
He bought his big shots out and attacked the Pakistan bowlers well.
He made 113 off 125 as India finished with 227.
The Indian Captain braved the Pakistan bowlers and Chennai heat, which took a massive toll as MS Dhoni was entirely out of breath towards the innings.
India lost the match, but the innings went down as one of the greatest by the Captain.
92 vs. South Africa 2015, 2nd ODI, Indore.
Failing to finish a run chase in the first ODI, criticism towards MS Dhoni continued to grow.
Many claimed the Captain was past his prime, and there was a lot said about him.
India came into the second ODI down in the series.
The side lost the T20 series against South Africa, and half-way through the first innings, it looked like the ODI series was going to be a tough one.
India was 124-6 at one stage of the innings, and MS Dhoni was again left to bat with the tail.
He produced another special knock, as he finished with 92.
He hit a six off the innings’ last ball, and India finished with 247-9.
The score was enough as India won the match and leveled the series.
The knock silenced the critics temporarily as the Captain proved his worth again.
65 vs. South Africa 2013, 1st ODI, Johannesburg
Touring South Africa at the end of 2013, India was facing a stern chase of 359.
The score was a daunting one, and the pitch was by no means a flat-track.
The South Africans put up good performances as the Indian bowlers struggled, and the South Africans put up a great score.
With Dale Steyn at the top of his game, and Morne Morkel supporting him well, the South African bowler was too good for the Indians.
The chase was killed quickly as South Africa chipped away with regular wickets.
Barring Virat Kohli, none of the top four got starts, and MS Dhoni was again left to climb a mountain with the tail.
Though the chase was nearly impossible, the Captain hung around and made 65.
He was the ninth man to be dismissed as India were all-out for 217.
77 vs. England,2011 third test, First Innings,
Two down in the series, Zaheer Khan injured and number one test ranking on the line, India came into the third Test under immense pressure.
They have recently been crowned World Champions but struggled in a completely different format.
They struggled in the first two tests, and the third Test looked no different.
In the first innings, Broad and Bresnan made quick work of the top order, and the onus fell on a man with no overseas centuries.
The Indian Captain did all he could to get India to a respectable score, as he weathered Broad, Bresnan, and Anderson.
He made 77 and was the only fighter in the innings as India finished with 224
74 vs. England,2011 third test, Second Innings
After MS Dhoni’s heroics in the first innings, England piled 710 on the board, leaving India with a massive task on hand.
Anderson looked unplayable with the new ball, and the side was quickly reduced to 87-5.
The batting struggled in the Test, but MS Dhoni provided another face-saving knock.
He hit 74 in the second innings and was unbeaten as India were all-out for 244, completing a massive defeat.
71 vs. England 2014 fourth test, Manchester.
Unlike in 2011, India managed a better start in 2013, as the series was level going into the third game.
India pulled off a great win in Lords, but the hard work was quickly erased as they lost the third Test.
The side suffered from injuries on the extended tour, as they lost Ishant Sharma after his match-winning performance in Lords.
India was in tatters early in the fourth Test.
The side lost four wickets for just eight runs, with three of the top four out for zero.
MS Dhoni was again left alone as he and Ashwin fought hard.
In the end, the player who was criticized for his technique to play in England and lack of overseas centuries pulled off another masterclass.
Dhoni made 71 as India got 152.
India was poorly defeated again, but Dhoni’s knock showed what heart can do that technique can’t.
82 vs. England 2014 fifth Test, The Oval.
While Dhoni scored some wonderful seventies in the previous Test and on India’s last visit to England, his knock in the final innings is arguably one of his best Test knocks.
After a long test career, the overseas century eluded him, and he walked in at 28-4.
Anderson and Broad were doing what they did best, and MS Dhoni was again the only obstacle they faced.
Unlike the previous Test, Ashwin couldn’t provide as much support as MS Dhoni batted alone this time.
His questionable technique made him an immovable force as he flayed the bowling and made 82.
He took the side to 148 and was the only one who stood up to the English bowlers.
His 82 was proof that despite the lack of overseas centuries and a unique playstyle, Dhoni had it in him to play outside the subcontinent.
India lost the Test and series, but the knock stood out as one of Dhoni’s best outside India.
He batted with a lot of grit and fought hard, copping blows to the body as he looked to save India.
Despite all the criticism he faced, his batting managed to save the country from embarrassing moments, as he did in the fifth Test.