Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably the best captain that cricket has ever seen. His sharp reflexes and visionary decisions have won many a games for his team. Be it the national team, or his IPL franchise, MS Dhoni has always had some masterstrokes up his sleeves. Today we will take a look at his 5 decisions which proved to be masterstrokes in the IPL.
Ashwin takes the new ball
RCB had been insanely dominant in the 2011 season of the IPL. They met CSK in the finals of the tournament. Chris Gayle had won most of the matches for the Bangalore franchise. Thus it was imperative for the ‘Men in Yellow’ to counter him. Following a magnificent display of batting from Chennai, RCB were left to chase a mammoth 205. R Ashwin, CSK’s lead spinner was surprisingly given the new ball by Dhoni. His gamble paid off, as Ashwin dismissed Gayle, and Chennai Super Kings lifted the IPL trophy, all thanks to Dhoni’s brilliant decision.
Bowling out Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar was an unproven commodity when Dhoni trusted him to bowl in the powerplay. Dhoni knew of Chahar’s ability to generate swing. He used up all of Chahar’s overs in the powerplay. This contained the batsmen, and gave the CSK some momentum while bowling. Deepak bowled brilliantly, and prevented the batsmen from scoring in the powerplay. He has since made his India debut and impressed selectors with his performances.
Sending Rayudu to open the innings
Ambati Rayudu was shockingly released my the Mumbai Indians. CSK picked him up in the auctions. Everyone expected Rayudu to bat lower down the order, but Dhoni shocked everyone by sending him out to open. Rest was history, as Rayudu became a run-machine. He scored 586 runs in the season and even hit a century against the famed SRH bowling attack. Talk about being a visionary.
A match-winning field setting
CSK had met perennial rivals Mumbai Indians in the 2010 IPL finals. Mumbai seemed to be looking at a victory, with the dangerous Keiron Pollard at the crease. It was then that Dhoni adjusted his field. He kept both, a mid-off and a long-off, which was extremely unusual. However, it paid off, as Pollard holed one out straight to Matthew Hayden. As a result, CSK won the 2010 IPL tournament.
Countering Kane Williamson
Batting first, SRH looked to be in a great position, with Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan looking in good touch. Dhoni brought in relative newbie Karn Sharma in the place of Harbhajan Singh. Sharma justified the skipper’s faith in him, as he removed Dhawan as well as the SRH captain Williamson. The other batsmen fell quickly after two of their most dominant batsmen fell. It was an easy chase for the CSK, who chased 179 at the Wankhede.