IPL 2022: 5 best MS Dhoni moments in IPL history

MS Dhoni batting in the IPL. Pic: Getty Images
MS Dhoni batting in the IPL. Pic: Getty Images

Apart from being one of the greatest Indian cricketers ever, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also a legend in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He is the second most successful captain in the history of the T20 league, having led the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to four title wins. Only Rohit Sharma has won more IPL crowns as skipper, leading the Mumbai Indians (MI) to five titles.

Dhoni has an excellent record in the tournament. Having featured in every edition of the IPL, the 40-year-old has played 220 matches, scoring 4746 runs at an average of 39.55 and a strike rate of 135.83. He has 23 half-centuries to his credit with a best of 84 not out.

Apart from his batting exploits, Dhoni has been excellent behind the stumps as well. He has the most dismissals (161) to his name as a gloveman - 122 catches and 39 stumpings.

Top MS Dhoni moments in the IPL

Be it with the willow in hand, behind the wickets or as captain, Dhoni has given fans numerous moments of joy. It was difficult to shortlist five, but we still made an attempt.

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#1 A MS Dhoni special knocks out MI

MSD batting against Mumbai Indians. Pic: Getty Images
MSD batting against Mumbai Indians. Pic: Getty Images

MI have traditionally had the upper hand over CSK in the IPL, more so in knockout matches. However, in the IPL 2012 Eliminator in Bengaluru, Dhoni came up with a brutal innings to knock Mumbai out of the tournament.

MI asked CSK to bat first after winning the toss. Coming into bat at No.5, Dhoni slammed an unbeaten 51 off only 20 balls. The knock featured six fours and two sixes. He hammered James Franklin for a 112-metre six over long-on and brought out the helicopter shot for another maximum off Lasith Malinga over midwicket.

Thanks to their captain’s brilliant knock, CSK finished on 187 for 5, with Dwayne Bravo (33* off 14) providing the final flourish. Chennai then came up with a clinical all-round bowling effort to restrict MI to 149 for 9.

#2 When Dhoni clobbered Axar Patel for 22 runs

In the two years when CSK were banned, Dhoni represented Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS). In the 2016 edition, he played a match-winning knock against Punjab in Visakhapatnam. He clobbered 64 off 32 with the aid of four fours and five sixes as Pune chased down 173 in a thrilling finish.

Pune needed 23 to win the match in the last over. Axar Patel bowled a wide after which Dhoni launched him for a six over long-on. After a dot ball, the right-hander finished off the match with 4,6,6. He first flat-batted a short ball over cover for four and then swung a six over deep midwicket. The winning runs came off the last delivery when Dhoni clubbed another six in the same region.

Batting first, Punjab put up 172 for 7 as Murali Vijay and Gurkeerat Singh Mann hit half-centuries. Pune lost half their side for 86 in response before Dhoni pulled a rabbit out of the hat.

#3 MS Dhoni’s flying catch against KKR

In the 2020 edition of the IPL in the UAE, Dhoni pulled off an age-defying catch in a clash against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). Kolkata batted first after winning the toss and Shivam Mavi tried to get some crucial runs in the last over.

On the penultimate delivery of the innings, Mavi edged a wide slower ball from Bravo. The ball flew to Dhoni’s right, who put out his hand on which he wasn’t wearing his keeping gloves. The ball popped out but the keeper ran after it and dived to take the rebound with both hands. For a man approaching his 40s, it was quite an acrobatic effort.

CSK, however, ended up on the losing side in the contest. Chasing 168, they were held to 157 for 5 despite Shane Watson’s 50 and Ravindra Jadeja’s 8-ball 21*.

#4 When Dhoni “attacked” Jadeja

Apart from his batting and wicketkeeping talent, Dhoni is also renowned for his inimitable sense of humor. It was on display during match 46 of IPL 2018 between CSK and SRH in Pune.

Hyderabad batted first in the match and, on the last ball off the seventh over, Shikhar Dhawan pushed a full delivery from Harbhajan Singh into the leg side. Dhoni ran towards the ball and as he picked it up made an action of throwing the ball at Jadeja, who was also running in to try and field the ball.

Through his gesture, the CSK skipper probably indicated to Jadeja that he was slow in his fielding effort! Speaking of the result of the match, Chennai eased to an eight-wicket win in a chase of 180 as Ambati Rayudu hammered an unbeaten 100 off 62.

#5 The cameo that lifted CSK into the IPL 2021 final

For most of the IPL 2021 edition, critics felt that Dhoni was a liability to the IPL team, and they had a point. The CSK skipper looked in no rhythm at all with the bat. The team were doing well under him and his leadership as well as keeping were top-notch. But heading into the IPL playoffs, there was definite concern over the IPL captain’s form with the willow.

Dhoni played only one innings of note during IPL 2021 and it lifted CSK into the all-important final, which they went on to win. Chasing 173 for victory in Qualifier 1 against Delhi Capitals (DC) in Dubai, CSK lost the well-set Ruturaj Gaikwad for 70 at the start of the 19th over. The chasing side now needed 24 off 11 balls and Dhoni promoted himself above Jadeja.

While analysts questioned the move, the CSK captain proved his worth, smashing an unbeaten 18 off just six balls to take the team over the line. After whacking Avesh Khan for a six over deep midwicket in the 19th over, he slapped three consecutive fours off Tom Curran in the last over. For a few moments, the legend had turned back the clock and how!

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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