1. 2019, ICC Cricket World Cup, Semi-Final: India vs New Zealand
“Cometh the hour, cometh the man” – Only a few have been bestowed upon with this English proverb, and even lesser have earned it. However, going by Mahendra Singh Dhoni‘s innings at India vs New Zealand ICC Cricket World 2019 semi-final match, Maahi is the most deserving holder of this title. He, with his magical wand (read bat), came out onto the field like a knight in shining armour, literally dragging the team out of the woods to settle for a respectable score on the board. Fans of the former Indian skipper shall attest, this ain’t the first time Captain Cool saved the day and pulled off a miracle. As we uphold our heroes for fighting a good fight yesterday, here’s a look at five times Dhoni was India’s saving grace with his sweep deliveries.
Starting with fresh off the list, the reason why India lost to the Kiwis by just 18 runs is only and only because of Maahi. After KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli were sent back for a run each, the onus fell on the middle order batsmen. Although many are still debating if it was right for Dhoni to be sent at no. 7, the man gave his brilliant best and scored 50 from 72 balls. After being knocked out by the Kiwi quicks, it was his walk back to the pavilion that broke millions of hearts as #donotretiredhoni echoed in sync.
2. 2011, ICC Cricket World Cup, Final: India v/s Sri Lanka
India reaching the final of 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup rightfully raised visions of the home team lifting the trophy at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. MS Dhoni and boys had to chase an ambitious 274 when the captain decided to come in early but justified the choice 79 balls later. A swaggering 91 unbeaten led India to win the coveted cup for the second time, after a long wait of 28 years. His lionhearted six is still a fresh memory in the minds of cricket fans.
3. 2009, India's tour of West Indies, 2nd ODI: India v/s West Indies
India’s seven for three had already instigated talks of a disappointing defeat. In came the captain and the sinking ship was sailing successfully once again! His knock of 95 came from a 101-run stand along with Rudra Pratap Singh – how many times have you seen a number 5 and number 9 together guide through troubled waters in a One-Day International?
4. 2013, Border-Gavaskar Trophy, 1st Test: India v/s Australia
The Border – Gavaskar trophy, named after Australia’s Allan Border and India’s Sunil Gavaskar, is one of the most coveted titles in the world of cricket for India. In 2013, the Aussies finished the first innings of the first test match with a herculean figure of 380. After the top order crumbled, Dhoni smashed Australian bowlers wide across the park, all around. His impressive 224 runs, the highest one ever by an Indian captain, eventually led to India’s victory.
5. 2005, Sri Lanka's tour of India, 3rd ODI: India v/s Sri Lanka
In 2005 Sri Lanka’s tour of India, the guest team played a spectacular inning with a total of 299 for the home team to chase. Tendulkar was sent back in the very first over, making all of India’s nightmares come true. Then came a flamboyant figure, famous for his long locks and valiant knocks. Dhoni’s mighty 183 in just 145 balls were packed with 15 swift fours and 11 gigantic sixes! The win also led India to lock in a lead of 3-0 in a seven-match series.
Hope all the doubts as to why Captain Cool MS Dhoni is called Mr. Reliable by his fans and the cricket world. He takes one for the team and gives it back with mammoth strokes whenever required. It indeed is sad that we won’t see him around for the next World Cup, we will miss you Maahi! #DoNotRetireDhoni
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