Happy Birthday Mahi: Remembering The Greatest ODI Innings Of The Ace Cricketer
Mahendra Singh Dhoni a.k.a. Captain Cool is a well-known and respected name in the cricket fraternity. His skill, gameplay and attitude made him an inspiration for established as well as aspiring cricket players around the world.
MS Dhoni’s date of birth is 7th July and the ace cricketer celebrates his 40th birthday this year. Dhoni’s birth place is Ranchi and he has come a long way to create history in the world of cricket. Apart from being good at cricket, he is also an avid car and bike enthusiast.
The wicketkeeper-batsman is famous for his hard hits across the boundaries. Limited-overs cricket matches were a treat to watch because of his brilliant gameplay. He has given the cricket fans some of the most memorable cricket matches. On the occasion of Dhoni’s birthday, let us have a look at some of his greatest ODI innings-
India Vs Pakistan 2005 ODI Series, Visakhapatnam
Nothing can beat the excitement and fun of Indian cricket facing our arch-rivals Pakistan on the cricket pitch. And the excitement is increased tenfold if India is one on the winning side! Back in 2005, MS Dhoni’s rise to greatness had just commenced. Everyone was well-aware of his knack of hitting the ball hard and far, but his first four innings were not fruitful with 0, 12, 7*, 3. In the second match of India vs Pakistan 2005 ODI Series, captain Sourav Ganguly decided to promote Dhoni up to no. 3 spot. And once again, the ace cricketer did not disappoint. It was one of Dhoni’s best innings in ODI as he delivered some of his best hits with power and confidence, knocking the bowling prowess of the opposite team. Dhoni hit 15 boundaries and 4 sixes, scoring 148 in just 123 deliveries. He scored his first ODI hundred in 88 balls, making this match of India vs Pakistan 2005 ODI series MS Dhoni’s best score in ODI.
India Vs Sri Lanka 2005 ODI Series, Jaipur
When the Sri Lankan cricket team visited India for India vs Sri Lanka 2005 ODI series, Dhoni had already become a valued member of the Indian cricket team. Sachin Tendulkar was defeated early, leaving Dhoni to enter the cricket pitch at no. 3 yet again and created magic as he did against Pakistan a few months prior. A jaw-dropping score of 183 off 145 balls in this match of India vs Sri Lanka 2005 ODI series became MS Dhoni’s best score in ODI. He hit 10 massive sixes, 15 boundaries and guided India to victory by six wickets with 23 balls to spare. The attack against Chaminda Vaas over extra-over and then the brilliant footwork against Muttiah Muralitharan made it MS Dhoni’s best innings in ODI. It is Dhoni’s highest score in ODI and the prevailing highest individual score by a wicketkeeper-batsman in ODI cricket as well.
India Vs Sri Lanka 2011 ODI Series, Mumbai
The 2011 World Cup is an unforgettable match for every Indian cricket fan. MS Dhoni was meant to take the cricket pitch by storm in this match of the India vs Sri Lanka 2011 ODI series. His best ODI knock of all time arrived on 2nd April 2011. In the final of the tournament, India were 114 for 3 and the asking rate was around six in a chase of 275. In this nail-biting moment, entered the former captain of the Indian cricket team. While he was not meant to come in so early, going with his instinct, Dhoni insisted on going early. And this resulted in MS Dhoni’s best score in ODI. With his sheer talent and outstanding gameplay, he took India to World Cup glory after 28 years. He handled Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan’s ball game with brilliance and finished off India vs Sri Lanka 2011 ODI Series final in style. This was truly one of Dhoni’s best innings in ODI.
India Vs Australia 2012 ODI Series, Adelaide
Virender Sehwag and Virat Kohli left the cricket pitch early against the Australian bowler Clint McKay. When Dhoni entered the match, the Indian cricket team was at 178 for 4 in the 35th over. He slowly and gradually led India to the finishing line by scoring 61 for the fifth wicket with Suresh Raina off 72 balls. In the end, it came down to 12 off four balls and it was in this setting that another one of Dhoni’s best innings in ODI. Some miscalculation from the bowler’s end resulted in Dhoni hitting a six 112-metre long. He then secured a double and then polished off the chase with two balls to spare. This match of India vs Australia 2012 ODI series was a real belter and also MS Dhoni’s best score in ODI.
India Vs Australia 2019 ODI Series, Adelaide
In 2019, MS Dhoni was well past his prime. But in this ODI he showcased that he has the capability to present a brilliant game. He awed everyone with his gameplay when he went on to help India chase down 299 against Australia in an ODI game in Adelaide in January 2019. India needed to win one game to be in the series and while Kohli was doing the best, the target was still quite far. Dhoni playing in the middle-order stepped in at Ambati Rayudu’s dismissal with the score at 160/3. Dhoni and Kohli were quite a pair as Kohli kept playing his shots and Dhoni kept rotating the strike. When Kohli left the pitch with 57 runs, the audience witnessed MS Dhoni’s best score in ODI. Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik played the ball beautifully, running doubles and triples. In this one of Dhoni’s best innings in ODI, he scored an unbeaten 87 and fetched a victory for India in Australia for the first time.