Former Indian Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on India’s Independence Day (15th August). There is no doubt that MS Dhoni will go down as one of the best white-ball cricketers to have represented India.
He was the most successful limited-overs captain for India and was instrumental in helping the side clinching inaugural 2007 T20 World Cup followed by 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. He also completed his trophy cabinet to help India win 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England. From his blitzkrieg 183 run against Sri Lanka in his early days to smashing memorable half-century to help India clinch 2011 ICC World Cup final in Mumbai, Let’s take a look at the top five knocks produced by MS Dhoni.
148 runs vs Pakistan, Vishakhapatnam in 2005
In his fifth innings for India, MS Dhoni was determined to make a statement and prove his critics wrong. After being promoted to no.3 in the batting order, MS Dhoni delivered his best with the bat and notched up his maiden century for India in limited-overs cricket. He put on a 96-run partnership with Virender Sehwag to stabilize the innings for India.
MS Dhoni showed his class and caliber with the bat and smashed 148 runs off 123 balls. He smashed five boundaries and four sixes in his innings and destroyed Pakistan bowlers to see India post a daunting total of 359 runs.
183 vs Sri Lanka, Jaipur in 2005
After notching up his maiden ton against Pakistan in 2005, Dhoni didn’t stop there and went on to produce a blistering innings for India in a game played against Sri Lanka at Jaipur. With India chasing 299 runs for victory, Dhoni came to the crease at no.3 once again after Tendulkar perished for a low score. He put on a 92-run partnership with Virender Sehwag to revive the innings for India.
Once Sehwag was dismissed in the 15th over, MS Dhoni went berserk and launched an all-out assault on the Sri Lankan bowlers. He smashed 183 runs off 145 balls to see India register a comfortable six-wicket victory. Due to this remarkable innings, Dhoni held the record for the highest individual score by a wicket-keeper in one-day internationals.
In late part of the innings he struggled with cramps and scored his last 50 runs with help of a runner. With his scintillating performance, MS Dhoni has truly arrived at the international stage and was able to shift gears when needed during his innings.
91* vs Sri Lanka, Mohali in 2011 World Cup Final
Chasing 275 runs to win World Cup one home soil, India got off to a shaky start as Lasith Malinga dismissed Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag in quick succession. Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli led the fightback with 83-run partnership.
Kohli was dismissed for 35 runs to see Captain MS Dhoni walk out to the crease. He promoted himself ahead of in-form Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni batted well despite having stiff back in the finals. He played well and kept the scoreboard ticking for India at a decent rate. He smashed 91 not out off 79 balls to help India win their second World Cup title and their first one on home soil. He smashed a big six over the long-on to clinch the historic win for India at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
139* vs Australia, Mohali in 2013
With the side in deep trouble at 154 for 6 and Virat Kohli already back in the dressing room, MS Dhoni put on a 76-run stand with Ravichandran Ashwin to rebuild the innings for India. He delivered a splendid performance with the bat to help India make a strong comeback and post 303 for 9 in their allotted 50 overs.
MS Dhoni remained unbeaten till the end and smashed 139 not out off 121 balls with the help of 12 boundaries and 5 sixes. He also smashed medium-pacer James Faulkner for two fours and two sixes in the final over of the innings.
134 vs England, Cuttack in 2017
With India reeling at 25 for 3, India were in deep trouble when MS Dhoni came out to the crease to join Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj Singh came out with a positive intent and smashed a couple of boundaries and Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball. In the 14th over, MS Dhoni decided to shift gears and accelerate the rate of scoring. Dhoni and Yuvraj smashed the English bowlers all-round the park as India collected 100 runs off the last 42 balls. With late blitz, India managed to post a mammoth total of 381 runs in their allotted 50 overs. Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Ravendra Jadeja smashed a couple of boundaries to see India push their score beyond 350-run mark.