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India vs New Zealand 2019: Top 5 MS Dhoni knocks against New Zealand

New Zealand v India - ODI: Game 4
New Zealand v India - ODI: Game 4
Vinay Chhabria

MS Dhoni made an emphatic return to form against Australia in the recently concluded 3-match ODI series. The wicket-keeper batsman from Ranchi won the man of the match award in that series as he steered India to a 2-1 victory in the series.

He had been struggling with the bat of late and a number of fans questioned his position in the ODI team. However, MS Dhoni silenced each and everyone with his batting performances.

The 37-year-old will be next seen in action against the Kiwis when India will play a 5-match ODI series in New Zealand. The last time when India toured New Zealand to play an ODI series, they lost the series by a huge margin of 4-0.

Virat Kohli's men would be keen to improve that record and the importance of MS Dhoni's performances will increase in the series. New Zealand have been one of MS Dhoni's favourite opponents to bat against and here are his 5 best knocks versus the Blackcaps:

#5 - 56 (44) at Hamilton, 22nd January 2014

New Zealand v India
New Zealand v India

India toured New Zealand to play a 5-match ODI series in early 2014 but the visitors failed to win the 1st ODI despite Virat Kohli's century. So, the pressure was high on MS Dhoni's Men in Blue to win the 2nd match and make a comeback in the series. India won the toss in the 2nd match and elected to field first due to rainy conditions.

The hosts, led by Kane Williamson's 77, put on a total of 271 runs on the board from the allotted 42 overs. India were set a target of 293 runs from 41.3 overs after the application of the DLS method. The openers provided a stable start as India looked good in the chase. MS Dhoni came out to bat in the 24th over after Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed with Team India's score being 127/3.

Dhoni supported Virat Kohli during their 37 run partnership and took over the leading role in India's chase once Virat was dismissed. However, his best efforts could not take India over the line as they fell short by 16 runs in the end. Dhoni had smashed 7 fours and 1 six in that innings before losing his wicket in the 40th over to Corey Anderson.

#4 - 79*(73) at Hamilton, 28th January 2014

New Zealand v India
New Zealand v India

6 days later, India and New Zealand clashed once again at Hamilton but this time the hosts had an unassailable lead of 2-0 heading into the 4th ODI. The best possible result for India could have been a tie and hence, the Indian captain elected to bat first this time after winning the toss.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli opened the innings but Kohli got out cheaply soon after which Kyle Mills dismissed Ajinkya Rahane to restrict India to 22/2 in 8.2 overs. Ambati Rayudu and Rohit Sharma stabilized the innings. However, Rayudu departed after scoring 37 runs.

MS Dhoni came out to bat at no. 5 in the 26th over and played a whirlwind innings of 79 runs off 73 balls which propelled India to a total of 278/5 in 50 overs.

Unfortunately, Ross Taylor's century in the 2nd innings ensured that MS Dhoni's brilliant half-century went in vain.

#3 - 68 (58) at Christchurch, 8th March 2009

The 135 run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni helped India win the match
The 135 run partnership between Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni helped India win the match

India and New Zealand had earlier clashed in an ODI series in the year 2009. MS Dhoni was in fantastic form during that time. In the 3rd ODI of the series, the home captain Brendon McCullum had won the toss and invited India to bat first. Kyle Mills sent the dangerous Virender Sehwag back to the pavilion in the 3rd over and soon, Gautam Gambhir too lost his wicket.

Sachin Tendulkar kept the scoreboard ticking from one end and Yuvraj Singh thrashed the New Zealand batting attack from the other end. The duo added 138 runs for the 3rd wicket before Yuvraj departed after scoring 87 runs off just 60 balls. Tendulkar was then joined by Dhoni in the middle as they continued the onslaught over the NZ bowlers.

Sachin retired at an individual score of 163 and the entire responsibility of the innings was on MS Dhoni, who, along with Suresh Raina, added 44 runs in just 3.4 overs before losing his wicket. Dhoni had smashed 5 fours and 2 sixes in that match-winning innings of 68.

#2 - 80 (91) at Mohali, 23rd October 2016

The bearded MS Dhoni entertained the fans in Mohali
The bearded MS Dhoni entertained the fans in Mohali

In 2016, India hosted New Zealand for a 5-match ODI series. The series was all square at 1-1 as both the teams headed into the 3rd ODI at Mohali. Batting first, New Zealand put on a huge total of 285 on the board and set a target of 286 for the hosts.

India lost both their openers early as Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni took the center stage in the innings. The star Indian batsmen stitched a 151-run partnership for the 3rd wicket before MS Dhoni was dismissed by Matt Henry. However, the damage was already done by then as India won the match quite comfortably by 7 wickets in hand.

Dhoni's vital innings of 80 runs included 6 fours and 3 sixes as the Indian skipper made an emphatic return to form.

#1 - 84* (89) at Napier, 3rd March 2009

New Zealand v India - 1st ODI
New Zealand v India - 1st ODI

In the 1st match of the 5-match ODI series between India and New Zealand played in 2009, MS Dhoni played one of the best innings of his career as his patient innings helped India get off to a winning start in the ODI series.

Electing to bat first, India got off to a fiery start as the openers put on 69 runs on the board inside 10 overs. Sachin Tendulkar then lost his wicket in the 10th over and surprisingly, MS Dhoni walked in next to bat with Virender Sehwag. He remained unbeaten till the end and anchored the Indian innings to help the team reach a total of 273/4 in the allotted 38 overs.

Due to rainy conditions, New Zealand were set a target of 216 runs from 28 overs but the home side could only score 162/9 as they fell short by 53 runs.

Dhoni received the man of the match award for his finely timed innings, which included only 6 fours at a strike-rate of 94.38.

Edited by Rajdeep Puri

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