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MS Dhoni, the man for a crisis – top ODI knocks

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One of the all-time greats in white-ball cricket, a man for tough situations, MS Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on 15 August.

A record-breaking leader, an efficient wicket-keeper and one of the game's greatest finishers, Dhoni started his career as a hard-hitting batsman. As his career progressed, he developed into a reliable force, steering India to many victories. In a career spanning 15 years, the Ranchi-born cricketer scored 10,773 runs in 350 ODIs at an impressive average of 50.58.

As India's World Cup-winning captain decided to call it a day, we relive some of his finest batting performances in ODI cricket.

148 v Pakistan, Visakhapatnam, 2005
A masterstroke from the then Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly saw Dhoni score his first international century against Pakistan. Having already won the series opener in Kochi, Ganguly promoted Dhoni to No.3 after Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed in the fourth over. Having registered scores of 0, 12, 7* and 3 in his first four international outings, Dhoni announced himself on the biggest stage with a stroke-filled 148 off 123 balls.

Dhoni registered his first ever ODI century against Pakistan in 2005
Dhoni registered his first ever ODI century against Pakistan in 2005

The fierce assault included 15 fours and four sixes, before he was eventually dismissed in the 42nd over. His innings powered the team to a match-winning 356/9, as India completed a comprehensive 58-run win to take a 2-0 lead in the series.

183* v Sri Lanka, Jaipur, 2005
Dhoni's match-winning innings of 183* against Sri Lanka broke all kinds of records. With Tendulkar dismissed in the very first over of a stiff run-chase, Dhoni came in at No.3 to keep the required run-rate within India's reach. He hit 15 fours and 10 sixes in a brutal display of ball striking. He went past Adam Gilchrist's 172 in the process, registering the highest score for a wicket-keeper batsman in one-day cricket.

Dhoni's unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka remains the highest ever individual score by a wicketkeeper batsman in ODIs
Dhoni's unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka remains the highest ever individual score by a wicketkeeper batsman in ODIs

His tally of 10 sixes was a record for an Indian batsman in ODIs, until Rohit Sharma bettered it during his double century against Australia in Bangalore in 2013.

72* v Pakistan at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, 2006
The third ODI between India and Pakistan in 2006 gave us a glimpse of the Yuvraj Singh-MS Dhoni partnership, which later took giant strides in international cricket. Shoaib Malik's century and Abdul Razzaq's quickfire 64 had lifted Pakistan to 288/9 in the first innings, before India were reduced 12/2 in the run-chase. Tendulkar and Yuvraj took India to a reasonably good position but with India still needing 100 runs when Dhoni walked in, the game was in the balance.

Dhoni and Yuvraj stiched an unbeaten 102 run stand for the sixth wicket
Dhoni and Yuvraj stiched an unbeaten 102 run stand for the sixth wicket

In front of a capacity crowd, and against a strong bowling attack, he played his natural game to reach his half-century in just 35 balls. The innings continued to gather pace as India completed the chase with 14 balls to spare, Dhoni finishing with 72* off 46 deliveries.

91* v Sri Lanka, Mumbai, 2011
Dhoni's match-winning 91* against Sri Lanka in the final of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2011 remains the most significant performance of his career. The skipper, who had an average World Cup with the bat till then, saved his best for the biggest stage. When Virat Kohli was dismissed with India at 114/3 in a tricky run-chase of 275, Dhoni joined Gautam Gambhir in the middle, promoting himself above Yuvraj Singh to maintain a right-left batting combination against Muttiah Muralitharan and Suraj Randiv, the two lead spinners in the opponents' ranks.

Muralitharan had been Dhoni's nemesis four years earlier, dismissing him for a first-ball duck in a must win-game in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2007. This time around, Dhoni was on top. He first stitched a 109-run partnership with Gambhir and followed it up with an unbeaten 54-run stand with Yuvraj during his 79-ball stay. In the penultimate over, he produced probably the most talked-about moment of Indian cricket, hitting Nuwan Kulasekara for a six over long on and, with it, seizing India's second World Cup triumph after 1983.

Video cwc19 02 Mar 19
CWC Greatest Moments: Dhoni finishes it off in style in 2011

44* v Australia, Adelaide, 2012
Chasing a stiff target against a quality Australian attack, India seemed on course at 179/3 in the 36th over with Gambhir at his fluent best. However, the left-hander's dismissal saw the required rate shoot up as Dhoni struggled at the start of his innings. With Xavier Doherty dismissing the well-set Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja in the space of two overs, Dhoni had to take the responsibility to help India cross the line.

Dhoni's patient 44* guided India to a four-wicket win
Dhoni's patient 44* guided India to a four-wicket win

With the first two balls of the last over from Clint McKay yielding just a single and India needing 12 off four balls, he launched a 112-metre hit into the Adelaide Oval grass-banks to reduce the equation to six off three. The remaining six runs were completed with ease as McKay bowled a waist-high no-ball, before Dhoni completed three runs with a shot towards square leg to seize a four-wicket win.

113* v Pakistan, Chennai, 2012
Dhoni's 113* against Pakistan, after his side were reduced to 29/5 in the 10th over, will go down as one of the best innings played by a No.7 batsman. Battling the Chennai heat and a tough bowling opposition, his 40-over stay at the crease showcased resistance and grit of the highest quality. He accumulated singles and doubles before hitting his first boundary off the 79th ball of the innings. 

Dhoni aggregated 6,641 runs as a captain in ODIs - the second highest after Ricky Ponting
Dhoni aggregated 6,641 runs as a captain in ODIs - the second highest after Ricky Ponting

At one point, when even 150 seemed impossible, Dhoni's counter-attack powered India to a respectable total of 227/6. However, his eighth ODI century wasn't to be a match-winning one, as a 101* from Nasir Jamshed, the Pakistan opener, helped the visitors reach the target with six wickets in hand.

45* v Sri Lanka, Trinidad, 2013
Another final, another crisis situation, another thrilling finish with an authoritative six – Dhoni's last-over blitz in the Celkon Cup final against Sri Lanka in 2013 will go down as an all-time classic. Having missed the previous three games due to injury, Dhoni walked in to join a well-set Rohit Sharma with India in a strong position to chase a target of 202.

Dhoni hit two sixes and a four in the final over to complete a thrilling one-wicket win
Dhoni hit two sixes and a four in the final over to complete a thrilling one-wicket win

However, a dramatic collapse saw them stumble from 139/3 to 182/9, with Dhoni stranded at one end. With 17 needed off the last two overs, Ishant survived the penultimate one from Angelo Mathews, before Dhoni took Shaminda Eranga for three boundaries in the final over.

139* v Australia, Mohali, 2013
In a high-scoring ODI series, India and Australia went to Mohali with the series locked at 1-1. With India struggling at 76/4 in the 13th over, Dhoni held the innings together. When his 72-run stand with Kohli ended, the younger partner dismissed for 68 in the 30th over, India's chances of posting a commanding total seemed bleak.

Dhoni is the only batsman to have scored more than 4,000 runs at the No.6 position in ODIs
Dhoni is the only batsman to have scored more than 4,000 runs at the No.6 position in ODIs

However, Dhoni, with all his calmness and experience, worked the gaps, ran well between the wickets, and put the loose ones away before unleashing a late flourish. Batting with the lower order, his 121-ball 139* helped India reach 303/9. However, James Faulkner's stroke-filled 64 helped Australia achieve the target in the final over.

92* v South Africa, Indore, 2015
A rare failure to finish a final-over run-chase in the previous game in Kanpur meant that India were 0-1 down in the five-match ODI series. In response to criticism about his form, Dhoni yet again played an innings of fortitude, rescuing his side from a precarious 124/6 in the 30th over against a dangerous South African bowling unit. His 86-ball stay at the crease was studded by seven fours and four sixes.

Dhoni's brisk 92* helped India draw level in the five match series
Dhoni's brisk 92* helped India draw level in the five match series

His late impetus, which included a last-ball six, took India to a decent total of 247/9 in the allotted 50 overs. Later, with his shrewd bowling changes, he made sure his batting efforts didn't go in vain, as India completed a 22-run victory to draw level. 

134 v England, Cuttack, 2017
Having stepped down from captaincy before the series, Dhoni's ability to perform under pressure remained unparalleled. With India having lost their top three by the fifth over, Dhoni joined hands with Yuvraj to take India to a position of strength. The dynamic middle-order duo turned back the years, adding 256 for the fourth wicket as India finished on 381/6. 

Dhoni played second fiddle to Yuvraj's entertaining stroke-play early in the innings, before unleashing some big hits himself. India completed a 15-run win, securing an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.