Chennai Super Kings May 23, 2012

Dhoni delivers, again

In a tricky situation with the bat? Is it a do-or-die limited-overs match? Just call MS Dhoni
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In a tricky situation with the bat? Is it a do-or-die limited-overs match? Just call MS Dhoni. His cool, commanding innings for India in the World Cup final last year is one most Indian fans need no reminding about. He's done the same for his IPL team, Chennai Super Kings, quite a few times too: remember that must-win final league match for Super Kings against Kings XI Punjab in Dharamsala in 2010? Forty-four off 18 needed, Dhoni steps it up, Super Kings win with two balls to spare - that was the difference between not making the semi-finals and winning the title. In the low-scoring 2010 Champions League final, it was Dhoni who took Super Kings across the line, smacking two fours and a six in the 19th over on a slowish pitch, after Super Kings had lost two wickets in quick succession and needed 13 off 12.

Fast-forward two years, and Super Kings are in the IPL eliminator against Mumbai Indians. They've had a poor start (4 for 2 after three overs, to be exact). Ninety-four solid runs later, they've made a recovery, but are far from safe on the batsman-friendly Bangalore pitch. In walks Dhoni. During the season, he has already sealed a last-ball win for his team by knocking two off Rajasthan Royals' Stuart Binny at Chepauk, and then delivered in their crucial chase against Kolkata Knight Riders, taking 17 off Marchant de Lange in the penultimate over to put Super Kings on course.

And right on cue, he produces the innings his team needs. Playing in the destructive mode that typified the early part of his career, he deposits the largest six of the tournament, out of the Chinnaswamy Stadium and follows up with a signature helicopter shot off Lasith Malinga on his way to 51 off 20. End result: record for the IPL's fastest fifty almost broken, the format's premier fast bowler dispatched for over 10 an over, and Super Kings on top and halfway to a place in Friday's qualifier.

Come Friday, should Super Kings find themselves in a spot of bother again, they'll still be quietly confident in knowledge that their captain thrives on pressure.

Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • vishnu on May 26, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    I think Dhoni's 113m six was the best six ever

  • siva on May 25, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    In our board meetings, we get excited so fast. So, I wonder how Dhoni can keep his coolness when required. I am a great fan of him and I rate him better than Tendulkar in this sense.

  • sri1ram on May 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    It is really funny to me to see at least 30% of comments mentioning MSD and luck together. Luck may well be there, but people do not realize all the preparation in the background that Dhoni involves himself silently. As @Raghav mentioned, MSD was batting for more than two hours in the track after his team members finished. Coupled with this dedication is a quiet self-confidence, uncluttered mind and matter-of-fact playing to strengths that makes him rise to the occasion time and again. There are a lot of simple yet powerful life-lessons to all of us from Dhoni and his approach to his game of choice.

  • sunil on May 25, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    it was really the same old Dhoni about 3 years back...who attacked fearlessly.. this is the natural game for him..and he should be this way leaving other specialist batsmen to defend or consolidate. he is most effective in this avatar.. hats of to you Dhoni.. you command respect from team mates, opposition and fans being this way..

  • Cricketcrazychennaite on May 25, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    The fact that he mentioned Badri and Hussey and giving credit to their performance during the presentation ceremony is commendable! Now that's a Gentleman you rarely see.

  • Pranav Shivram on May 25, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    I love MSD. My favourite player of all time. Truly spectacular innings by him against Mumbai Indians. The best is always reserved for the end. CSK-MSD=00

  • Kirti vardhan on May 24, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    People still attributing Dhoni's successes to "Luck" ...wake up and smell the coffee. Dhoni is simply "the man"

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on May 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I think there were two sixes which stands out during this IPL. Dhoni yesterday's six to malinga's yorker over mid on. What a powerful wrist shot. AD Devilier's six over cover to Styen's yorker.

    Dhoni once again showed yesterday why he is indian captain and best short format batsman in the world.

    Man has too much power and stamina. He is really match winner. Great job Mahi.

  • linas on May 24, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    what to say, one thing makes me more happy is india's winning, i feel the same when comes to csk lucky enough we have got MSD as our captain, chennai super kingsuku whistle podu......

  • J.SRINIVASAN on May 24, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    People who criticize MSD , can learn from him the art of being cool when there is a crunch situations in their life. They should know it is easy to criticize , but keeping the nerve , brain , body together and deliver the best is really an art which all will not have or get by practice. Hats of to MSD.

  • vishnu on May 26, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    I think Dhoni's 113m six was the best six ever

  • siva on May 25, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    In our board meetings, we get excited so fast. So, I wonder how Dhoni can keep his coolness when required. I am a great fan of him and I rate him better than Tendulkar in this sense.

  • sri1ram on May 25, 2012, 12:11 GMT

    It is really funny to me to see at least 30% of comments mentioning MSD and luck together. Luck may well be there, but people do not realize all the preparation in the background that Dhoni involves himself silently. As @Raghav mentioned, MSD was batting for more than two hours in the track after his team members finished. Coupled with this dedication is a quiet self-confidence, uncluttered mind and matter-of-fact playing to strengths that makes him rise to the occasion time and again. There are a lot of simple yet powerful life-lessons to all of us from Dhoni and his approach to his game of choice.

  • sunil on May 25, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    it was really the same old Dhoni about 3 years back...who attacked fearlessly.. this is the natural game for him..and he should be this way leaving other specialist batsmen to defend or consolidate. he is most effective in this avatar.. hats of to you Dhoni.. you command respect from team mates, opposition and fans being this way..

  • Cricketcrazychennaite on May 25, 2012, 6:46 GMT

    The fact that he mentioned Badri and Hussey and giving credit to their performance during the presentation ceremony is commendable! Now that's a Gentleman you rarely see.

  • Pranav Shivram on May 25, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    I love MSD. My favourite player of all time. Truly spectacular innings by him against Mumbai Indians. The best is always reserved for the end. CSK-MSD=00

  • Kirti vardhan on May 24, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    People still attributing Dhoni's successes to "Luck" ...wake up and smell the coffee. Dhoni is simply "the man"

  • Nadeem Sharifuddin on May 24, 2012, 16:45 GMT

    I think there were two sixes which stands out during this IPL. Dhoni yesterday's six to malinga's yorker over mid on. What a powerful wrist shot. AD Devilier's six over cover to Styen's yorker.

    Dhoni once again showed yesterday why he is indian captain and best short format batsman in the world.

    Man has too much power and stamina. He is really match winner. Great job Mahi.

  • linas on May 24, 2012, 16:18 GMT

    what to say, one thing makes me more happy is india's winning, i feel the same when comes to csk lucky enough we have got MSD as our captain, chennai super kingsuku whistle podu......

  • J.SRINIVASAN on May 24, 2012, 16:16 GMT

    People who criticize MSD , can learn from him the art of being cool when there is a crunch situations in their life. They should know it is easy to criticize , but keeping the nerve , brain , body together and deliver the best is really an art which all will not have or get by practice. Hats of to MSD.

  • Senthilkumar on May 24, 2012, 15:42 GMT

    Winning ONE of the important matches may not justify the aura. Please do remember that in Cricket all matches are important. Let us recollect it fully. Yes he did a wonderful job yesterday against Mumbai( His first real good innings apart from 2 decent innings this IPL). Let him do it consistently and then we agree that he is the GO TO MAN. Please remember that he did not do anything in the World Cup till the final( Are the Quarterfinal and Semifinal not important?). Even in this IPL was the CSK game against Kings XI at Dharamsala not important? What did he do? What did he do in the earlier two T20 world cups which India lost. He won it in 2007 but i think he is not the same finisher he was in 2004/05. Yes, CSK won 2 IPLs but Dhoni was not upto the mark in the last 2 IPLs. Many players have done better than him in IPL.

    There are better players who do the hard work both for India and CSK but people forget them easily and just remember the SF or Final where Dhoni plays well.

  • Viswanathan Easwaran on May 24, 2012, 15:38 GMT

    There is no CSK without MSD

  • s kumar on May 24, 2012, 15:25 GMT

    Dhoni is the most successful cricketer and captain for India. One great thing about Dhoni is he is so stable and emotion less even in yesterdays match also. I think even CSK would loss the match then also Dhoni reactions would be same. This thing I have never seen in any sports person.

  • Kumaravadivel on May 24, 2012, 15:01 GMT

    Dhony is not that much batting style.But he has enough luck which makes him to talk always

  • p.vasu on May 24, 2012, 15:00 GMT

    kudos Dhoni. His laid back and determined approach helped Indian Team as well as the club he is representing. Yesterday's helicopter shot of Malinga brought back the memory of the world cup final. A lucky captain. Killed the might of Mumbai Indians with his team mates Dwayne Bravo, Bhadrinath, Hussey and with his bowlers. Wish him to lift the third IPL title.

  • sanat pandey on May 24, 2012, 14:49 GMT

    he's been always like that..cometh the pressure,cometh the champion.simply brutal..outstanding hiting that can be associated to only one man and its msd..no doubts.. and it would not surprise me if csk pull-of a hattrick of winning ipl this year.

  • Manibharathi on May 24, 2012, 14:47 GMT

    Dhoni is the batting buddha. It is always calm befor the storm. Brace up DD and KKR for the assault from MSD. Expect Raina and vijay t fire in those two matches.

  • Chand alam on May 24, 2012, 14:23 GMT

    Dhoni was roaring against mumbai indians. Great finisher & good captain

  • Anonymous on May 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    The difference between Sachin and Dhoni... Sachin usually plays very well in all the matches except final crunch one! Because of him team will come to final but he may not deliver in finals.. Dhoni usually dont play well in initial matches but he delivers very well in only final crunch matches, because of him team will win finals.. what a difference and what a combination!!! ;)

  • Vilander on May 24, 2012, 14:02 GMT

    @Aabhas Pareek , third time 'lucky' is not what i will call CSK. Bravo is a match winner for CSK, till last season he was bench warmer for J P Duminy in Mumbai indians squad, now JP plays for DC. Compare Pollards effectiveness to Bravo's, CSK has good cricketing acumen, combined with Dhoni'S ability they win games. Luck can not be the reason for them making 5 playoffs, 2 championships, 1 CL cup, its Aility.

  • rihdus on May 24, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    dhoni was superb yesterday.i hope he carries on.

  • Shailatkay on May 24, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    Simply awesome! An incredible treat to watch as a fan. Don't stop now.

  • ramjit redoy on May 24, 2012, 12:14 GMT

    I AM FRON TRINIDAD BRIAN LARA COUNTRY. WE ARE VERY PROUD OF TWO FANTASTIC INDIANS PLAYERS . THE FIRST SUNIL GAVASKAR AND NOW ONE OF INDIA GREATS DHONI. HE IS HUMBLE HAS A CRICKETING BRAIN THE BEST FINISHER IN THE GAME AND MOST OF ALL IN THIS DAY AND AGE WHERE IT IS DIFFICULT TO FIND A HERO . DHONI IS TRULY ICONIC. THE PEOPLE OF INDIA SHOULD BE MORE SUPPORTIVE OF HIM WHEN THE CHIPS ARE DOWN GOD BLESS RAMJIT

  • SANKAR R on May 24, 2012, 10:45 GMT

    need to see his couple of innings in coming matches for CSK to make the hattrick in IPL....csk..csk..csk..roaring to go...

  • KDP on May 24, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    "Cometh the hour, cometh the Man" We have had so many limited overs' superstars (predominantly batsmen) Sachin Tendulkar,Virendra Sehwag, Saurav Ganguly, Mohammed Azharuddin, Ajay Jadeja, Yuvraj Singh, but how many of them delivered everytime in the crunch situations. But cometh the crunchest situations of all in cricket, and cometh M.S. Dhoni. I have to think hard when I have to remind myself when the others, mentioned above, have delivered in tight situations. And I have to think harder to remind myself when Mr. Dhoni has failed when it is required the most. Not that I am critisising the skills of my favourite players, its just that if I compare the mental strength of them all then there is day light between Dhoni and rest of them.

  • tanmay on May 24, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    he is the best & lucky enough tooooooooo

  • Alok Sinha on May 24, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    When going gets tough, Dhoni gets going!

  • Dominique on May 24, 2012, 10:21 GMT

    A True Champion Delivers when it matters the most. Hats off to MSD he is my true hero.Once again he silences the mongers

  • G MANIKANDAN on May 24, 2012, 10:03 GMT

    this dhoni inninggs is the best in the 5 ipls played so far. with many more to come from dhoni, undoubtedly the CSK is evolving as clear favourite then the DD and KKR. Best of Luck Dhoni and Lions of CSKs.

  • Ajesh on May 24, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    He is a Class Act.. No Doubt about it. CSK are favourites now just because of Dhoni Factor.

  • Praddy on May 24, 2012, 8:48 GMT

    MSD rocking in IPL, those two 6's (largest six,helicopter shot against perfect yorker of Malinga)were treat to watch, please check these videos again, I am sure you would enjoy.I cant stop appreciate Dhoni for his brave innings in crunch time, but want him to step up and show some stability in test innings which would be a big advantage for Indian test side which is on a declining trend these days,common Dhoni neeed you to step up in test areana

  • Kamlesh Kumar on May 24, 2012, 8:09 GMT

    Wao Wao Wao, Dhoni what a fine cricketer he is, comes to party whenever his team need him to deliver. No one can forget what he did in 2012 WC final, Great player, Great finisher and ofcourse a great captain.

    I had seen Dhoni hitting those big sixes at Kharagpur (West Bengal)in BNR ground in 6 over a side tennis ball cricket tounament. I think that experiance is helping him a lot to get going in T20 cricket.

    Well done Mahi, Best of luck....

  • Naresh patel on May 24, 2012, 7:12 GMT

    Dhoni has been so subdued of late. Then out comes a gem of an innings.There is no need to replace him as captain of India if he can play an innings like this. I wonder if he might just need a break from the game. His signature helicopter shot reminds me of when he first burst onto the scene. It just shows that Indian batsman are capable except consistency is lacking. Rohit Sharma did the same.

  • Hari on May 24, 2012, 6:39 GMT

    Dhoni is surely the best captain. He comes to the rescue when his team is in trouble.

  • kaviraj on May 24, 2012, 6:34 GMT

    Brave+talent+luck=dhoni

  • Chandra on May 24, 2012, 6:30 GMT

    MSD Mr Cool Shrewd Destructive Proved once again why he is one of the most feared finishers in the game today. His intent was so obvious from the time he came in and played the first ball. With good support from Vijay and Raina,CSK should go all the way and make it a Hat-trick.

  • santosh on May 24, 2012, 6:14 GMT

    Simply Dhoni is the best among all and He is the real Cricket GOD.

  • RazanPanthee on May 24, 2012, 6:11 GMT

    I wonder what this man is made up of!!! He may not look good like sachin or Rohit sharma when he plays his shots, he may not have the skills for surviving in the test matches or may be he has?? But the way he thrives in crunch n pressure situation it's amazing!! Hats off 2 u MS. Keep going on god bless u.

  • Varadha on May 24, 2012, 5:56 GMT

    If you notice, Dhoni and Gilchrist (two Wicketkeepers) are similar in nature. They both are at their best when it is most needed or during crunch games. This is something great about these two world class players... All the best Dhoni...

  • Raghav on May 24, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    yeah..he does it again.. but this time he has prepared well the day before the actual match where in he was batting for more than 2 hrs after his team members had finished their practice. He knew that his hard hitting batting skills will be tested against the formidable Mumbai attack and what he did on the match day was just exceptional. I will say "Well Prepared Dhoni".

  • SHALINI on May 24, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    DHONI THANKS FOR WINNING A WELL DESERVED MATCH. GOOD LUCK FOR FRIDAY AND PRAY YOU WILL WIN IT FOR US.

  • Aabhas Pareek on May 24, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Take bow man!!!!!! I just wonder why 'MIDAS'Singh Dhoni don't unleash himself more often than not because when he did so last night he hammered a 112 m six, longest of ipl 5. This is business end and CSK has got best guy in their outfit to do it for them again. If MSD remains in such mood CSK MIGHT become third time lucky.

  • Aswinsrivatsa Sankaran on May 24, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    He is a real asset for any cricket team. There are orthodox players who play well in normal matches. And there are unusual players like msd who strut their stuff when it counts. Born Champion. Really yesterday's innings wound back the clock.

  • chaitanya on May 24, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    yes. its a commanding inning from dhoni....thing which every one thinks of... is consistency....he s a good finisher, good captain, genius but inconsistant. ofcorse he is maintaining over 50 as his average but in all formats he has to make his mark...

    common CAPTAIN COOL..rock..

  • Kiran Surikuchi on May 24, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    That 113m six by Dhoni was one of the best that i have seen in the recent times.

  • M R VENKAT on May 24, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Dhoni led by example without any tension in his face ; its an admirable thing to watch the match yesterday.

  • Prakash on May 24, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Awesome Dhoniiiiii

  • Hitesh on May 24, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    He always reserves his best for the important games. One of his favourite dialogs "A player should always play his natural game during crunch situations" and he did exactly the same thing. Youngsters, I hope you are learning from him. That's the difference between "Talented but not making into the Indian Team" and "A bit of talent but always performing for the team"

  • Dinesh on May 24, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Dhoni came with a clear mind i.e to go after everyone and to step up the ante. His intentions were clear from the very first ball he faced. Bhajji having seen MSD from close quarters would have expected this and should have come with definite plans to tackle pone' onslaught. MSD has always been a big match player both for India and CSK. Even I used to criticize dhoni for being circumspect at the start in T20 matches but yesterday he played a real gem with almost no mistimed shots

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  • Dinesh on May 24, 2012, 4:37 GMT

    Dhoni came with a clear mind i.e to go after everyone and to step up the ante. His intentions were clear from the very first ball he faced. Bhajji having seen MSD from close quarters would have expected this and should have come with definite plans to tackle pone' onslaught. MSD has always been a big match player both for India and CSK. Even I used to criticize dhoni for being circumspect at the start in T20 matches but yesterday he played a real gem with almost no mistimed shots

  • Hitesh on May 24, 2012, 4:39 GMT

    He always reserves his best for the important games. One of his favourite dialogs "A player should always play his natural game during crunch situations" and he did exactly the same thing. Youngsters, I hope you are learning from him. That's the difference between "Talented but not making into the Indian Team" and "A bit of talent but always performing for the team"

  • Prakash on May 24, 2012, 4:45 GMT

    Awesome Dhoniiiiii

  • M R VENKAT on May 24, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    Dhoni led by example without any tension in his face ; its an admirable thing to watch the match yesterday.

  • Kiran Surikuchi on May 24, 2012, 5:06 GMT

    That 113m six by Dhoni was one of the best that i have seen in the recent times.

  • chaitanya on May 24, 2012, 5:10 GMT

    yes. its a commanding inning from dhoni....thing which every one thinks of... is consistency....he s a good finisher, good captain, genius but inconsistant. ofcorse he is maintaining over 50 as his average but in all formats he has to make his mark...

    common CAPTAIN COOL..rock..

  • Aswinsrivatsa Sankaran on May 24, 2012, 5:17 GMT

    He is a real asset for any cricket team. There are orthodox players who play well in normal matches. And there are unusual players like msd who strut their stuff when it counts. Born Champion. Really yesterday's innings wound back the clock.

  • Aabhas Pareek on May 24, 2012, 5:24 GMT

    Take bow man!!!!!! I just wonder why 'MIDAS'Singh Dhoni don't unleash himself more often than not because when he did so last night he hammered a 112 m six, longest of ipl 5. This is business end and CSK has got best guy in their outfit to do it for them again. If MSD remains in such mood CSK MIGHT become third time lucky.

  • SHALINI on May 24, 2012, 5:28 GMT

    DHONI THANKS FOR WINNING A WELL DESERVED MATCH. GOOD LUCK FOR FRIDAY AND PRAY YOU WILL WIN IT FOR US.

  • Raghav on May 24, 2012, 5:49 GMT

    yeah..he does it again.. but this time he has prepared well the day before the actual match where in he was batting for more than 2 hrs after his team members had finished their practice. He knew that his hard hitting batting skills will be tested against the formidable Mumbai attack and what he did on the match day was just exceptional. I will say "Well Prepared Dhoni".