Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most cunning cricket players to have played the game.
His Mind Reading decisions say so.
Apart from his hitting prowess, the factor which made Dhoni one of the Greatest Captains ever, along with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Imran Khan and Sourav Ganguly was his Street Smartness and the ability to assess every situation as it happened.
We have chosen some of Mahi’s decisions which proved to be Legendary.
1: Choosing Himself Over Yuvraj – 2011 World Cup Final
Apart from his decision making this decision reflects his true spirit of a Captain
Dhoni took up the responsibility and steadied the ship himself.
When the Going Got tough, Dhoni Got Going.
India had lost Sehwag and Sachin Early, in a world cup final, Chasing a hefty target which had never been done before losing them is like losing the Backbone.
Critically observing his decision we can clearly make out that Dhoni used his experience of playing with his Then IPL teammate Muralitharan and made sure that Murli couldn’t inflict any damage.
We all know what happened in the end.
2: 2007 T/20 Word Cup Final – Chose Joginder Sharma Over Harbhajan Singh for the final over.
All Indian Bowlers were taken apart by the brilliance of Misbah Ul Haq who was hitting sixes at will and was playing “cool as a Cucumber”
RP Singh brought India back with a tight 19th over in which he gave 8 runs out of which 4 came off an edge.
12 needed of the last 6 balls and having a dilemma before him of Choosing the experienced and seasoned contender Harbhajan Singh or the guy who had debuted a few day back Joginder Sharma.
He followed his tactical mind, he figured out what would make Misbah uncomfortable, it was Joginder.
Even after hitting Joginder for a six, Misbah couldn’t muster enough courage to keep playing straight and went for the scoop which landed in Sreesanth’s hands, giving India world’s first T20 title.
Dhoni “ You beauty”
3: Retaining Praveen Kumar for CB series final Against Australia
The batting greats such as Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting all crumbled under the Dhoni’s presence of mind and adaptation of horses for the courses policy by Mahi.
Despite the criticism, he went ahead with Praveen Kumar as his spearhead bowler and it reaped rewards when Praveen clean bowled Gilchrist and got Ponting out cheaply.
Praveen was proving to be a menace for the Australians at the Gabba as due to his short hight and ability to skid the ball off the pitch.
The batsmen couldn’t read his ball and got castled many a time.
4: Giving the ball to Ishant Sharma in the Champion’s Trophy 2013 Final
A rain curtailed affair in which India was reduced to a mere 129 in Twenty overs, needing only 130 to win, on their home soil only at a run rate of 6.5 runs per over England were the favourites to lift the trophy.
The Indian bowlers had other plans though, they kept the English side quite on a square turning pitch.
But Ion Morgan and Bopara struck a healthy partnership with Bopara and got England fairly close.
All indian bowlers had bowled fairly well apart from Ishant Sharma who had gone for 28 off his 3 overs and was looking out of sorts.
Defying all logic, Dhoni gave the ball to Ishant.
This might be an act of god or sheer luck that Ishant took out both the set batsmen in consecutive deliveries, Ashwin catching the ball on both the occasions.
This was indeed one of the most thrilling encounters in Indian cricket history.
5: Uthappa in the bowl-out, Pakistan match, 2007 T20 WC
A bowl out, a first of its kind, and against Pakistan.
All can inflict pressure on a captain.
Afridi clearly felt the pressure and gave the ball to his regular faster bowlers who missed their marks by long distances.
But pressure doesn’t seem to effect dhoni who gave the ball to only one regular bowler, Harbhajan who struck.
The king of The most unusual decisions dhoni then threw the ball to Robin Uthappa, whom we have never seen bowl apart from that day.
To the delight of “Sawa Sau Crore Bharat Vaasis” Uthappa hit the bullseye and gave India its win.
and We all remember the hat gesture by Uthappa soon after. 😀
6: Making Rohit Sharma an Opener
India had just passed from a golden era of openers such as Ganguly – Sehwag, Sehwag – Sachin, Ganguly – Sachin, Sehwag – Gambhir.
After these greats, India was in need of an opener who could match up to their level.
Rohit Sharma, often playing lower down the order fared pretty badly, mustering only an average of 28 was given a golden opportunity by MS Dhoni to open the innings and the guy responded with Double hundreds.
He holds the highest individual score for a batsman.
7: Telling an unwilling Ishant to bowl bouncers, Lord’s Test, 2014
Ishant was not willing to bowl the bouncers to the englishmen who were cruising at one point.
Not many runs left for victory its customary for a bowler to bowl line and length and try to frustrate and get the batsman out.
Dhoni the Master of the Tricks asked ishant to attack the batsmen instead.
This resulted in shoving the batsmen to their backfoot and eventually india TOOK their wickets and won the match at the mecca of cricket , The Lords.
Dhoni is a Masterclass
We Pray for a long career of his.
Dhoni “The conquerer of the World”