Stumping is a crucial form of dismissal especially in the shorter formats of the game. It requires a great presence of mind and agility to remove the bails within a fraction of a second. There have been many wicket-keepers in the past who have mastered the art of stumping. Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is one such rare wicket-keeper who has re-defined the modern phenomenon of wicket-keeping.
Dhoni is always known for spontaneity and sharpness behind the stumps. A career that spanned for nearly 15 years, Dhoni holds the record for most stumping in international cricket history. Apart from this record, Dhoni also holds a special feat of inflicting the fastest stumping in cricket.
First, let's take a look at wicket-keepers with most stumpings in international cricket:
Most Stumpings in international cricket
MS Dhoni– 195 (Tests-38, ODI- 123, T20I-34)
Kumar Sangakkara- 139 (Tests-20, ODI-99, T20I-20)
Romesh Kaluwitharana-101 (Tests-26, ODI-75)
Moin Khan- 93 (Tests-20, ODI-73)
Adam Gilchrist-92 (Tests-37, ODI-55)
Now, we will look at the five fastest stumpings in international cricket by MS Dhoni. Being an exceptional gloveman, though unconventional, Dhoni has been highly successful behind the stumps for India.
1. MS Dhoni vs Australia (George Bailey) 2016, ODI at MCG
India were up against Australia in the third ODI of five-match ODI series at the historic MCG in 2016. After having lost the previous two encounters, India posted a commendable 296 leaving the hosts Australia with a par score to chase in the second innings.
Australia was cruising along nicely at 150 for the loss of two wickets. This is when Dhoni weaved his magic behind the stumps to put brakes on the Australian innings. He inflicted a quick stumping to dismiss George Bailey off Ravindra Jadeja's bowling, leaving the batsman bewildered by his fast hands behind the sticks. It took just 0.19 seconds for Dhoni to dislodge the bails off the groove. Unfortunately, India lost the game by 3 wickets and ultimately the series 4-1.
2. MS Dhoni vs West Indies (Keemo Paul) 2018, ODI at Mumbai
MS Dhoni made a lightning-quick stumping in just 0.08 seconds. On this occasion, Keemo Paul was the victim during India's home series against West Indies in an ODI fixture at Mumbai in 2018. This remains the fastest stumping in cricket ever done by a wicket-keeper.
Dhoni was ultra-quick with his fast hands to dislodge the bails in a flash. Keemo Paul could barely lift his back leg before Dhoni sent him back to the pavilion in a flash. It was an easy victory for Team India as they defeated the West Indies by a comfortable 224 runs in the end.
3. MS Dhoni vs Australia (Mitchell Marsh) 2012, T20I at MCG
MS Dhoni also holds the record for second fastest stumping in International cricket. He did this way back in 2012 on India's disastrous tour of Australia. This was also one of the few games that India won on their tour down under.
On a slowish MCG track. Australia chose to bat after having won the first T20I. Carrying out his best stumping of that game, Dhoni plotted the demise of Mitchell Marsh. In the blink of an eye, he removed the bails while Marsh (32) was facing Indian leg-spinner, Rahul Sharma. This was the then fastest stumping in cricket done in 0.09 seconds till it was bettered by Dhoni himself in 2018 against West Indies.
4. MS Dhoni vs Australia (Glenn Maxwell) 2016, T20I at MCG
Four years later in 2016, MS Dhoni was back with his usual stuff in a T20I against Australia at the MCG. Though it wasn't the fastest of the stumping by Dhoni, it was still enough to leave the batter amused given how quickly it was done. This match also saw Dhoni go past Sangakkara to become the wicket-keeper with most stumpings in International cricket.
India elected to bat first at MCG and posted an above par score of 184 runs after being 1-0 ahead in the three-match T20I series. The moment of brilliance from Dhoni arrived when Glenn Maxwell tried to cut Yuvraj Singh through point but failed miserably in his attempt. Even before Maxwell could recover, Dhoni was too quick to knock off the stumps which eventually paved way for an Aussie collapse which was going strong until that point.
In the end, India managed to win the match quite easily by 27 runs and became the first team to whitewash Australia at their home in T20I.
5. MS Dhoni vs New Zealand (Tim Seifert) 2019, T20I at Seddon Park
In his 300th T20 match. Ms Dhoni had a moment to savour from being the stumps. It was the ultimate fixture in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand as the series was poised at 1-1. India elected to field first and got to a worst possible start with openers scoring 80 runs in the first eight overs. However, it was another occasion of Dhoni's fast hands behind the stumps that saw an end to a dangerous-looking opening partnership for the BlackCaps.
It just took Dhoni 0.099 seconds to dislodge the bails when Tim Siefert failed to defend a delivery off Kuldeep Yadav‘s bowling. It was merely a feet movement outside the crease which cost Siefert his wicket at Seddon Park against India. Though India lost the game by a slender margin of four runs, Dhoni fans got a treat of yet another classic in the field.