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This article was first published 8 years ago  » Cricket » Is Dhoni the 'finisher' finished?

Is Dhoni the 'finisher' finished?

By Rajneesh Gupta
Last updated on: October 12, 2015 23:41 IST
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Rajneesh Gupta presents a detailed look at close-run matches involving Mahendra Singh Dhoni to find out if India's best 'finisher' is finished.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: India Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, arguably the best finisher in one day cricket. Photograph: BCCI

Once regarded as the best finisher in limited overs cricket, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's batting has taken a beating in recent times.

India's captain struggled during his innings of 31 off 30 balls, hitting just one boundary, as South Africa won the first game in the five-match series in Kanpur on Sunday, October 11.

Mohammad Azharuddin reckons Dhoni is no longer the player he was. Do you agree?

Known for his penchant for sealing victory with a six, exhibited famously in the 2011 World Cup final, MS's batting skills appears to have waned. He does not appear the finisher who could single-handedly get India over the line in near-impossible situations.

India's win-loss record involving Dhoni:

The table below clearly shows the role Dhoni has played in run chases, with India winning 38 out of 40 matches when he finished unbeaten.

However, when he was dismissed, the number is a dismal 28 percent, just 21 wins out of 51.

  Mts Won Lost Tied Win%

when Dhoni remained not out

40 38 1 1 95.00

when Dhoni got out

73 21 51 1 28.76

When Dhoni remained unbeaten and India won in the last over:

 Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni after his dismissal during the second T20I against South Africa in Cuttack. Photograph: BCCI

There is a reason why Dhoni is rated one of the best 'finishers' in the game.

His ability to keep the scoreboard ticking, produce the big hits when needed and carry the team to victory in the company of tail-enders has made him a legend.

He was involved in seven successful run chases. Unfortunately for India, the last time he did so was way back in October 2013.

Vs Venue   Date  Win Margin Balls to spare Dhoni's score
South Africa Belfast  01 Jul 2007  6 wickets 4 14*
Sri Lanka Adelaide  19 Feb 2008  2 wickets 5 50*
West Indies Gros Islet  03 Jul 2009  6 wickets 1 46*
England Mohali  20 Oct 2011  5 wickets 4 35*
Australia Adelaide  12 Feb 2012  4 wickets 2 44*
Sri Lanka Port-of-Spain  11 Jul 2013  1 wicket 2 45*
Australia Nagpur  30 Oct 2013  6 wickets 3 25*

Instances when Dhoni was dismissed between overs 40 and 50, and India losing a close game:

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni caught and bowled by Kagiso Rabada during the first ODI in Kanpur. Photograph: BCCI

The diminishing powers of Dhoni's batting is clearly indicated in the table below.

Since 2013, he failed to take the team through in tight run chases, perishing when it mattered most.

Against England at Rajkot in January 2013, he was dismissed for 32 as India lost by nine runs, while twice in New Zealand, in January last year, he was out after spending considerable time at the wicket (40 and 56), as India went on to lose by 24 and 15 runs respectively, the Hamilton match being a truncated 42-over game.

Despite staying till the last over against South Africa in Kanpur, Dhoni didn't get going and India crashed to defeat despite Rohit Sharma's superb 150.

Vs Venue  Date Margin of loss Over got out  Dhoni’s score
Sri Lanka Colombo RPS  09 Aug 2005 18 runs 42nd 7
Sri Lanka Rajkot  11 Feb 2007 5 runs 50th 48
Australia Nagpur  14 Oct 2007 18 runs 48th 26
Pakistan Dhaka  14 Jun 2008 25 runs 49th 64
England Rajkot  11 Jan 2013 9 runs 45th 32
New Zealand Napier  19 Jan 2014 24 runs 43rd 40
New Zealand Hamilton  22 Jan 2014 15 runs 40th+ 56
South Africa Kanpur  11 Oct 2015 5 runs 50th 31

(+42-over game)

'It's not an easy job, it does not always work your way. When you finish a lot many games, people always remember the ones you have not finished,' Dhoni lamented after the Kanpur defeat.

With the team failing to fire against South Africa, the pressure is on the skipper to come up with the goods.

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Rajneesh Gupta