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5 Times MS Dhoni Finished It Off In Style For India

MS Dhoni is one of the greatest finisher the game has seen (Twitter)MS Dhoni is one of the greatest finisher the game has seen (Twitter)

Former Indian captain, MS Dhoni has delivered joys to Indian cricket fans that goes beyond boundaries. Known as Captain Cool, Dhoni is the only skipper in history to have clinched every prestigious ICC tournament.

Time and again, MS Dhoni has taken matches deep into the last over and has saved India from precarious situations, showcasing his knack for thriving under pressure and smashing the ball out of the park to seal the deal for India.

As Dhoni turns 43, let’s celebrate his legacy by revisiting the top five moments when he saved India from embarrassing defeats.

5 Times MS Dhoni Finished It Off In Style For India

5. 95 off 130 balls vs West Indies, 2nd ODI, 2009

MS Dhoni scored 95 off 130 balls (Twitter)MS Dhoni scored 95 off 130 balls (Twitter)

MS Dhoni's 95 against the West Indies on June 26, 2009, in the second ODI of the series at Sabina Park, Jamaica, showcased his exceptional batting.

India's top order faltered early, finding themselves in a dismal position at 7/3 and later at 82/8. Dhoni’s fight and skill were crucial in steering India to a respectable total.

Walking in to bat amidst the collapse, Dhoni took charge of rebuilding the innings. He formed a vital 101-run partnership with RP Singh.

Dhoni’s ability to rotate the strike and find boundaries helped stabilize the innings. His knock of 95 off 130 balls, featuring 10 fours and a six, lifted India to 188, preventing a total embarrassment.

4. 113 off 125 balls vs Pakistan, 1st ODI, 2012

MS Dhoni fought single-handedly vs Pakistan (Twitter)MS Dhoni fought single-handedly vs Pakistan (Twitter)

In the first ODI of Pakistan’s tour of India on December 30, 2012, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, MS Dhoni delivered a brilliant innings to save India from embarrassment.

India’s top order collapsed, reeling at 29/5 against Pakistan's formidable bowling attack. Dhoni's entry at number six was a turning point. Facing immense pressure, Dhoni scored a resilient and unbeaten 113 off 125 balls.

His calm and calculated approach, featuring seven fours and three sixes, rebuilt the innings. Partnerships with Suresh Raina and R Ashwin were crucial, helping India recover to a total of 227/6.

3. 85* of 76 balls vs Zimbabwe, ICC World Cup 2015

MS Dhoni saved India from a shock loss vs Zimbabwe alongside Suresh Raina (Twitter)MS Dhoni saved India from a shock loss vs Zimbabwe alongside Suresh Raina (Twitter)

In the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup, MS Dhoni once again proved why he is considered one of the greatest finishers in cricket. During the group stage match, Zimbabwe, batting first, posted a competitive total of 287, thanks to a brilliant century from Brendan Taylor.

India's chase got off to a rocky start, with the top order collapsing and leaving the team struggling at 92/4. Enter Dhoni, who joined forces with Suresh Raina to rescue the innings.

Dhoni and Raina steadied the ship amid troubled waters. Dhoni's experience and calm demeanour under pressure were crucial as he rotated the strike and built a solid partnership with Raina.

As the innings progressed, Dhoni began to accelerate, displaying his signature finishing skills. He picked the right moments to attack, ensuring the chase was always within reach.

The turning point came in the 48th over when Dhoni unleashed his power, hitting crucial boundaries to bring India closer to the target.

His unbeaten knock of 85 from 76 balls, studded with eight fours and two sixes, was a masterclass in pacing an innings under pressure. 

2. 45* off 52 Balls vs Sri Lanka, 2013 Celkon Cup Final

MS Dhoni won India the tri-series from an improbable situation (Twitter)MS Dhoni won India the tri-series from an improbable situation (Twitter)

Fresh off an improbable Champions Trophy win with a young squad in England, Dhoni's team arrived in the Caribbean for the tri-series with West Indies and Sri Lanka. 

After an injury in the first match, Dhoni seemed unlikely to play the rest of the tournament. Virat Kohli led the team to the finals in Dhoni's absence. Despite not being fully fit, Dhoni returned for the final.

Sri Lanka set a challenging target of 201 on a difficult pitch. Their bowlers stifled India’s batting, with only Rohit Sharma managing a significant score of 58. 

Dhoni came in needing 60 runs from 18 overs. But as wickets tumbled, India was precariously placed at 152-7. With Dhoni not in top form, the match seemed to be slipping away.

Needing 15 runs off the last over with one wicket remaining, Sri Lanka appeared to have the upper hand. Shaminda Eranga bowled a dot ball first up, making the equation 15 off 5. 

But it was Dhoni’s moment to shine. In just three balls, he turned the game on its head with a 6, 4, and another 6, clinching the victory in dramatic fashion.

1. 91* of 79 balls vs Sri Lanka, ICC World Cup 2011 Final

MS Dhoni rose to the occasion and helped India win the WC trophy at home (Twitter)MS Dhoni rose to the occasion and helped India win the WC trophy at home (Twitter)

In the 2011 ICC World Cup final, held on April 2 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, MS Dhoni played an iconic and match-winning innings that is etched in cricketing history. India was chasing a target of 275 set by Sri Lanka, and the team found itself in a challenging position when Dhoni came to the crease.

At 114/3 in the 22nd over, with key batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli already dismissed, the situation was tense. Dhoni promoted himself to number five, ahead of the in-form Yuvraj Singh, a strategic move that would prove crucial.

Dhoni's calm and composed approach under pressure was evident as he expertly rotated the strike, found the gaps, and occasionally unleashed powerful strokes.

In the 49th over, with just four runs needed, Dhoni sealed the victory in his signature style. He launched Nuwan Kulasekara over long-on for a stunning six, finishing on 91 not out from 79 balls to lead India to a World Cup win after 28 years.