AS OUR VERY OWN CAPTAIN COOL TURNS 35 TODAY, HERE ARE BEST 7 INSTACES WHY MSD IS CAPTAIN SHREWD
- IND VS AUS 4TH TEST 2008-09
This incident goes way back to 2008-09 Australia’s tour of India ,Fourth Test at Nagpur. It was Dhoni’s first test as the full time skipper of the Indian National Test Team. India had made 441 thanks to a brilliant knock by Sachin Tendulkar. Despite the good form Hayden failed to give the start Australia wanted. After 74-2 Katich and Hussey started batting cautiously and flawlessly. Runs began to flow and at the end of 2nd day Katich had scored 92 with a strike rate of 75. Runs were flowing and it seemed that Australia was cruising easily towards a mammoth score. The start of day 3 marked the beginning of the most successful test captain of Indian team. MSD came up with a masterstroke. He stepped in and set a 8-1 field for the left handers. Yes 8 fielders on the Offside and a single player on the Onside who was placed at mid on. The intent was crystal clear that the newly appointed audacious test skipper wanted the kangaroos to improvise and score. He made sure that there were no easy pickings .As a result the run flows gets stopped. Drives were stopped by extracover, square cuts were prevented by point. Runs were curtailed and the pressure was back on the team from down under. Moreover interestingly Katich and Hussey did not even try to improvise and thus allowed the disciplined Sharma and Zaheer to dominate over. As a result India only conceded 42 runs off 24 overs in the first session of the third day’s play and also dismissed Katich ,who was trapped in front of the wicket to an inswinging delivery by Zaheer Khan. Katich just managed to add 10 off 69 to his overnight score of 92 off 120 balls. This field set restricted the run flow and as a result the visiting team could score only 166 runs off 69 overs on the third day .Wickets tumbled at regular intervals and consequently India got a very crucial lead of 86 runs in the first innings which paved the way to India’s victory in the final test and thus jeopardising Australia’s hope to level the series.
- IND VS PAK, BOWL OUT WT20-2007
It was first match as Captain for MSD (as match vs Scotland was washed out). To make it more special, it was a must win game for India and it was against our arch-rivals & that too in a World Cup game. India managed to score just 141 (thanks to Robbie’s 50 & MS’s 33). It was world cup, so Pak couldn’t handle the pressure and fallen apart. But Misbah had other ideas. He took it to the last ball, but failed to beat Yuvi’s throw, means Pak ended up with same 141. Then, there came tie breaker in the form of bowl-out. Pak is unaware of that system, not Dhoni. Not many know about the fact that Dhoni allowed an extra hour for Bowl out session during practice session before world cup matches and these 3 bowlers (Viru, Robbie, Bhajji) hit the wickets on most of the occasions with Uthappa holding a record of hitting the wicket every time he bowls in practice match. It was mastermind from Mahi. That made India to reach super six and rest is history.
- IND VS ENG 2ND TEST LORD’S 2014
Every visiting side, touring England wants to win at Cricket’s Mecca i.e Lord’s. It was first victory outside subcontinent since 2011. Rahane & Bhuvi in the first innings and Vijay in the second innings set more than a competitive target of 319 for the home side. They had lost four wickets by the end of Day4. As everyone was thinking, India would easily wrap up the things on Day5, Joe Root and Moeen Ali were reluctant and started gripping the game slowly. As Dhoni was sensing, the match is slowly moving out of his control, he asked Ishant to bowl short to Ali on a last over before lunch on Day5. It gave the immediate result and Ali was gone. After lunch, Dhoni insisted Ishi to bowl short, though Ishi was hesitant, Dhoni asked him to bowl short. And we all knew, what happened next! Yes! India’s historic win at Lord’s after 28 years. Ishant made the destruction, but Mahi was chief designer of that destruction. Sad part is It was last Test win for MS!
- IND VS ENG, CHAMPIONS TROPHY FINAL, 2013
On a rain curtailed game, India posted a modest total of 129 (thanks to Jaddu and Virat). Defending 129 in 20 overs is always been a tough task. But Dhoni, who failed as a batsman was exceptional with Glove work and leadership. He made right bowling changes to keep English batsmen at bay. Then, Morgan-Bopara stitched a partnership, slowly and steadily taking the game for home side. 27 was needed in the last 3 & Dhoni asked expensive bowler of the innings to bowl the 18th over. Morgan sent the first ball over fine leg fence, next ball was no ball, now they needed just 20 from 17, next one was dot. Morgan wanted to hit the 3rd legal ball over mid wicket but couldn’t cross Ash. 4th ball was pre planned, bowl short and get the wicket. And it was Bopara, the key man fell into that trap. And the game turned to India. And yet another time, Dhoni proved why he is Captain Brave, this time it yielded another ICC trophy.
- IND VS PAK, WT20 FINAL, 2007
Mother of all clashes is Ind vs Pak, how the atmosphere would be in World cup, how it would be in a World cup final! Riding on Gauti’s 75 and Rohit’s final onslaught, India reached a competitive total of 157. With Irfan and RP’s brilliance, Pakistan gets derailed in run chase. Yet again, Misbah single handedly taking the game for Pakistan, hit 3 sixes in 17th over off Bhajji. To make it worse Sreesanth was taken to cleaners by Tanvir, but he got him in the last ball of that over. RP was brilliant enough to bowl the penultimate over and got the 9th wicket of Pakistan as well. With 13 needed in the last over, Dhoni went with Joginder instead of experienced Bhajji. That was first of many masterstrokes by MS. Misbah is too good in playing paddle scoop, that’s the reason why he kept Sree in that short fine leg, that was another major strategy from Mahi, that many unnoticed. Became the 2nd Indian captain to win a World cup.
- IND VS BAN, WT20 2016
Best match of the season, probably the best T20 of 2016 is none other than this game. Showed not only MS’s brilliant presence of mind but also his never give up attitude. On a must win game, India lost the toss and asked to bat first by Mortaza. To be honest, Mortaza’s captaincy was brilliant on that day and his bowlers were well disciplined. Kept World’s No1 batsman silent showed it enough. India reached a below par total of 146. Chasing 147, they lost Mithun early, but Sabbir and Tamim were well on course (thanks to Bumrah’s butter fingers). Then Jaddu got Tamim & Raina got Sabbir to put the brakes. But entire credit should be given to MS for Sabbir’s dismissal as he was well aware of Sabbir’s foot and made the lightning quick stumping. Then, well experienced Shakib got set and was taking the game away India. Dhoni brought Ash, more importantly he set slip for Shakib, a well set batsman. And it happened, what Captain Genius predicted and India started gaining momentum. And we all knew what happened in the last over, other than asking Pandya to bowl low full toss and sprint to get Hom out instead of throwing the ball, he put his best fielder Jadeja at deep mid wicket before 5th ball who took the blinder to send Mahmudullah on penultimate delivery, where Dhawan took the catch of Rahim on 4th ball at that same position. That’s why he is unpredictable and unbelievable.
1 IND VS SL, WORLD CUP 2011 FINAL
Over and over the years, you want to see that special world cup winning six. In this instance, I don’t want to elaborate it, as you people knew it better than me why MS is CAPTAIN WONDERFUL.. 😉
HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAPTAIN COOL! LONG LIVE! J