NEW DELHI: A calm and cool demeanour has been Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s forte. Such is his astute brain that the Decision Review System (DRS) has been renamed ‘Dhoni Review System’ by his fans on social media.
Acclaimed as one of the best finishers in world cricket, there have been numerous instances when Dhoni has stunned one and with his presence of mind, sometimes with his lightning quick glove-work behind the stumps and sometimes with the ball in his hand.
Here we look at some of such instances:
India vs West Indies: Champions Trophy (2009)
Dhoni bowled for the first time in ODIs against West Indies in their Group A Champions Trophy match at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on September 30, 2009.
West Indies were 49/4 in 16 overs when Dhoni came on to bowl with Dinesh Karthik donning the gloves behind the stumps and Travis Dowlin on strike. The first two deliveries, rank long hops, were hit for boundaries by Dowlin. The third delivery was a dot ball. But the fourth delivery did the trick. Dhoni pitched it up and got it to bounce a little bit more and Dowlin got an inside edge onto his stumps. This was Dhoni’s first and only wicket in international cricket.
India vs England: 1st Test, Lord’s (2011)
The Indian bowling attack weakened considerably when pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, who had taken two wickets, pulled out with a hamstring injury in the 42nd over on Day 1 in the first Test at Lord’s in July 2011.
On Day 2, Dhoni surprised everyone when he came on to bowl his medium pacers in the first over after Lunch with Rahul Dravid keeping the gloves. On the third ball of his second over, with England at 219/3, Kevin Pietersen was beaten outside the off-stump and adjudged caught behind by Billy Bowden. As the Indians celebrated, Pietersen called for a review and the replays showed that his bat had flicked his pad and the Hot Spot showed no signs of an edge. Pietersen went on to score an unbeaten 202 and England won the match by 196 runs.
India vs Bangladesh: World T20, Bengaluru (2016)
Bangladesh had nearly won this one till Dhoni outsmarted and outran them. Chasing a 147-run target, Bangladesh were well on course in their World T20 Group 2 clash at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on March 23, 2016. It boiled down to the last over and Hardik Pandya was entrusted the responsibility of defending 10 runs.
Mahmudullah scored a single off the first ball to give Mushfiqur Rahim the strike, who hit the next two deliveries for boundaries and even pumped his fists in celebration after the second boundary. But Rahim went for the glorious shot on the next ball and was caught at deep mid-wicket by Shikhar Dhawan. With two runs needed off two balls, Mahmudullah came on strike as the batsmen had crossed while the ball was in the air. Dhoni replaced Dhawan with India’s best fielder Ravindra Jadeja at deep mid-wicket. And Mahmudullah, as if on cue, hit the next delivery over deep mid-wicket, Jadeja ran in and took a brilliant diving catch.
With two runs needed off the last ball, Bangladesh had new batsmen Shuvagata Hom and Mustafizur Rahman in the middle. With Shuvagata on strike, Dhoni removed the glove off his right hand, just in case. Pandya bowled a short ball outside off but Shuvagata failed to connect, Dhoni collected the ball and instead of throwing, ran towards the stumps, Mustafizur ran from the non-striker’s hand. But Mustafizur could not outrun Dhoni and fell short of the crease as Dhoni hit the stumps with the ball in his right hand to keep India’s campaign alive in the tournament with a one-run victory.
India vs New Zealand: 4th ODI, Ranchi (2016)
The 4th ODI of the India-New Zealand series was played at Dhoni’s home ground at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on October 26, 2016. And Dhoni fascinated his fans yet again with his glovework.
On the third ball of the 46th over, Ross Taylor played an Umesh Yadav delivery to fine leg where Dhawal Kulkarni fielded the ball and threw it back. But as the throw was slow on the bounce, Dhoni went slightly ahead to collect the ball, collected it and without looking at the stumps, threw it backwards to run out Taylor (35).