In a recent interview, Virat Kohli terms MS Dhoni as the “best finisher in the world”, after the skipper led to a win at the finals of Asia Cup against Bangladesh in Mirpur. It was during the last two overs, when India wanted 19 overs to win in just 6 balls, that Dhoni secured two sixes and put the team on the winning track.
However, this is not the first time that Dhoni has shown the world “who’s the boss” with his as-cool-as-a-cucumber attitude. So in which matches has he pushed the winning momentum forward? Let us take a look at three memorable finishes:
1. Adelaide, 2012:
Played against Sri Lanka, this match was a tie – but it wouldn’t had been one if Dhoni hadn’t showed his batting prowess towards the end of it. India was at 118 for 4 when Dhoni joined Gautam Gambhir to put on a 50-run partnership. Even after Gambhir walked back towards the pavilion and several wickets later, Dhoni stood his ground and ended his match in a tie.
2. Trinidad, 2013:
Another memorable match played against the Sri Lankan team, here also, Dhoni struck a commendable 45 runs off 52 balls to ensure India’s win in the tri-series by just one wicket. India was struggling at 139/4 when Dhoni came to the field to bat.
The situation got even worse after most of the players gave in to the slow pitch leaving India at 182 for 9. But since Dhoni is “Dhoni”, his cool temperament earned the team 15 runs in the last over and secured India one of its most memorable wins in an ODI series.
3. Mumbai, 2011:
Everyone remembers the 2011 ICC World Cup final, right? Of course! Dhoni hit a smashing 91 runs off just 79 deliveries, along with Yuvraj Singh. It was India’s first World Cup win in 28 years. So it WAS a big deal! It was when the team needed 275 runs from 50 overs that Dhoni’s pace picked up. He single-handedly took the onus of ensuring they secure this massive win.
Like every sportsperson, Dhoni’s form has also dropped and picked up a number of times. It’s normal. But the way he has performed in the matches mentioned above is matchless. A lot has got to do with smooth, humbling behaviour. He literally never panics or stresses out even in the toughest of situations. That’s a lesson all sportspeople should learn from him!