MS Dhoni is a living cricket legend, and his fan following in India is quite extraordinary. Besides winning three ICC trophies for India, he has also won four IPL tournaments. Seven trophies of such marque events is indeed an extraordinary achievement and is unmatched at the International level.
Apart from being one of the most successful skippers in the history of cricket, is also hailed as one of the best finishers. In the MS Dhoni in IPL history, he has taken his team past the finishing line on countless occasions. At an average of 39.2, he has piled up 4978 runs in the Indian Premier League.
In his 15 years for Chennai Super Kings, we have picked the five best performances of MS Dhoni in IPL. Let’s see them one by one.
5. 84* of 48 Against Royal Challengers Bangalore (2019)
The fans witnessed a thriller between the two heavyweight IPL teams in 2019. RCB posted a fine total of 161 in 20 overs. The track wasn’t easy to score fluently, so the target was always going to be challenging for the Chennai side.
In the second innings, RCB pacers destroyed the CSK top order and reduced them to 28 for 4 in the sixth over. The skipper arrived at the crease and stitched a resilient partnership of 55 runs with Ambati Rayudu. After Rayudu’s departure, Dhoni kept losing partners as he was battling hard to get close to RCB’s total.
When their 7th wicket fell on the last ball of the second last over, CSK were left with 26 to get in the final over. Dhoni went 4, 6, 6 to start the over, and the equation was now 10 off 3. The next ball went for 2, and then Dhoni plundered another 6 to bring it down to 2 off the final ball.
A run out on the last delivery of the match saw CSK lose the game by one run. Unfortunately, Dhoni couldn’t pull off one of the most remarkable chases in IPL history. But it was an incredible knock and probably the best in a losing cause in IPL history.
4. 51* of 20 Against Mumbai Indians (2012)
CSK and MI are the arch-rivals of the Indian Premier League. The former team has 4 IPL titles, while the latter has 5. Each game between them is a blockbuster, and every player wants to star in these clashes. Dhoni certainly did in one of them during the IPL 2012.
Chennai were batting first against the Mumbai side, and their batters were struggling for fluency. When they lost their 5th wicket at the score of 114, only 29 balls were left in the innings. It looked like they might settle for a score around 150, but Dhoni had other ideas.
Out of the 20 deliveries he faced, 8 went beyond the boundary ropes. He raced to 51 runs in just 20 balls, and CSK posted a mammoth total of 187 runs on the board. Due to Dhoni’s smashing knock, they bagged a comfortable 38-run win.
3. 51 of 26 Against Mumbai Indians (2013)
Here’s another one of MS Dhoni in IPL history incredible innings vs. the Mumbai Indians. Thanks to Pollard’s unbeaten 57 off 38 balls, MI set a target of 149 on a tough batting pitch. In the chase, CSK never got any sort of momentum and were reeling at 5 for 66 after 12.1 overs. At that point, they needed another 83 runs in just 47 deliveries.
MS Dhoni tried to get his side back on track with a 31-run partnership with Ravindra Jadeja. But when the latter fell, and Ashwin followed him in the next over, the target was 41 of 19. It seemed that the game had slipped out of CSK’s hands, but their skipper didn’t give up.
Dhoni hammered 51 off 26 balls, including 5 fours and 3 gigantic sixes, to leave 12 runs in the last over. His brutal attack gave his side a chance, but he couldn’t finish it off. He got out on the first ball of the final over, and Mumbai cruised to victory. MSD couldn’t win the game, but it was certainly one of the best performances of MS Dhoni in IPL history.
2. 75* of 46 Against Rajasthan Royals (2019)
Chennai were struggling against RR while batting first after losing their 3rd wicket at the score of 27 in the 5th over. Citing the tough circumstances, MSD promoted himself to #5 and started the recovery act with Suresh Raina. Both the batters put on a crucial 61-run stand before the latter was dismissed.
With just 88 runs on the board and only 38 balls left in the innings, CSK needed to go big, and there could be no better person than Dhoni to do this job.
With the help of 4 boundaries and as many maximums, he cruised to 75* off just 46 balls. His flourish at the death powered Super Kings to 175 in 20 overs.
Thanks to an MSD special, Chennai emerged victorious with a tight margin of just 8 runs. Dhoni was awarded the Man of the Match award for his brilliant performance.
1. 70* of 34 Against Royal Challengers Bangalore (2018)
If you are already overwhelmed after reading about Dhoni’s miraculous knocks in the Indian Premier League, then brace yourself before the final one because this knock is undoubtedly the best performance of MS Dhoni in the IPL.
CSK were set a massive target of 207 runs by the Bangalore side. In the pursuit of a hefty chase, they were struggling at 74 for 4 after 9 overs. Chennai needed further 133 runs in just 66 balls at a rate of more than 12 runs per over. Ambati Rayudu was standing firm on one end, and MS Dhoni came to join him. Both batters put on a partnership of 101 runs in only 53 balls before Rayudu fell for a phenomenal 82 off 53.
Now, CSK were left to get 31 runs off the last 13 deliveries, and all the eyes were on Dhoni. The next 5 balls went for only just 4 runs, and 27 off the last 8 looked like too much to ask from even the Chennai skipper. However, Dhoni smashed a six to keep the hopes alive, and it was followed by three wides and a couple of runs. Consequently, the Super Kings required 19 off the final over.
Bravo got 11 of the 3 balls he faced, and the strike went back to the Chennai skipper. 5 runs were required off the final 3 balls, and Dhoni bludgeoned one into the stands to seal an emphatic victory. He finished unbeaten on 70, and his innings included one four and seven towering maximums. He was awarded the well-deserved Player of the Match award as CSK got one of their all-time great wins.