India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain

Dhoni keeps his end-over promise

His greatest contribution may be turning fans inured to close defeats and panicky collapses into a set that refuses to believe a game is lost as long as he stays in

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

July 12, 2013

Comments: 182 | Text size: A | A

MS Dhoni watches the winning hit clear the rope, India v Sri Lanka, tri-series final, Port-of-Spain, July 11, 2013
When the going gets tough, there's always MS Dhoni © AFP
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Players/Officials: MS Dhoni
Series/Tournaments: West Indies Tri-Nation Series
Teams: India | Sri Lanka

This was not cricket; this was poker. MS Dhoni was too calm, too cool, too sly. He bluffed and bluffed. He raised the stakes even as wickets fell. He rode his luck, survived a close run-out chance, escaped two perilous mix-ups with Ishant Sharma, and closed it out.

Dhoni wasn't even supposed to play this match. And it was clear that he was struggling with injury through his innings. He declined some easy singles and didn't take some twos he would have normally harried through. He was up against the run rate. He was up against a sharp Rangana Herath, Lasith Malinga and Angelo Mathews. And he was up against pressure. He overcame them all.

There is plenty to say about Sri Lanka's batting, India's bowling, and India's top order. There is a lot to write about Rohit Sharma's innings. And there is much to talk about Herath. But let them be for now.

Dhoni walked in at 139 for 4. He tapped and blocked. Occasionally he nudged. It took him 16 balls to get to 4. Meanwhile his partners came and left. Suresh Raina swished at an away-goer; Ravindra Jadeja played back to one that nipped back in; and R Ashwin was done in by the arm ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar made nothing (though he did hang around for 15 crucial balls), and Vinay Kumar had a popcorn burst in his head when, on 5, he tried to slog a short ball out of the ground.

Twenty runs were needed off 22 balls. With Ishant, the last man, sauntering in. Dhoni played out two balls. Then took a single. And Ishant blocked out the final delivery.

The next three overs tell you the story of India's finest finisher. He waited. And he waited more.

This was classic Dhoni. He bides his time until the game reaches a boiling point, plays out the best bowlers, pushes the required rate higher and higher, and then backs himself to win the face-off. Javed Miandad did this often. As did Michael Bevan. Dhoni has turned it into an art form.

With 19 needed off 18, he faced Malinga. He patted the first ball down the pitch and defended the next one to the off side. The third was slightly wide but he smashed it to cover. He saw a chance to sneak a single but turned it down. The fourth ball was fuller, on off stump, and he wristed it to deep midwicket for two. A typical Dhoni hustle, manoeuvering the gaps with his tennis-ball technique.

The next ball was angled to third man. Again he turned down the single (even with only one ball left). The last ball was a bit wide. He tapped it to point and hollered, "No". Ishant, who was halfway down the pitch, was lucky to survive a run out.

Seventeen were needed off 12.

Ishant stayed on strike for the whole over from Mathews. He was nearly run out off the first ball. He picked off two runs off the fourth. And blocked out the next two.

Fifteen were required off the final over. And Dhoni asked for a change of bat. "A 2kg bat," as he later revealed.

There is a reason India adores Dhoni. For those who followed Indian cricket in the '80s and '90s, he may even come across as a messiah. Those were the days India choked and crumbled. They withered at the first hint of pressure. Their batsmen seemed to know exactly when and how to combust. All would be hunky dory until a slew of wickets wrecked their progress.

 
 
Dhoni bides his time until the game reaches a boiling point, plays out the best bowlers, pushes the required rate higher and higher, and then backs himself to win the face-off
 

Match after match, big tournament after big tournament, India pined for a batsman like Miandad. Or Saleem Malik. Or Bevan. Or Steve Waugh. Or any number of others who could stay ice-cool in a chase. They craved reassurance when the rate climbed. They yearned for some batsman to steer them calmly.

Dhoni's calm can be intimidating. It's as if he absorbs all the pressure as he works himself into a zone. Those watching can feel this. They understand that he gauges the pulse of the game, that he reads the opposition and the conditions. They are so used to his ways in ODIs that they trust him to take the right decisions at the right time.

Fifteen off the final over with a wicket in hand - that's what schoolboy dreams are made of, the kind of scenario that young kids imagine while they stare into a life-size mirror. The first ball of the final over was short and slightly wide. Dhoni tried an almighty hoick and missed. Many other batsmen would have cussed aloud. Or admonished themselves. Dhoni walked away towards square leg.

The second ball was full and wide. It stood no chance against his pendulum swing. A monstrous six. The third ball was on a length. He carved it behind point. Five needed off three. The fourth ball was also on a length. Another meaty swing. Another six. Match over. Tournament won. Let's all go home.

The Sri Lankans were stunned by the assault. Dhoni's team-mates looked shocked too. The commentators were delirious. And those at the ground went bananas. But when all these people sit back and quietly consider the final stages of the match, they will be overcome by a sense of inevitability.

Dhoni is no doubt a badass finisher. He is one of India's finest ODI batsmen. And he is their most decorated captain. But his true contribution goes far deeper. He has managed to turn a fan base inured to close defeats and panicky collapses into a set that refuses to believe that a game is lost as long as he stays in.

There was a time when Indian fans turned off the TV when Tendulkar got out (and Dhoni too has admitted to having done the same when he watched the 2003 World Cup final). But the thinking these days seems to have been turned on its head, almost to a point where fans tune into a game when their captain walks in.

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a writer based in the USA

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Posted by Temuzin on (July 15, 2013, 15:18 GMT)

DHONI is like a cheetah. Who is lurking in the grass, stalking his prey, making is prey nervous, creating confusion in the minds of the prey, and at the end strikes a powerful blow. Game over. That's your dhoni.

Posted by Temuzin on (July 15, 2013, 12:35 GMT)

Excellent article. Boycott was right when he said "India is Damn Lucky to have Dhoni". To me Dhoni is the greatest finisher cricket has seen in its entire history.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (July 14, 2013, 22:10 GMT)

Agree with @ Aarkay Chandru - Having chosen cricket as a career, isn't it wise for Ashwin to workout on his fitness? He needs to shed at least a 10 kg now or quit the game and choose a career in engineering. Again, on that day he hasn't bowled even 1/10th of how Herath bowled and yet, what stature he's bestowed upon!

Maybe it's time to rest Ashwin and give a chance to Parvez Rasool. Rest will allow Ashwin to work on his fitness and fielding. It will also make him work harder to regain his spot. Rasool is a wicket taking all-rounder who bats at no 4 for his Ranji team.

Posted by   on (July 14, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

I think people are forgetting how SL came back in a great way in this match. This shows another shrewd and focused captain in the making for SL in Mathews. If only he had another bowler to support him. Also I feel Mathews should bat higher in the order and let seniors take numbers 6 and 7 in the future.

Posted by muski on (July 14, 2013, 16:05 GMT)

I wish MSD was a bit earlier in the Indian team when he could have taught the GOD of cricket a thing or two about mental strength. He is still the jumping jack as far as his technique goes.In this world only the end result matters- and this man has given us all in the 6 years that he has been at the helm. It wont be flattering to call MSD as the greatest finisher ever even before he has another 3-4 years min before he hangs up this boots.

Posted by Al_Bundy1 on (July 14, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

MSD is the greatest Indian ODI player ever!! He is basically 3 players rolled into one - a wicket keeper, a superb finisher, and an astute captain. We cherish his 40s and 50s more than any century made by so-called Gods of cricket. At the end, winning is what matters, not how many centuries a player has scored.

Posted by RanjithShettyJordan on (July 14, 2013, 6:54 GMT)

i don't understand why people are comparing him with miandad or bevan as the best finisher of ODI ever. Dhoni has multiple roles physivcally and mentally.There are minimum three ways he may think execute.His mind is doing the multitasking as a captain , as a wicket keeper and as a player to finish the game.It's very difficult for a player to use his brain and body at the same time for two or three different purposes with little time in cricket field and to think like chess player rather than cricket from different angles. Over that as a Indian captain and player he has to handle the pressure and expectations of millions of fans, they are not satisfied less than winners trophy...where he takes all this pressure then ! We can see the change in his hair color at the young age of 32 years.

Posted by sherishahmir on (July 14, 2013, 6:38 GMT)

Great contribution by the skipper in the final despite having hamstring and truly had dhoni not played the SL would have won the final. He can be termed the match winner at times with his single performances. Credit must be given to Virat Kholi as well the way he led the side when India lost first two matches of tournament and on the verge of exclusion. Good turned around by the young Indian side since the start of the champion Trophy.

Posted by AvidCricFan on (July 13, 2013, 20:39 GMT)

Dhoni is the best ODI finisher. I would rate him better than Bevan, Miadad and others. Dhoni has done this many times, including the WC final. However, the recent Indian tri-series final victory was full of risks. It could have misfired if Ishant had lost his wicket. This can happen no matter how much confidence one has on tail enders. India did lose ODI matches in Aussie in 2011 in similar situation. The better option is to pace innings well to not get into bravado situation.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 18:38 GMT)

He is surely one of the great cricketer India has produced, he has won many tournament for India which iincludes

1) T20 Word Cup 2) ODI World Cup 3) Won Test Series both at home and abroad

Respect for player like him

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 15:12 GMT)

One and Only ..... Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 13:36 GMT)

truly one of the best indian cricketer....kudos MS DHONI

Posted by GrtIndia_Ann on (July 13, 2013, 11:30 GMT)

@Aarkay Chandru:the pitches that these matches being played on in this tournament are not flat tracks where on you can expect every batsman to throw their bat at the ball....these are pitches of uneven bounce, swing and movement, becoming more dangerous in overcast conditions....MSD has scored 45....that definitely means rest of the team has scored the remaining runs ...isnt it ?why a re you so eager to forget the scintillating ton of rohit against WI? why are so eager to forget the contributions of Rohit and Raina in such tough conditions? and why are you so eager to forget the sublime batting performance of Indians in the recently concluded champion's trophy?dont worry too much...India has one of the best batting units in world cricket....let them play their role to perfection? no one is perfect in this world brother...who is a perfect batsman? do you expect every top and middle order batsman to score century in each innings they play to prove their perfection?

Posted by harshthakor on (July 13, 2013, 10:44 GMT)

Dhoni is an abject example of how temperament plays such a crucial role in the make up of a sportsman.Few cricketers exhibit how much the game is played in the mind as Dhoni who is a master in guiding a team home in finishes just like Javed Miandad,Alan Lamb and Michael Bevan earlier.Dhoni reminds you of a great military commander leading his batallion to victory after being on the jaws of imminent defeat.He is one of the game's all-time great match-winners and arguably India's strongest ever cricketer in the mind.

Posted by NP_NY on (July 13, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

@john53: Precisely! Also, Dhoni is a master at mind games. This was poker as Siddhartha says. He knew whoever bowls the last over will be under the most pressure and he knew it was going to be the inexperienced Eranga. Eranga versus Dhoni in the last over was like a trembling child in front of Mohammed Ali in a boxing ring (not that Ali would have ever punched a child :-))

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 8:54 GMT)

Many cricket writers look down their noses at T20 matches and particularly IPL. MSD honed his finishing skills as skipper of Chennai Superstars. In many of those matches, he did what he did in Trinidad. In a particular do-or-die match in Dharmashala, against the Punjab team which included Sangakkara and Jayawardene, he performed the same kind of miraculous feats to save the match for Chennai,which enabled the Chennai team to qualify for the semi-final. He is truly blessed.

Posted by john53 on (July 13, 2013, 7:56 GMT)

few people are complaining that , if dhoni can do it at the last why wait till the last..but i would like to resemble this with the technique of an experienced heavyweight boxer . he waits till the last moment and waits for his opponent to get tired then he delivers his knock out punch. i see dhoni do the same, waits till he gets to the striking distance like a boxer he reads his opponent and delivers the KO when he knows he can take him down with one great punch. this is another reason why we see two many matches finished by sixes from dhoni .

Posted by Wolverine77 on (July 13, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

I urge all Sl fans to avoid supporting this current SL team... SLC needs to understand that they are nothing without us "fans". We have been patient enough with SLCs stupidity for long enough now...They are clearly not getting a team ready for 2015 WC... Dropping Thisara, not giving a chance to Dimuth or Suranga Lakmal when they were doing really well in the Caribbean, wasting good talent in the likes of Kusal and Sachithra. No wonder we keep losing.. If we take out Mahela n Sanga, SL team is nothing but a bunch of guys who's worthless watching because all of the young guys seems to be clueless how to take responsibility and bat with intent... Why can't peole like Matthews and Chandimal take a bit more responsibility towards winning for their country? Why on earth is chandimal still the VC of the team if he can't handle the pressure?

SLC stop politics. Sort out the batting line up for the SA tour. Play Thiri @ 3 and Chandi @ 4.. Aim for 2015 WC..

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 5:32 GMT)

With the comfort of having won the tri-series, let us not forget some serious issues with the team. No doubt, MSD is the best finisher on earth and has bailed out the team on numerous occasions. What the other top and middle order batsmen are doing in the team? Why is it left to poor MSD time and again to earn the team a win out of hopeless situations? Why can't the any of the top or middle order batsmen hold one end and play a longer innings? Why are they content making some 30, 40 runs which is enough to safeguard their career? Instead of showering praises on their captain, let them play their role to perfection first!

Having chosen cricket as a career, isn't it wise for Ashwin to workout on his fitness? He needs to shed at least a 10 kgs now or quit from the game and choose a career in engineering. Again, on that day he hasn't bowled even 1/10th of how Herath bowled and yet, what stature he's bestowed upon! Does he deserve it? Is he a strike bowler for us really taking 1 Wkt/match?

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

#MSD- look at this man...you will know how to play good cricket....a calm head and most friendly teamamate.... Taking A Bow #MSD..... and thank you.....

Posted by   on (July 13, 2013, 2:43 GMT)

This one is for ages.. i'm def meeting the guy next time i visit India. How many times in the last decade did we have a heartbreak anytime india had to finish a nailbiter. 70-80% times we would end up panicking. Having Dhoni at the crease gives everyone a belief that "yes we can" and he feeds of that. To pull this game on a pitch like that is nothing short of spectacular.. For once i've a belief that Indian team is in good hands after the retirement of tendulkar. Take a bow DHONI :)

Posted by caught_knott_bowled_old on (July 13, 2013, 2:33 GMT)

MSD has got the whole cricketing world playing to his tune. He intimidates the opposition and very few sportsmen can do that..Viv Richards, Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan are some examples. Thats how great Dhoni is. What's even more remarkable is his equanimity and composure. He doesn't care about the opposition and cares even less about the critics. He's operating at a different level. You combine his performances, his leadership and the results - what you get is the greatest cricketer India has produced thus far.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 12, 2013, 23:25 GMT)

Well a quick question who would read the last day and last minute while examination paper is given .. Who wouldnt and simmilarily do enjoy the best for the last...

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 21:00 GMT)

Very bad message to dressing room by Dhoni. Hope nobody will try to follow his foot prints. I mean, waiting for the final over to finish the game like Dhoni did. Guys, only Dhoni can afford to wait for the final ball to hit the six. Please try to finish the game early if you can and don't try to make it climax. These kind of climax can be seen in Bollywood movies or in Dhoni's batting only.

Posted by mahecric on (July 12, 2013, 20:45 GMT)

The best cricketing brain in the history of cricket. He had thought and planned something which no one could predict. He kept a count of the overs, the bowlers. We all knew that dhoni can do it, but he knew when to do it. Changing the bat for the last over, knowing the fact that he was just 3 big shots away. The first monstrous SIX freightened the srilankans so much so that they have seen ghost in broad day light, the next FOUR and SIX was mere completing of a beautiful script. MSD take a BOW.

Posted by Lala_Amarnath on (July 12, 2013, 19:06 GMT)

I was watching the match live when Javed Miandad hit the sixer off the last ball of Chetan Sharma. I can say with satisfaction that I have a feeling of redemption now. Let us not forget that he was doing the bowling quota calculation while the final overs were going on, and knew that he had a chance at the end. Way to go!

Posted by Vindaliew on (July 12, 2013, 18:17 GMT)

Dhoni's aura reminds me of Viv Richards. While he doesn't play the same way, he takes the same bold approach, backing himself to deliver and complete the job as planned. There was a story of how Ian Botham once bowled to Viv Richards with 6 needed to win off 3 balls. Viv deliberately blocked the first two and smote an almighty six off the last ball. I'm not sure if it's true, but it came to mind when reading about Dhoni's penchant for drama and happy endings.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (July 12, 2013, 18:16 GMT)

I bow my head before the BEST captain in world cricket, and the ICEMAN from Ranchi. There is no one better than him in ODI cricket and he is a fine leader of men. People LOVE playing under him. Even foreigners have mentioned that. Scott Styris on Skysports talks of the calm and cool mentality rubbing off other members of the team be it CSK or Team India. Ben Hilfenhaus, Matthew Hayden, Dwayne Bravo, and Dirk Nannes all have spoken about MSD's abilities. He's a champion of champions and knows ONLY winning. Great great ! Absolutely no words to describe this man.

Posted by akpy on (July 12, 2013, 17:35 GMT)

i know some people who will put down cricketers like MSD down, the moment he fails, as if these cricketers are never meant to have failures. If England had got one big hit off that final ball in champions trophy and if SL could have bowled 2-3 good balls in the final over here, India would have returned with an empty hand but now we have two trophies. This is how the game goes and it is irritating when some fans cannot understand this beautiful game or the players who are performing consistently over a period of time. I totally agree with green_jelly that if India had a finisher even half as good as MSD in the 80s and 90s, we would have won a lot more games, especially in the sachin era in 90s - just see his runs in games we have lost and you will realise a few runs by the tail would have seen us through.

Posted by manpan on (July 12, 2013, 16:59 GMT)

@Mr. Sundayrun, I have respect for your cricketing knowledge. But, please do not compare the times of 80's and now. Agreed the pressure is pressure, yet, now the players are subjected to critical times quite often (I will not go into the stats of number of matches per year, the art of scoring at faster rate due to the introduction of 20-20 etc.). Sir, my point was MSD is a proven talent and he could have won it for India before 50th over as the asking run rate was much less than a ball. One cannot expect tailenders to keep their wicket for a long. In such a situation, MSD could have hit such great shots a little earlier easing the pressure. Please try to understand, it is not about dictating the match single-handedly. If that is the situation, he would have protected the tailenders well (Credit to the tailenders as well who lasted on the other side till 50th over) and finished it quite early making it look like an easy match (which indeed was the case 1. RR 4.00 and 2. MSD's talent)

Posted by srinuiith on (July 12, 2013, 16:56 GMT)

Beautiful article. I saw one movie which moral is "if a team needs a change in its behavior first its leader has to change" it perfectly true in him, the way he transforms himself from a brutal hitter to the most reliable batsman under pressure is mind blowing.

Posted by green_jelly on (July 12, 2013, 16:51 GMT)

A lot of people are praising Rohit for his slow innings at the start. Most of these same people extolling Rohit's performance would have criticized Tendulkar for not being a "match winner". Remember, for a long time, Sachin was playing the role of both Rohit and MSD singlehandedly. If MSD had played when Sachin was at his peak, India would have been invincible.

Posted by Batmanindallas on (July 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT)

Dhoni has won more matches for India in shorter version than any other Indian batsmen

Posted by DJ_Rambo on (July 12, 2013, 16:11 GMT)

Brilliant write-up Siddhartha Vaidyanathan.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 16:08 GMT)

On the contrary, Siddhartha, how about christening Bevan "The greatest finisher BEFORE Dhoni"?!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 16:00 GMT)

Dhoni ia definitely a Bollywood style finisher for which we wait anxiously and dream to watch. His confidence, calmness and energy are impeccable. That's what makes him a successful captain, player, leader and more over a GREAT FINISHER of all time. "Game is on when Dhoni is in"... You can count on that...

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:58 GMT)

A playing legend, that's what he is.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:54 GMT)

Few hours before the match my daughter during her class discussion on consistency, cited Dhoni as an example. She could not have been more right

Posted by Bang_La on (July 12, 2013, 15:46 GMT)

"For those who followed Indian cricket in the '80s and '90s, he may even come across as a messiah. Those were the days India choked and crumbled." Bless you Sid. Those were the days when the growing Pakistan supporters in Bangladesh taunted and jeered at us to make life hell for days. Where were you, then, Dhoni? :)

Posted by Kulaputra on (July 12, 2013, 15:45 GMT)

Let us leave Sachin out of this and give Dhoni his due. Dhoni is a legend by himself and needs no comparison to anyone anywhere. Way to go Dhoni and as the French say Bon Courage

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:40 GMT)

The Greatest Finisher after Bevan... Indian cricket should be divided into post and pre Dhoni Era... earlier we used to collapse from winning position. But after Dhoni arrived, we chased so many matches.. I still remember the wins in Pakistan in 2006, when He and Yuvraj won us few close matches... Dhoni.. U r the man.. The best and most invaluable ODI player of the World..

Posted by Divinetouch on (July 12, 2013, 15:34 GMT)

Stupendous, exhilarating, magnificent, classy, unflappable, calculating yet humble to the core.

A simple smile and an acknowledgement that he may have been blessed with a little cricket sense.

A true patriot in every sense of the word and an honourable son of BharatMa.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:33 GMT)

iam following one day cricket since 1984 benson&hedges cup.i think bevan is a good finisher but he is not a big stroke player.dhoni is the greatest finisher.

Posted by vsroc on (July 12, 2013, 15:29 GMT)

Posted By Venkat Sraman on (July 12,2013) It was a praiseworthy innings made by M.S.Dhoni in the tri-series final against Sri.Lanka that enabled India to maintain their supremacy in ODI.He once again rose to the occasion in spite of his hamstring injury,not recovered fully.In this process,he has become master of the last over finish in a fine style.

Posted by SinSpider on (July 12, 2013, 15:23 GMT)

One cricketing moment is engraved in my memory. Miandad's last ball six of Chetan Sharma. I could not watch the last ball sitting in front of the TV. I could not live without watching it either. So, I ran out of the living room and from a small window I peeked at the TV. I prayed when Sharma ran in.. and when Miandad hit that six.. I collapsed. Since then I lived through many tormenting moments in Indian cricket when implosion became a synonym to Indian batting. SRT out meant India out! But things have changed since that "Kumble and Srinath" partnership in 1996. Dhoni has taken this to the next level. Now I can watch the game with a hope until all 10 wkts are down.

Posted by TRAM on (July 12, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

I am alraedy worried and sad about the day when MSD would retire ... No one can replace him in terms of reassurance to the team mates & fans. Other members, especially the next captains may not have MSD's raw power in their shots. At least I wish & hope MSD teaches his 'cool' skills (mental strength) to all members.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:22 GMT)

There is a reason India adores Dhoni. He is one of India's finest ODI batsmen. And he is their most decorated captain. But his true contribution goes far deeper There was a time when Indian fans turned off the TV when Tendulkar got out (and Dhoni too has admitted to having done the same when he watched the 2003 World Cup final). But the thinking these days seems to have been turned on its head, almost to a point where fans tune into a game when MSD their captain walks in.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

@manpan I pity on your cricketing knowledge. Do not make comments just for the sake of making comments. What do u think its a movie where MSD is Hero, Screen play, Script writer, Director, producer etc.. and all the other 21 players playing the match are dumb. If you think he intentionally took the match to the last over and win the match for Indian then you should appreciate his talent of dictating a match single handed. I started watching cricket from 1984 and I saw how many matches India lost I always use to envy Miandad and use to wish we should have one in India. Now we have MSD who is more then a Miandad and Bevan. Whole cricketing nations want a player like him in the their team.Hats of to you MSD and congrats to the Indian team for winning one more trophy.

Posted by Bogelking on (July 12, 2013, 15:21 GMT)

A good article written about our Captain cool MSD by Siddhartha Vaidyanathan. It is true in the history of cricket that the teams as well as the fans have looked for a person-a saviour- who could save their team from a precarious situation. The teams which possessed that sort of individuals had a great run in the cricket history as mentioned above in the article. It is really great and happy a feeling to the Indian fans that one really have a cool player like Dhoni, who neither frets nor fumes if he misses the ball, but also a phlegmatic captain who maintains the same emotion even if you are in the verge of victory or defeat. There is lot much more that we can expect from this person, who can take the status of Indian cricket high in the international scenario.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:19 GMT)

12:30 am in kuwait its ramadan i am in office late working hours wife calls and says congratulations Dhoni has done it again. I was busy in working when i heard it i was not surprised i knew if its Dhoni we are coming home with Trophy. He explains the world cricket is not only about hitting big sixes but when to hit how to hit whom to hit. A last not the least he gave honors of lifting cup to Kohli showing a true character not on field but off field too.

Posted by Rohit... on (July 12, 2013, 15:09 GMT)

@Karthik Pk : I agree Dhoni is the best batsman after Kohli in the current Batting line-up and the Greatest Finisher this Game can ever get... But Making him greater than Dravid is utter NON-SENSE... Dhoni's problem lies in the new ball ( Follow the Test Match to know it) and he makes sure he does not face the shiny ball( He even sends Ashwin ahead of him when there is a top order collapse) while Dravid can play any ball thrown at him...Just enjoy this great innings but don't make him GOD and then stone his home when he fails.

Posted by gana27 on (July 12, 2013, 15:04 GMT)

nice article, enjoyed reading it

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:03 GMT)

It is time for Sir Jadeja to pass the mantle of knighthood onto his skipper - arguably the most Effective batsman in the world! Even ice melts, and it is going to be interesting to know what melts our beloved MSD! Hopefully, we never have to find out!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 15:01 GMT)

Sri Lanka middle order didn't do their job especially Kusal Perera and Chandimal in the whole tournament.what has append to Thisara? but SL played well.congrate India.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 14:57 GMT)

I was so thrilled to see the end result on espncricinfo on my mobile. A very nice article written about a man who is the best ODI Captain India ever had.Ganguly taught indians to fight Dhoni has converted many defeats into wins.No doubt he is lucky and his thought process has a luck factor in it but so what as long as India is winning it hardly matters.Not to forget his wicket keeping also in this match top class stumpings, simply great. He is the man every indian shouldl be proud . Very well written article expressing the exact feelings of all true indian cricket lovers. He was injured still remained with the team and although was not 100% fit played the final. This is called dedication and love for country.MSD you are the best ! Sincerely wishing you should be Indian captain for a longer time in all 3 formats only be careful about your body should not burden it too much!

Posted by Gopalakrishna on (July 12, 2013, 14:50 GMT)

Dear Sid I was at Chandigarh where Dhoni won the match for India against Aussies. Overs were running out and yet he was calm and cool. He attacked the bowlers at the right time and won the test - No wonder, had you been there at Chandigarh, another poetic piece, just like GRV''s innings would have been penned by you - HRG - Cricket Statistician - Bangalore

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 14:46 GMT)

Yes he is the best. people (cricket followers) can compare him to many names but according to me he is unmatchable or incomparable. I'm following cricket from those good old transistor radio period.when Aussies take on w indies I followed it at 03.30am in 70's.Greats like Loids,Recherts,Boders.woeghs ,Kapil.But I call this man Super Man of Cricket.Look forward to enjoy him a lot. shan

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 14:36 GMT)

Call him Mahendra Steal Dhoni or Mahendra Steel Dhoni or Mahendendra Sixer Dhoni, or Mahendra Savior Dhoni, or... Seems like he meditates before each session and stays in a calm but 'play to win' stance always. Am sure, once he retires from Cricket, other enterprises would love to have him as their chief. Now, I am talking about 10 years hence!

Posted by manpan on (July 12, 2013, 14:32 GMT)

Congrats for this win. It looks more to me as if Dhoni first took the situation from bad to worse and then, when there was no time left to take it to the worst, he unleashed those three great shots before swinging his bat and missing the first delivery of the 50th over. Dhoni's strategy (of taking the match to the last over when the RR was below 5 (4.40) when he came for batting and the moment all the recognized batmen were out, the score was 152/7 and RR was 4.00) worked. He exposed the tailenders twice: to lethal Malinga once and to Mathews in the 49th over. The equation was changed to 15 needed of 6 balls. Was it really necessary to take it to the last over? Was that a movie to bring twists and turns into it to look it dramatic. It is a cricket match and batsmen like Dhoni could have, at least, tried to finish it before that. It is understandable to stretch the match that far only when the RR is very high and you have no choice but to continuously score the runs till the last over.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 14:28 GMT)

DRAVID + (Sehwag, Afridi, Gayle) = DHONI

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 14:06 GMT)

About MS Dhoni

His greatest contribution may be turning fans inured to close defeats and panicky collapses into a set that refuses to believe a game is lost as long as he stays in

Posted by fguy on (July 12, 2013, 13:47 GMT)

2/2 We really need to come up with a new adjective for him. Superhuman, ice cool etc don't describe him adequately. He's a God of Gods when it comes to limited overs. When it comes to finishers there's him, then all the oceans in the world, then the rest. No one else has done it as frequently, as consistently & at such crucial stages in important matches than him. Bevan, Klusener, et al did it once in a while. We're lucky to have him.

Posted by Nampally on (July 12, 2013, 13:45 GMT)

Yogi Bera once said "It Ain't over till it is over" & Dhoni proved its logic by playing out in a dramatic win over SL with 2 balls to spare & protecting his tail enders. Yes he is the greatest finisher of the ODI by a mile. No one even comes close. He does it consistently & today did it with an injured leg & with some bone headed batting at the other end. 15 runs to win in the last over was not a problem - with 6,4,6 of successive balls. This is a great lesson for rest of the Indian batting as to how one should pace his innings with self confidence. Raina, Jadeja & Ashwin all fell when much was expected of them. Vinay needed to just defend at one end. He slogged once & was nearly caught. He was determinedly suicidal & slogged again to return to his cozy seat in the pavilion. Where is the sense of responsibility, I ask? Miandad, Bevan, etc are just names but numerous innings like the one Dhoni played today remain immortal. ICC should award MSD the title "the greatest ODI Finisher Ever"!

Posted by fguy on (July 12, 2013, 13:39 GMT)

Dhoni. wow! After Jadeja got out I gave them no chance. With 50 runs to get & only 3 wickets in hand but what really made me pessimistic was the pitch. If it was a half decent pitch I thought we had a chance but this was a brute of a pitch. Also, He was obviously hampered by the hamstring injury which affected him taking those quick singles he likes to take (also couldn't do that coz it was bowlers at other end which he had to shield). Most cricketers a hamstring injury means you're out of commission for weeks if not months & here he was back in days & that too he could've taken it easy & played purely as a batsman since DK was there but he still kept wickets. Also he hadn't really got a chance to spend much time in the middle since vs SA in CT. 1/2

Posted by Cucumber_abes on (July 12, 2013, 13:06 GMT)

Dhoni sure, would not have let it go to the 50th over if Malinga was held back to bowl the 50th over. He would have done his heroic routine in the 49th over. He was not gambling about the 50th over. He was rooting for the inexperience of Shaminda. May it be 49th over or 50th over.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 12:41 GMT)

MSD is undoubtedly the best one day international player in modern era,he can bat,keep wickets and bowl when required and above all he carries the burden,expectations of one billion Indians. He has all the ingredients for a successful leader, he is a blessing for team India.His brain works like a computer and thinks beyond what an opposition captain can think,that what makes him the best...cheers MSD

Posted by him1618 on (July 12, 2013, 12:37 GMT)

I have been a Dhoni fan since his time in Kenya in 2004. Even then, something seemed different about him. I was young when Tendulkar transformed being an Indian cricket fan, but from all I've read, I gathered that he gave hope and joy to millions despairing for their sub-standard team. This article has similar shades, and at the risk of being blasphemous, I have to say that Dhoni is the new Tendulkar, the one shining light, the relentless messiah, like him in the 90s, but only better, for his approach not only benefits him but has transformed Indian cricket as a whole. It is his approach that has made India the force they are, and he is the foremost exemplar of this resurgence. Dhoni is a cricketing genius and stuff of legend, and in some ways better than Sachin, for he has catapulted India out of numerous crunch situations, unlike the previous teams which used to get blown to smithereens under pressure, including the great Sachin. Hats off!

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 12:28 GMT)

superr article

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 12:23 GMT)

@Holyshmoly : Unfogettable days indeed- I used to be delivery boy for my tenant upstairs and i read the complete sports page of The Hindu before delivering the paper to them. Cannot forget BBC /Radio Australia and some unforgettable innings of Viv Richards, Kapil dev, Ian Botham and the way India scutted Australia below Hundred ,Sandeep Patil's heroics in Australia,Vengsarkar's Lord's centuries all that in a little transistor accompanying us to Cricket grounds, Gully Cricket, at Tennis courts in the Morning and then came the most cherished of them -early morning Australia Sojourn in Day Night colors in the voice of Richie Benaud, peppy Bill Lawry or for that matter Chris Martin Jenkins/Brain Johnston on BBC.

Posted by Livilndia on (July 12, 2013, 12:20 GMT)

Cool...composed....

Deadly.... Devastating.....

Magical....Magnificent....

Incredible....Inimitable...

Hats off, MSD.

Posted by dheeraj90 on (July 12, 2013, 12:18 GMT)

Good article.summing up the chase beautifully.Yes, Dhoni has changed the attitude of the Indian fans who now believe the team can win from any stage..especially when Dhoni is there on the crease.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 12:15 GMT)

I am a crazy fan of cricket for india. Living in canada so for almost matches I haveto read only cricinfo commentry be of office timing clash. Yesterday I was in training and coming back to home when match was running. I started commentary at about 39th over of indian chase. Till 47 over I closed and open app be of sluggish chase by india. At last I closed it but in mind it was definately there fhat dhoni will definately shoe herogiri. Now in each mafch he is playing to make it sensenitial and heart beating fans. I am also crazy fan of him and india but not liking this style from the prosective that he has to make team like unbeatable not like won matches on base of luck and heroism. Otherwise our team won't in the list teams like west and aus who have dominated worls for several years. This way of playing with fans I am not going to except now rather will leave watching cricket as itw affecting my personnel lives when we used loose match as I am not iced cool mqn.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

@HolyShmoly: Amazing! Mine is same story but in a joint-family. Whether it is a transistor or Hindu sports paper there was always a huddle. After Kapil my next super-hero is Dhoni!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 11:29 GMT)

Immemorable innings. Excellant article.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 11:16 GMT)

While Dhoni managed it in this game; but it appears the planning was flawed. Taking it to the last over; and that too getting in such uncertainty cannot be called a diligent plan. He could have lost it ! Had he lost it - entire mass who is praising him now would have been after his blood ...

Posted by KingOwl on (July 12, 2013, 10:53 GMT)

MSD no doubt has an exceptional temperament. As a SL fan, I can only think of Arjuna Ranatunga who was similar. That temperament is also what has made Dhoni a great captain. A good captain cannot and does not panic. I am afraid SL has not got a captain like that. Mathews is highly talented. But I am not sure that he is exceptionally cool under pressure. Anyway, while being hugely disappointed, I must congratulate India. MSD was the difference.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 10:13 GMT)

Dhoni is the best finisher so far i have seen. When indian lost 8,9 th wicket my one of indian friend said match finish. I said till Dhoni is there I am not sure. I just don't understant why mattews bowled out malinga 47 th over. He should bowled last over . I knew that Dhoni will go for last over rather then before as he often did in IPL. bad captaincay from matthew , he should not give a guy to bowl who played 11 matches and to bowl against dhoni. If 6 runs needed in final over if malinga was there to bowl ..then dhoni could face the differece of world best death yorker bowler than eranga .anyway welldone

Posted by Bernoulli on (July 12, 2013, 10:04 GMT)

Back in mid 1980s when I started following cricket, I wished India had a Javed Miandad. When that dude was lurking around, you knew there was trouble. That kind of street smartness was what India missed. We had lots of individual talent like Gavaskar, Azhar, Vengsarkar, Amarnath, Kapil, Shastri but we kept on losing matches one after the other especially when the asking rate went slightly out of control. Then you watch a Pak match with Miandad and see how fidgety and busy he is (to an annoying degree) and you know that is what we need to win matches. Hope players like Kohli, Jadeja and Raina can "learn" this art of avoiding brain freeze at crucial moments and win matches.

Posted by Jayco on (July 12, 2013, 9:54 GMT)

@Pankaj, Yes, he is a gambler, but one who backs his ability, and his teammates. And he's very calm. When India didn't gamble, they lost every big game, in collapses and panics. So what's your point? His ability and his approach results in wins. You'd rather he didn't gamble, and lose instead?

Posted by tickcric on (July 12, 2013, 9:48 GMT)

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win." This applies to Dhoni as well. His somewhat idiosyncratic batting technique, his non elite 'small town' background has probably troubled many puritans! But through repeated success, it has now come to a point where MSD failing looks out of the place, he is winning people over - in India, around the world. Dhoni might well be remembered as one of cricket's greatest.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 9:42 GMT)

I used to sleep after the first innings during this entire serious. However I wanted to see how team India bat during the second innings this time on a difficult pitch! I watched the entire match and credit goes to the last three batsmen as well, they spent some double pressure time (they wanted to stay there with the less than 100% fit captain + Dhoni made them face too many balls as well)

Few mistakes/indecisions from Dhoni and he was not that cool. Taking a single in the beginning of the over and leaving #10 and #11 face the remaining ball shows a different Dhoni.

Finally India win the match but not all because of Dhoni alone during the final overs. Dhoni did manage the pressure situation assuming #11 would handle those few deliveries to give him the chance. #TeamIndia Do not forget the 2 runout chances (typical running by #11)

Have fun! All love you Dhoni as long as this works for you. (Sleepy)

Posted by Punj on (July 12, 2013, 9:35 GMT)

one must not forget one name among finishers: Misbah ul Haq... though he remain in the end to loose

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 9:25 GMT)

There is an arrogance in MSD batting which is reminiscent of Australians or to a certain extent Eng nowadays. This is a different outlook he is presenting to Indian cricket - may be Kapil or Ganguly did that in the past. Like Kapil he is confident to the tasks of doing the impossible with consummate ease which make a great player. The transformation of good to greatness is happening for MSD. Congrats to him and Team India. Wish you a many more.

Posted by IndiaNumeroUno on (July 12, 2013, 9:24 GMT)

..and some people have the audacity to compare Matt Prior with Dhoni... ROFL!!!

Posted by BONG_IN_CHENNAI on (July 12, 2013, 9:17 GMT)

Time has come for Dauglas Jardine and Harold Larwood to be reborn for ODIs. Can't imgine that we have dirth of cool captains, coach and a pair like Marshall & Garner at the death overs to get things unDHONI. Kapil + lyod could be added as advisors. Get pitches of WACA or DURBAN And steyn, morkel, pattinson to bowl the final 5 overs

We have an extreme short term memory The SL team scored just 200. We know how this strategy of MSD works, when he worked his merry way To a huge loss In the final of IPL6 at Eden, just 2 months back.

He is setting dangerous trend for the team, And temporarily filling the void.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 9:07 GMT)

Only a gambler could play and take chances like this. He is a gambler and that too a very lucky one. Hence all the credit given to him is misplaced !

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 9:03 GMT)

no one want to ball to MSD specially in death overs... respect

Posted by Pavinasen on (July 12, 2013, 8:47 GMT)

You cannot groom people to be calm and even calm under pressure.You either have it or not.To be calm,calculating,collective , a strategist and a great thinker of how to play a game,there can only be one and that is MSD. MSD probally has another 5 years to go ,enjoy him while you can and cricket lovers around the world will be missing a great part of cricket when he hangs up his bat & gloves.I only hope that he could pick up his game in test cricket and maybe cricket lovers can add another 2 years to the 5.

He really earns his dollars.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:45 GMT)

The most important thing to learn from MS Dhoni's batting attitude is to try and win the match until the last ball rather than lose with reckless batting and overs to spare. Well done MS!

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 8:36 GMT)

mahi is the best

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:33 GMT)

this is a very good article.i do not know how dhoni pulls of such amazing shots.staying ice cool when wickets are falling at the other ends is not at all easy.he came to the crease,defended,defended and finally he took off.mind blowing!he must be given the title sir.india has really come to the top coz of him only.example of his captaincy is the decision to give ishant the 18 over in the final of the champions trophy which paid off.he is the greatest captain of india in all time.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Today's Indian cricket has lot of resemblance with Bollywood movies of 80's & 90's. The Hero (MSD) struggles throughout the movie (his painstakingly built innings) and then unleashes the deciding blows to kill the villains in the climax!!! Needless to say, the ending is always happy...........the only difference is that the Bollywood was ruled by Angry Young Man while the cricket is ruled by Ice Cool Man :)

Posted by sundar411 on (July 12, 2013, 8:25 GMT)

Dhoni in the post match interview after the CT final made a very valid statement that people talk about technique etc., but what is more important is the ability to perform under pressure. This ability is more demonstrated by Dhoni than anyone else and is a clear message to those who berate his lack of technique.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:10 GMT)

Calculative risk in critical situation and his execution towards the risk makes him more SPECIAL in the game of cricket ,esp in TT and ODI. This is something which is rare to see with all Captains..Bengal Tiger and Punter are of his kind..Dhoni's leadership qualities should be made as a lesson in B-Schools to learn how to handle things wen u r a Leader!!!

Posted by Thakur_Saab on (July 12, 2013, 8:09 GMT)

i think the greatest of quality of MSD is the quick reader of situation..he backs himself himself for every possible situation.....everyone says he is gambler bt for me he is "chankyaa" of cricket,,,

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 8:02 GMT)

MS holding a record 8 times to finish the match with six

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:59 GMT)

Only msdhoni could have done it in such tense situation..... in such a 7 number killing style.....he is truly the best odi finisher.....truly commendable captain for a cricket crazy nation

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 7:51 GMT)

Real Hero of Cricket

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:48 GMT)

After the euphoria and the praises to Dhoni-some unreserved and some grudging, everything is forgotten about improving on the team's weaknesses, without working on which, no team can stay on the top for long. The fielding improved considerably- ironically more flaws coming from behind the wickets in spite of a brilliant stumping. But the way the talented batsmen squandered their wickets while on top has to be worked on. The errors were basic. With the ball bouncing odd at different speeds, there was one golden rule to be followed. That is to go forward as against back. Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli cannot be considered as top-notch batsmen if the continue to err in this aspect. The stroke Ashwin played to Herath was unpardonable considering that he qualifies as an all-rounder.

Posted by Kirandian on (July 12, 2013, 7:40 GMT)

Yes !! MSD is the best and he has got back his Midas touch !! He come ,He saw and He Conquered but somehow i wont agree to tactic of MSD as taking match to the last over.when 20 requires of 22 then he should have finish match before last ove ( We lost a match is VB series in Australasia in similar fashion which resulted india thrown out of the final )r but the fact is that he is riding with shear luck nothing else... and end of the day What important We WON !!!

Posted by chandu1234 on (July 12, 2013, 7:37 GMT)

On of the unbelievable performance by dhoni, I like the way he finished the game.Its an absolute mind game against eranga the bowler who doesn't have the answer after the first massive six, MSD simply destroyed his confidence levels and finished in his own style...Its lesson to his followers regarding the mental ability and attitude. Keep going dhoni ..........

Posted by Shamat on (July 12, 2013, 7:33 GMT)

Leadership Qualities, one should refer to MS Dhoni. He not only manages the cricket team but also manages the aspirations of the crickets fans. Wish every cricketer takes a leaf out of his abilities.

Posted by ooper_cut on (July 12, 2013, 7:28 GMT)

Feel sad for SL fans, but their players did very well to make a match out of it. Seeing Sangakarra squatting on the floor after he got out said it all. Bad luck guys you had to meet MSD in the final.

But I found that appeal for obstructing the field a little too much and too exaggerated especially coming from 2 respected seniors in the team.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:19 GMT)

I went to sleep peacefully last night just after India innings started. I knew MSD is in team today; everything will be fine.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:16 GMT)

This innings showed how much he backs himself under these circumstances. To his critics, he 's simply lucky or d opposition playing poor cricket, to his legions of fan, he's d terminator,and 2 d punters he's d joker of d pack. Everybody is entitled 2 their opinions, but for now lets savour d thrilling moments of this cliffhanger.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 7:10 GMT)

Dhoni has a lesson or two to teach the youngsters of India, and We are learning it - we are no more quiting until we finish.. thanks dhoni.. much appreciated efforts by you will go a long way to change the mindset of Indians atleast.

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 7:04 GMT)

i was watching dis match on phone..i turn off after vinay kumar got out..it was 3overs left at dat tym...i told my self just go to sleep der is no chance dis time to win..as we no srilanka were trying der best to win n take revenge of previous loses...after woke up at morning i went to washroom n i was brushing...i hardly convince my self just to see the result of ladt game...n log in to cricinfo..u will not belive my tears was unstopeble after seeing da results by reading commentry...How some can be lyk him(dhoni)...he is da best n top of the World..I m luckiest Indian to hv captain lyk MSD...Wt a Player

Posted by NareshPodi on (July 12, 2013, 7:03 GMT)

I can say Luck favors the brave and skilled. Lucky to escape from the two run out chances, those are heart stopping moments. Dare to give strike to Isahant when Malinga was not bowling. Really Dhoni is the master of reading the Game and opposition. It was a mistake from Angelo to give final over to Eranga.

Great come back to top the table and take the cup home. :)

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:40 GMT)

Good article.....When the going gets tough, there's always MS Dhoni.....

Posted by Naresh28 on (July 12, 2013, 6:35 GMT)

Playing with an injury was not on, but Dhoni loves to be in thick of it all. Those refused singles could have made things easier. Again the pitch was a type that could injure a player. WELL DONE INDIA and to SL and their fans - hard luck!!!! SL played well and were as determined as ever. At the end of the day - you win some and you lose some. I feel the Indian team needs to look at KARTHIK's spot again....he promised but has failed to carry on from a beginning he made in England. Rayudu would make be a better inclusion.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:34 GMT)

i was following match till end run .. It's amazing how MSD adsorbs pressure.To me he is greatest ODI finisher of all time. This win inspires many team members... God Luck to Team India .. and we all fans pray for you .. :)

Posted by Snambidi on (July 12, 2013, 6:33 GMT)

MSDhoni,the real skipper of India once again rescued her Mother India to escape from a possible defeat at the hands of SL.Though the target for India was as easy as cakewalk,the batsmen except 4 of them crumbled like cookies.the wickets fell like ripe mangoes in strong wind.The Srilankans were getting ready to celebrate but the Greatest Skipper of India thought differently & kept his cool until last over with a lone man to keep company.. Ishant Sharma under pressure almost sacrificed his final wicket twice but to survive.

So Dhoni the veteran ever decided to win.And alas those three hits 6,4&6 were treat to watch which eventually broken the hearts of the Srilankans. Dhoni did it again the 4 th in a row.The World Cup,the T20 world Cup,the Champions Trophy & yet another coveted Trination trophy.this competition had survived under pressure in the absence of Injured Skipper of India.And his decision to play in the final paid the dividend for India. MSDhoni is destined to guard India!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:25 GMT)

It must have been heart breaking for Sri-Lankans but we have had our fair share in past so we do sympathize but we are also happy that we got lucky with a player like Dhoni.

Posted by Akshay_mehta1 on (July 12, 2013, 6:24 GMT)

i am from Sydney so planned to watch both Ashes and tri series final, but what surprised me that so many of office staff this morning talking about Dhoni than Agar...!! well done MSD

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:20 GMT)

Long live the King!! I have to now call Dhoni "King" of ODI's. For me it always was King ViV (Richards), now I would rate Dhoni as the new "King". This was a phenomenal innings, I have seen plenty of his finishes, but this was in a different league. Till the last over, he wasn't hitting the ball well and the pitch isn't ideal for 15 runs from last over even for MSD. Despite this, the confidence he had in his ability to finish is awesome. He demonstrated how to bat with the tail in this rare scenario. Hats off to the newly crowned King!!

Posted by Rajdeepgupta on (July 12, 2013, 6:17 GMT)

You have to separate men from boys when they regularly take up household chores, becomes the elder brother or sister that one looks up and when one feels orphan, a pat on the back says, "I am there". Dhoni is a caveman who goes into the shell, absorbs as much heat there is, comes all guns blazing but never loses his composure. Akash Chopra wrote once that people from North India are born street smart. Dhoni simplifies it to a large extent. :)

Posted by naren1983 on (July 12, 2013, 6:04 GMT)

MSD proves he is the best batsman of Modern Cricket. People who used to tell MSD has luck to win games, but having seen this, now they should go and kick themselves at their back. It is one of the pure cricketing brains that MSD executes very perfectly. He doesn't want to give Ishant to face a single ball of Mallinga as the single was available on the 5th ball of bat from Dhoni. This shows how he has clear & clever calculating brains on the cricketing field. Before you leave cricket, hope you will clinch all those cups on your pockets. Well Done MSD.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:03 GMT)

No doubt Dhoni is a modern day icon.In this age of close media scrutiny,he has managed to rise above the restAlso his almost sadhu-like calm in very tense situations has won him many fans.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

I wanna say something which is really freat and wierd. The current indian team becomes like the best indian team (it is actually) And the team with sachin. sehwag , ambhir, yuvraj , zaheer, irfan becomes a reserve team fr india! Way to ge! #CHAKDEINDIA

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 6:00 GMT)

MSD as his wont these days flexes his mighty muscles only when it is required. Even as wickets fell around him like nine pins, he held his nerve and his steely resolve to win the game for India. If we were to look at the number of games MSD has single handedly won for us of late, he deserves the sobriquet - MVP- Most Valuable Player.

Posted by nayonika on (July 12, 2013, 5:58 GMT)

MSD stands for Magnificent Superb Dependable. Dada Ganguly himself says MSD is the most successful skipper. I get the feeling Dhoni wants India to be powerful winning team like the West Indies and Australian teams led by Sobers, Lloyd,Richards, Taylor,Waugh and the like but without the arrogance or bluster of those teams. And he is succeding.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:50 GMT)

Slowly becoming a legend,In ODI as Finisher Bhevan and S.waugh are legends and so is Dhoni,Infact He is clearly better than them as their stats say... Hope he plays for India till kholi or Pujara groom to be better player and captain.Raina is Good who is my fav but yet shot stuff is one area he has to look into.After Dhoni's Captaincy time we have Rohit,kholi,pujara and Raina to certain extent.But Dhoni is not replaceable,Especially when he goes abt doing things in a calm.Steve waugh had a great team includes impeccable bowlers and fielders also batsman.Wish we had a better bowling resource, If India had that,will be the Undisputed champion like dhoni himself!!!!

Posted by shobanzz on (July 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

I am not a great fan of MSD technique and all that, but boy he keeps hitting those winning 6's at will time and time again, which makes me wonder whether he is our best ODI batsman. The number of matches he has won is almost incredible. But now I would like him do atleast 50% of this heroics in Test cricket which will make India a Champion Team in tests too....

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:49 GMT)

In his early days, Dhoni's hard hitting style was compared to Shahid Afridi. Thankfully his batting evolved more into a mixture of Bevan and Gilchrist, the latter being Dhoni's role model.

Posted by csekartik on (July 12, 2013, 5:46 GMT)

Oops !!! He did it again !!! The BEST ODI Finisher of this era ...... He does it when it matters !!!

Posted by SamRoy on (July 12, 2013, 5:42 GMT)

This is exactly why MSD is the greatest ODI batsman after Viv. I still think he is a bad test captain (and not a good test batsman in bouncing conditions) but as a ODI batsman he has surpassed Tendulkar, Gilchrist, Ponting, Jayasuriya, Hussey and Bevan. He may not be easy on the eye while batting but he is mighty effective. He is better finisher than Mike Hussey and Michael Bevan as he has the power to go with smart thinking.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:40 GMT)

MSD is a great finisher / captain. He got himself in for the finals may be he thought he may have to considering the situation. I switched off the TV when kohli was out, not because i was disappointed but it was actually very late in the night. But i was sure that i will be glad to see the result the next morning. And exactly the samething happened like the Champions Trophy. We beleive in Dhoni and above all we indians have started beleiving in the whole Team India.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:31 GMT)

Sri Lanka now for the nth time would be feeling like a kid shown a lollipop for hours together and Dhoni pulling it away from between their lips !!its amazing to see dhoni always finishing of in tat style time n time again!!salute!!where are the dhoni haters? does he ve to prove again!!msd ur the man!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:29 GMT)

" There was a time when Indian fans turned off the TV when Tendulkar got out (and Dhoni too has admitted to having done the same when he watched the 2003 World Cup final). But the thinking these days seems to have been turned on its head, almost to a point where fans tune into a game when their captain walks in. "

What a statement! I agree 100%. I have been watching cricket since 16 years and I love how the team now no longer relies on just ONE batsman! I hated how Indian audience lost all hope when Sachin would get out. And Dhoni has been instrumental in making such a team.

Being a huge Dhoni fan, I love to watch such matches but Dhoni should avoid giving such heart attacks. The match could have ended way sooner... But Dhoni has his own style. His message is clear - Keep calm and believe in me! And Believe we shall!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:26 GMT)

This is a classic match. The pendulum swung both ways for several times. A tricky wicket to bat on as pitch was allowing the ball to dance around. How many times Dhoni did this thing. It is truely unbelievable match. Dhoni is a true MAVERICK. This why there is a huge following for him as player, captain, and a cool headed cricketer. I really enjoyed this match. And it is full paisa vasool kind of match where I was awake till 4:00 AM in the morning watching the full match. Kudos to Dhoni, a true captain, leading by example.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:23 GMT)

Great win ...........................!!!

Congrats India

Posted by sams235 on (July 12, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

This games, in my opinion is one of the finest games I have ever watched. I put it right with the Worldcup finals. The sheer excitement, tension, and the euphoria at the end was priceless. All thanks to Dhoni, a super player. He definitely is the greatest player on par or more than Tendulkar in my opinion.

Posted by anirmal5 on (July 12, 2013, 5:21 GMT)

No words, No comments, nothing can define his capability in every field of cricket, every sense of cricket. Simply awesome. we are just watching him though we know that he is not technically sound as Tendulkar... We stay in the match 90% bcz of him bcz we are confident that he is going to do something very diff that no one can think of.

Even other countries might be thinking of him that " if he could be in our Team... If he could be in our Team" Greatest person with all types of skill...

Posted by zuber21886 on (July 12, 2013, 5:19 GMT)

...."Vinay Kumar had a popcorn burst in his head when, on 5, he tried to slog a short ball out of the ground"... haha that was hilarious!!

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 5:18 GMT)

last over finish has become habit for dhoni

Posted by KK47 on (July 12, 2013, 5:17 GMT)

If there are fans who still doubt Dhoni, I feel sorry for them. Show me a better modern ODI batsman than MSD, show me a better 'tournament winner' than MSD, show me a better reader of the game than MSD, show me a player who can excite you and calm you at the same time than MSD, show me a player who does it again and again than MSD. Show me a player like him.

Posted by princepoddar007 on (July 12, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

One of the very rare articles which kept my interest going .. superbly written and points well put. Wow. Even if you were not that overwhelmed by the live match yesterday, this article takes the fantastic win even a notch higher. Keep it up Mr. Vaidyanathan.

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 5:15 GMT)

Dhoni is truly a Messiah For a Indian fan like me who folloes Indian cricket from early 1990s

Posted by hotcric01 on (July 12, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

Dhoni is the best example for handling pressure in shorter version of the game and he was the turning point of improvement in success of Indian ODI side in recent history.Best luck him!

Posted by DaGameChanger on (July 12, 2013, 5:11 GMT)

That boy is crazy. As much I adore the names you have mentioned Steve, Bevan, Salim Malik or Miandad, none of them had firepower that Dhoni has. This guy was all but pure striker before captaincy. In terms of finisher, he probably have superseded all of them.

Posted by ghtvnath on (July 12, 2013, 5:08 GMT)

One man, not my girlfriend or any other girl, broke my heart twice now. He is MS Dhoni.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

Amazing... As long as Dhoni is at the crease, I ain't ever abandoning watching the game!! Gotta keep the faith. Dhoni is to cricket what MJ was to NBA... there will be many more Chetan Sharmas the world of cricket will have to contend with :-( as long as Dhoni plays... only these Chetan Sharmas won't be playing for India!!

Posted by PK_dilli on (July 12, 2013, 5:07 GMT)

One day someone will die from heartattack

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 5:06 GMT)

Excellent writeup.....Praise The Dhoni!!

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 12, 2013, 5:01 GMT)

It's not over till the last swing of dhoni bat !!!!!...

Posted by Fast_Track_Bully on (July 12, 2013, 4:57 GMT)

Well done MSD. One thing is sure that he is the No:1 enemy of SL and some other teams. How can they forget WC final six and this final six. kudos to him.SL has to wait for a long time to beat India in finals.

Posted by Meety on (July 12, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

"There is a reason India adores Dhoni" - it wasn't that long ago (6mths) - that most of India wanted his head on a stake! Maybe that was to do with captaincy, but he is the finest ODI finisher in the game currently. It would of been unthinkable in 2007 to say that there'd be a better keeper batsmen than Gilchrest in ODIs - but Dhoni really is, - this is coming from an Ozzy!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:56 GMT)

What a game that was.. One worth a watch... Captain Cool Delivered the KO punch to the Lankan Lions on the face.. :)

Posted by Alexk400 on (July 12, 2013, 4:53 GMT)

dhoni is just god of luck.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:52 GMT)

MSD is an unbelievable cricketr.....................

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:50 GMT)

Even critics praising dhoni....

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:47 GMT)

Dhoni has an inbuilt art of finishing matches under severe pressure ! This posses a serious threat to others in world cricket ! Pressure ? That word is not defined in Dhoni's dictionary. So, calm,cool and collected just stands there when others come and go. He takes that responsibility to win and takes the blame when not winning .Only a few players in the past like Michel Beaven,Steve Waugh , Javed Miandad etc. had the champion stuff in them .. On a many occasions he has failed but , the never give up attitude is amazing to watch .. Any other player would have just panicked and would have lost it but, for Dhoni . But, Rohit Sharma should be credited too, he played a matured innings.

Posted by Masud_BITK on (July 12, 2013, 4:46 GMT)

I have never seen any Bengali in my life time who has cool head like Dhoni. Note Jahkhand is considered in Bengali region. Only Dhoni echoes such cool sound...

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:45 GMT)

This was the most single handed show by Dhoni. And by Go it was awesome terrific, and superb ..

Posted by Sachin7 on (July 12, 2013, 4:42 GMT)

No words to describe Dhoni. I admit am a heavy critic and have criticised Dhoni during that 2009 SA tour when we lost a golden opportunity to win a test series by letting off the hook the SA in 3rd test and also on few other occasioins in tests. But come ODIs or T20s am saying it with full heart there is no other better captain and batsmen than Dhoni especially under pressure. He is just unbelievable. To describe him he is like a Tiger waiting, waiting and waiting to pounce and like how Tiger calculates and manipulates its prey and pounces at the right time, he does the same. And more often than not, just like the Tiger which is famously said it never misses its prey, Dhoni too invariably comes up trumps hunting the bowler. Actually after the 8-0 debacle am seeing a different Dhoni in Tests too, not any more defensive and looks to be more vocal and offensive in the field. Could well go down as the best ever captain in the history of Cricket when retires. (am seriously not hyping it)

Posted by gngjd2012 on (July 12, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

Sid, I can't figure out whether you are praising him or cursing him to leave it to the last over. If you heard his comments, he took a calculated risk of not attacking good bowlers like Malinga and then take it out on the inexperienced bowler. If he had tried to hit Malinga and got out, would you have been more happy? Match got interesting as soon as Jadeja left. Dhoni was trying to win with singles but they didn't come through and we kept losing wickets. If you remember the world cup final, did he leave everything to the final over? NO. He started attach much sooner as we had wickets in hand. Your article is blaming him to put situation out of hand and then rescue in the final over. That was definitely not his intention. This guy is a very shrewd and smart cricketer. He thinks better than all other captains and for a reason he keeps winning. Not just himself, he gets best out of the team. Gives everyone a second chance and they perform. Respect him and please stop writing such rubbish

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:39 GMT)

The Man is UNBELIEVABLE...

Posted by xylo on (July 12, 2013, 4:37 GMT)

I find it surprising that the author has left out the only other player of his caliber - Shane Warne, even though he would do the same with the ball in hand. I am sure that if Warne had been commenting on this match, he would have laid down Dhoni's tactics threadbare.

Posted by hairama44 on (July 12, 2013, 4:34 GMT)

Superb writing on some amazing batting

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (July 12, 2013, 4:33 GMT)

Might be sheer luck...might b strategy...might b ur stars...but who cares..I am not a huge fan of urs but who can deny ur sheer brilliance...the end result is all that matters...u have made us all proud...way to go MSD...we all are waiting for the next WC...best wishes n kudos !!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:30 GMT)

Very true. Dhoni is a real genius. A class act altogether.

Posted by daddapc on (July 12, 2013, 4:19 GMT)

For all his heroics with the bat in ODIs and his achievements as a captain - for me, the thing that stands out about MSD is his outlook to life - victories and fame never went to his head, just as he did not despair too much about defeats (even the 8-0). He always maintained that this is just a game - and that attitude probably explains his ice-cool response to pressure situations. I do hope the future Indian captains / players imbibe this from MSD.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Yes, I have no doubts when he is batting. Even when CSK lost the IPL final MI before they actually lost, Even Sachin Tendulkar did not breathe easy as MSD was still batting. Thats the power of this great batsman.

Posted by ramli on (July 12, 2013, 4:11 GMT)

Great finisher ... still ... leaves everything to the last minute and thrills are abound for fans, players, everyone including the opposition ... well done MSD ... once again

Posted by Shakugan on (July 12, 2013, 4:09 GMT)

Superb performance from captain cool MSD. Coming back from injury and showing his master class as a finisher is something exemplary. Two titles in a month's time. Truly young team India needs to be given credit for their performance. B.Kumar, Shikar dhawan, Rohit sharma and Ravindra jadeja's performance in the series was outstanding.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:08 GMT)

A great article.. MSD is truly one of the greatest ODI batsman the world hs seen...its amazing how much confidence he has to finish the tight games!!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:05 GMT)

Superb article. Does justice to the suspense and thrill, our man-of-steel Dhoni conjured in his assault. Unbelievable Dhoni!

Posted by AllInFairNess on (July 12, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

"fans tune into a game when their captain walks in", truly summarize MSD

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 4:02 GMT)

This man is unbelievable. A true leader. Some people have technique and some have streangth but this man is built in with lot of features. Such as, cool composure,lot of power, strategy, ability to judge the game, sharp leadership. These are the qualities which are making the team success rates to go high. The difference between a winner and a looser is just few runs in most contests, ability to cross the line under pressure makes the team victorious which is coming in the form of dhoni. He is undoubtedly a true legend. We need this type of man in Indian politics. How can some one hit such a huge shot under so much pressure, when the things were going that bad for last 45 min or so.

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 3:57 GMT)

As long as MS D is there in the crease, whatever stage or situation of match..he always brings in a hope of win..!! he is definitely the "ICE MAN"...!!

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 3:52 GMT)

Dhoni has proved himself to be the BEST among the Best. He trust his abilities, temperament and power to help him in those crunch situations and it really does more often than not...his decision to play in the final, include vinay in place of yadav proved to b a masterstroke...u can hate him for his seemingly questionable decisions but ultimatlely he wins us the game....he indeed has confirmed his status has ultimate champion..

Posted by android_user on (July 12, 2013, 3:51 GMT)

For msd its just another day at the office why all this fuss he would say. If he can win a test series in south africa this year he will be one of the best captains in all 3 forms of the game.

Posted by RajaSubramanian on (July 12, 2013, 3:46 GMT)

Dhoni is certainly one of the best finisher in ODI cricket at the moment. Go MSD Go...

Posted by   on (July 12, 2013, 3:41 GMT)

The man with no nerves at all!

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Tournament Results
India v Sri Lanka at Port of Spain - Jul 11, 2013
India won by 1 wicket (with 2 balls remaining)
India v Sri Lanka at Port of Spain - Jul 9, 2013
India won by 81 runs (D/L method)
West Indies v Sri Lanka at Port of Spain - Jul 7-8, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 39 runs (D/L method)
West Indies v India at Port of Spain - Jul 5, 2013
India won by 102 runs (D/L method)
India v Sri Lanka at Kingston - Jul 2, 2013
Sri Lanka won by 161 runs
More results »
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