MS Dhoni won our hearts when he won the inaugural World Twenty20 cup against archrivals Pakistan. He won our hearts again when he brought home the 2011 World Cup. There are myriad moments when Dhoni has risen to the occasion and led his team to victory. He is one of the calmest faces of world cricket, but he is also one of the boldest cricketers in the world because of his game changing decisions. Dhoni captained India in 199 One-day Internationals, winning 110 and losing 74, with four ties and 11 no-results. He has a winning percentage of 59.57. He also led India in 72 T20 Internationals, winning 41 and losing 28, with one tie and two no-results.
The bold cricketer decided to step down from the coveted title of captain of the Indian cricket team just before his 200th match. We’ve selected 15 bold moments from Dhoni’s time as captain of the Indian cricket team.
1) India vs. Sri Lanka at Mumbai, April 2, 2011 – the six we’ll never forget
Mahendra Singh Dhoni promoted himself to No. 5 ahead of an in form Yuvraj Singh and hit an unbeaten 91 from 79 balls to steer India to glory against Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup final in Mumbai, ending a 28-year-long wait for the Indians. Captain bold decided to finish the game with a majestic six and held his pose as he watched the ball cross the fence where devout supporters were watching in awe of their captain cool.
“If we hadn’t won, I would have been asked quite a few questions: why no Yuvraj, why did I bat ahead? That pushed me and motivated to do well. The pressure had got to me in the previous games. In this game, I wanted to bat up the order and Gary (Kirsten) backed me. I had a point to prove to myself.”
MS Dhoni during the post-match presentation.
2) ICC T20 World Cup 2016: Dhoni’s bold conversation about retirement talks
After India were knocked out of the World T20 cricket tournament by the West Indies in the semifinal here last night, Dhoni was asked at the post-match press conference whether he would continue playing the game in the shorter format. Dhoni boldly invited the Australian scribe to the dais and put his hands on the shoulder of the scribe and asked him questions instead. Dhoni’s witty questions rattled the reporter but helped answer all the questions the reporter had.
3) The bold decision to drop Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid from the 2008 CB series
The team’s selection became controversial after Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid were left out. While some criticised the decision to drop the seniors, others questioned the timing of the selection, a day after the historic win in the Perth Test. A majority of the team had not played in Australia earlier and certain sections raised questions about their ability to handle demanding conditions. But bold Dhoni opted to go with a young aggressive team believing that it was the right thing to do.
4) First ODI hundred – 148 vs. Pakistan at Visakhapatnam, April 2005
The MS Dhoni-Virender Sehwag partnership sealed it for India. Batting at No 3 in what was his fifth One-Day International (ODI), Dhoni came in to bat at 26, at the fall of Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket. He went on to add 96 with Sehwag off 62-balls. Dhoni smacked 148 from 120-balls, hitting 15 fours and four sixes. His knock masterminded India to a massive 356 and which finally helped the team win by 58 runs, to 2-0 in the series.
5) Selecting Sehwag and Uthappa for the bowl out against Pakistan
Pakistan went for their five specialist bowlers, Arafat, Gul, Afridi, Tanvir, and Asif. Dhoni on the other hand put his trust in Sehwag and Uthappa to open the bowl out. Dhoni also stood very close to the stumps, which helped the bowlers in aiming at the stumps. The bold move resulted in India winning the bowl out 3-0.
6) Split second stumping of Shabbir Rahman that won India the game
Shabbir Rahman was taking the game away from India before MS Dhoni brought on Suresh Raina and he lured Rahman outside the crease just enough for Dhoni to show his magic with gloves. He waited for the split second where Shabbir’s feet were in air, to whip the bails off and ended Shabbir’s promising innings.
7) No-look run out of Ross Taylor – it can’t get bolder than this
MS Dhoni showed why he is irreplaceable as a wicket keeper for India when he ran out Ross Taylor during India’s fourth ODI against New Zealand at Ranchi on Wednesday. Collecting the ball from Dhawal Kulkarni, India’s ODI skipper pulled off a blinder when he received the ball and threw it at the stumps in one swift action. All this happened with Dhoni’s back to the woodwork.
You can check out the video here
8) Dhoni pulls of a Bolt to run out Mustafizur Rahman in the last ball of the match
After a lengthy chat with Dhoni and Ashish Nehra, Pandya sent down a back-of-a-length ball outside off, which Shuvagata Hom could not reach. He attempted a bye, and Mustafizur responded, but Dhoni was too quick for him. He sprinted and broke the stumps as India edged Bangladesh.
9) Dhoni bounces England out and won India a test match at Lord’s after 28 years
India needed six wickets to win and the match was drifting away with Joe Root and Moeen Ali were grinding it out for England. Last over before Lunch and MS Dhoni decided to take a gamble. He needed a faithful accomplice and Ishant was there. The tall, lanky fast bowler bent his back and send down eight overs of intense, short-pitched bowling with a ball that was as soft as a brownie. He bounced five England batsmen out and won India a Test match at Lord’s after 28 years.
10) Dhoni gives ball to Joginder Sharma to bowl the last over of the T20 final
Everyone was at the edge of their seats at Wanderers when Pakistan needed 13 runs from 6 balls with a wicket in hand. Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, well set on 35 when Dhoni pulled a surprise by giving the ball to the Haryana medium pacer.
Dhoni is one of the boldest faces of world cricket. His never give up attitude has won India big matches. If you think there have been bolder moments go ahead and comment them on the article. Be Bold like MSD and live a life of “sixes”.