MS Dhoni has been one of the most consistent players in the IPL. He has played for the Chennai Super Kings right from the inception of the IPL while representing RPS for a two-year period. MS Dhoni in IPL holds the record of being the most successful IPL captain with 104 wins in 174 matches. Dhoni also holds the record for most matches as IPL captain. He has led CSK to three IPL title triumphs in 2010, 2011, and 2018. In IPL 2011, Dhoni became the first captain to defend an IPL title.
In his IPL career, MS Dhoni has scored 4412 runs in 190 games. He amassed 3958 of those runs for CSK.
The great MSD recently announced his retirement from international cricket but has clear intentions to don the jersey in yellow for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. It will be a treat for all MS Dhoni fans who will have an opportunity to witness the ‘Thala' featuring in IPL 2020.
Here we take a look at some of Dhoni's finest IPL knocks played for CSK over the years:
1. 54* off 29 vs KXIP at Dharamsala 2010
This was probably Dhoni's best IPL knock in the early phase of his playing career for CSK as it was instrumental in guiding the team to a maiden title in 2010. It was a must-win league game for CSK against Kings XI Punjab in order to make it to the playoffs. Chasing a huge target of 193 runs, Dhoni walked in during the 10th over with still over a hundred runs required in the last ten overs.
Dhoni, in his style, took the game to the last over, teeing off at the end. With 16 runs needed off last over, he smashed Irfan Pathan for two sixes to win the match with two balls to spare. He remained unbeaten on 54 runs from 29 deliveries including five boundaries and two sixes.
This MS Dhoni IPL knock is fondly remembered for the rare emotion that he displayed after finishing off the chase.
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2. 84* off 48 balls vs RCB in Bengaluru 2019
MS Dhoni has always enjoyed scoring runs against Virat Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore. With 794 runs against RCB, Dhoni holds the record for most IPL runs scored by any batter against RCB in IPL history. In April 2019, CSK locked horns against the home team at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium. However, CSK faced an early setback, losing four quick wickets while chasing 162 runs to win.
Dhoni was at his lethal best scoring his highest IPL score of 84 runs off just 48 balls against RCB during his prolific knock. The equation went from 70 runs required off 5 overs to 26 off the last over. In the final over, he smashed Umesh Yadav for three sixes before RCB sneaked victory by a margin of 1 run in an edge of a seat thriller. It was one of the few IPL matches where despite Dhoni's heroics, CSK ended up on the losing side.
3. 75* off 46 vs RR in Chennai 2019
Yet another CSK's top-order collapse in the powerplay in 2019 and yet another Dhoni's carnage. But this time CSK ended up winning the game. Batting first against Rajasthan Royals at Chennai, Dhoni secured a win for the CSK almost single-handedly en route his 21st IPL half-century. Coming at a precarious 27 for 3, Dhoni stitched a 61-run partnership with Raina and scored only 33 runs off his first 30 balls.
But what followed was a mauling, he scored a blistering 42 off his next 12 balls in a knock which included 4 fours and as many sixes. With the help of Bravo's contribution (27), CSK ended up with a formidable 175. CSK eventually won the match by 8 runs in what was, in the end, a thrilling finish. This remains Dhoni's highest T20 score in Chennai.
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4. 79* off 44 balls vs KXIP in Mohali 2018
MS Dhoni averages over 59 against Kings XI Punjab which is also his highest T20 average against any side in the world. Unlike 2010, this great unbeaten innings of 79 came in a losing cause at Mohali in 2018. However, it was a significant effort from the CSK skipper who batted with a stiff back in the entire match.
As a result, Dhoni was not in entire control of his shot-making throughout his innings against KXIP. Chasing a monumental 198, CSK was conservative at the start and was left with too much at the fag end of the chase. It was a herculean task for the Yellow army so much so that even Dhoni's unbeaten 79 couldn't see them over the line. In the end, the Chennai-based franchise lost the match by a slender margin of four runs.
5. 70* off 34 balls vs RCB in Bengaluru 2018
Most of Dhoni's brilliant IPL knocks for CSK have come in the last two years. It was yet again RCB that paid the price of another MSD special at Bengaluru's M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in 2018. Chasing a huge target of 206, it seemed curtains for CSK even before Dhoni arrived at the crease with the scoreboard reading 74 for 4.
However, ‘Thala' had his own plans as he shared a 101-run stand with Ambati Rayudu for the fifth wicket. With 30 required from the last two overs, Dhoni shifted gears and clobbered the bowling attack to all parts of the ground. It was a usual sight with Dhoni batting as the ball travelled to all corner of the ground to hand a five-wicket win for CSK.
MS Dhoni remained not out in the end and was awarded the Man of the match for his dominating 34-ball 70.