MS Dhoni against England in the ICC Champions Trophy final

5 times MS Dhoni proved he was Captain Cool

In August 2020, MS Dhoni had the cricket fraternity in disbelief when he announced his retirement from international cricket. The enigmatic wicketkeeper batter made his debut for India in 2004 and, within a few matches, cemented his place in the team as the first-choice wicketkeeper.

Following a victorious campaign at the 2007 T20 World Cup, MS Dhoni was given charge of the national side in the limited-overs format. And by the end of next year, he had replaced Anil Kumble as the captain in the longest format of the game.


It signalled the beginning of a golden era for Indian Cricket that culminated in India lifting the 2011 World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Throughout his career, Dhoni's captaincy has been defined by his composure and street-smartness - earning him the epithet of Captain Cool. With that in mind, let's look at five instances where Dhoni proved he was 'Captain Cool'.

#5. 2013 Champions Trophy final: 18th over vs. England

#OnThisDay in 2013, India won the Champions Trophy in a thriller!

In a rain-shortened game, England needed 20 runs from 16 balls with six wickets in hand. Ishant Sharma took two wickets in an over, Ravindra Jadeja took two more, as India won by five runs.

In 2013, MS Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC tournaments when India defeated England in the final of the 2013 Champions Trophy.

England were chasing 130 runs in a final that was reduced to 20 overs per side due to heavy rain. Eoin Morgan and Ravi Bopara led the counterattack to take their team to a score of 102/4.

With England needing 28 runs off 18 balls to win the match, the Indian skipper gave the ball to Ishant Sharma. Morgan immediately went after Sharma, hitting him for a six in only the second ball of the over.

The two deliveries that followed were called wide by the umpire, bringing the equation down to 20 runs off 16 balls. But that's when MS Dhoni's sharp decision-making bore fruit.

Wanting to hit over mid-wicket, Morgan swung his bat on a slower delivery from Sharma but holed it to Ravichandran Ashwin at short mid-wicket. With Bopara taking strike at the next ball, Dhoni moved Ashwin to square leg. Sharma pitched the next delivery short. The Englishman picked the length and went for a pull but hit it straight into the hands of Ashwin.


Two wickets off consecutive deliveries swung the game in India's favour and England eventually lost the match by six runs.

#4. 2011 IPL final: Dismissing Chris Gayle off Ravichandran Ashwin's bowling

MS Dhoni's decision to open CSK's bowling with Ravichandran Ashwin paid dividends as he dismissed Chris Gayle for a duck in the 2011 final.

Opening stand that set the TONe for the finale!
#WhistlePodu #Yellove 🦁

Thanks to the efforts of Murli Vijay and Michael Hussey, CSK set a massive target of 206. However, the threat of Gayle's explosive batting loomed over the Chennai-based franchise's dugout given the form the Jamaican was in. With 608 runs to his name, Gayle was the leading run scorer of the tournament in that edition.

Ashwin, whom MS Dhoni had used many times in the powerplay, was once again given the job of opening the bowling for CSK.

The plan was not to give the Jamaican any pace to work with. Fortunately for CSK, the move worked. After consecutive dot balls, Gayle misjudged the bounce of the ball and edged the ball into the gloves of MS Dhoni behind.

Ashwin finished the match with figures of 3/16 as CSK went on to lift the IPL trophy for the second time.

#3. 2011 World Cup final: Batting ahead of Yuvraj Singh

India took on Sri Lanka in the final of the 2011 World Cup. Chasing 275, India failed to get to a good start, losing Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar early. Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir stitched a 83-run partnership before the former was dismissed off Tillakaratne Dilshan's bowling.

Many would have expected India's in-form batter Yuvraj Singh to come next. But MS Dhoni decided to promote himself ahead of the swashbuckling left-hander.

Together with Gambhir, he registered a 109-run partnership and steadied the ship for India.

Following Gambhir's dismissal in the 42nd over, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh took the onus of taking India across the line and keeping the scoreboard ticking.


Eventually, with India one shot away from a historic World Cup win, Dhoni smashed Nuwan Kulasekara for a six over long-on to seal the game for his side.

#ThisDayThatYear - In 2011, “Dhoni finishes off in style. India lift the World Cup after 28 years” - in @RaviShastriOfc's immortal voice

#2. 2007 T20 World Cup final: 20th over vs. Pakistan

India claimed the first ever @T20WorldCup trophy #OTD in 2007

A young Indian team under MS Dhoni was sent to South Africa for the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. With seniors such as Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid rested, Team India arguably weren't the favourites going into the tournament.

But after stunning wins against England, South Africa and Australia, MS Dhoni-led India locked horns with arch-rivals Pakistan in the final.


With Pakistan needing 13 runs off the last over and skipper Misbah ul-Haq cruising at 37*, MS Dhoni tossed the ball to Joginder Sharma despite having Harbhajan Singh in the ranks.

Sharma started with a wide ball, followed by a six off the second ball of the over. But that's when Dhoni's move paid off. Needing six runs off four balls, Misbah went for an unnecessary scoop over fine leg. The ball didn't travel far and landed in the hands of Sreesanth, leading to India's victory in the final.

#1. 2016 T20 World Cup: 20th over vs. Bangladesh

India faced Bangladesh for a must-win game in the 2016 T20 World Cup. Chasing 147, Bangladesh took the game to the last over thanks to the brilliance of the likes of Shakib Al-Hasan and Sabbir Rahman. With 11 runs to defend off six balls, MS Dhoni had a daunting task at hand.

After Hardik Pandya was hit for back-to-back boundaries by Mushfiqur Rahim in the final over, many thought the game to be over for the Men in Blue. However, MS Dhoni had other plans. He made some changes to the field, resulting in consecutive wickets off the next two balls.

The game was down to the wire. Needing two runs off the last ball, the Bangladesh batters ran for a single. But Dhoni was ready for it the runout. He collected the ball and dashed towards the stumps, running the batter out by the narrowest of margins.

#OnThisDay in 2016, MS Dhoni broke thousands of Bangladeshi hearts.

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