11 Instances That Prove MS Dhoni is The Cleverest Cricketer Ever

MS Dhoni is not just a player but an emotion for all cricket fans. He revolutionized Indian cricket by taking the team to new heights and winning ICC Tournaments for India left, right, and center. He was not only a great batsman but also a smart wicketkeeper and a superb captain. His absolutely calm demeanor on the pitch earned him the title of Captain Cool. We discuss some of the popular instances that prove MS Dhoni is the cleverest cricketer ever.

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1.)  The Amazing Bowl Out Against Pakistan

India v/s Pakistan| League Match | T20 World cup 2007

In the inaugural T20 World Cup, India’s match against Pakistan ended in a tie, with both teams scoring exactly 141 runs. In those days, tied matches were decided by a bowl-out, where five bowlers from each side delivered one ball each at an unguarded wicket. MS Dhoni showed his tactical acumen by first preparing for this situation in the nets. The team practiced hitting at the stumps and according to their performance in the nets, Sehwag, Uthappa, and Harbhajan Singh were selected for the bowl-out.

During the actual bowl-out, MS Dhoni, being the wicket-keeper decided to kneel right behind the stumps instead standing away from the Stumps like a normal keeper would. This tactic helped the bowlers to hit the stumps. Thus all Indian bowlers hit the stumps while Pakistani bowlers bowled more towards outside off-stump which didn’t hit the stumps. 


“The Pakistan keeper (Kamran Akmal) was standing where a keeper usually stands. A few feet back and beside the stump — just alongside the stump. But MS was (sitting) right behind the stumps and that made it so much easier for us. We just had to bowl at MS and it gave us the best chance to hit the wickets. That’s all we did.” – Uthappa Speaking on a Rajasthan Royals podcast.

2.) Final Over Heroics In The T20 World Cup Final

India v/s Pakistan | Final | T20 World cup 2007

We all remember the final of the T20 World Cup in 2007. Prior to this, India had last won the World Cup back in 1983. India had scored a good total of 157 in their innings and were defending it well. At the end of the 12th over, with the score at 77/6, India was looking at an easy victory. However, Misbah-Ul-Haq played a superb inning to bring the match back for Pakistan.

In the last over Pakistan needed just 13 runs, and Dhoni was left with one over each from ace spinner Harbhajan Singh and Joginder Sharma. MS Dhoni, considering Harbhajan Singh’s lack of confidence at the time, gave the responsibility to Joginder Sharma. After conceding a wide and a six, Joginder Sharma dismissed Misbah with a slower delivery. Dhoni’s decision to give the last over to Sharma made him a hero in the eyes of the fans.

“Don’t think about the runs that they need, think about your bowling. If you get hit, don’t overthink, just concentrate on the next ball. Whatever is the result, be confident you have my support.” – Dhoni to Joginder before that over.

3) That Amazing Run Out Against Bangladesh

India v/s Bangladesh | Super 10 | ICC World T20, 2016

Who can ever forget that thrilling last over in the T20 World Cup match between India and Bangladesh? Chasing India’s modest total of 147, Bangladesh needed just 11 runs off the last over with 4 wickets in hand. On the pitch were Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim, both accomplished batsmen, while the bowler was a young and inexperienced Hardik Pandya. Rahim hit two 4s off Pandya, leaving Bangladesh with just 2 runs needed off 3 balls. It was at this point that Dhoni’s tactical genius came into play. Instead of instructing Pandya to go for yorkers, he asked him to bowl length balls.

Rahim and Mahmudullah both got out on successive deliveries trying to hit the ball out of the park. They needed 2 runs in one ball when Dhoni took off his right glove and was ready to run out the batsman in case of a bye, and that’s exactly what happened. A bye was taken, and MS Dhoni swiftly ran to the stumps with the ball, successfully running out Mustafizur Rahman.  And India finally wins the match by 1 run!

“I don’t remember exactly but a few people gave suggestions ‘let’s bowl a bouncer’ but we were not up for it because Mahi bhai and Ashu bhai also said that if a tail-ender tries to swing and gets a top edge then it could fly over the keeper. So he said let’s just go with wide outside off stump,” – Hardik Pandya on the chat before the last ball.

4.) Trusting Ishant Sharma to bowl the crucial 18th Over of the Champions Trophy Final. 

India v/s England | Final | ICC Champions Trophy, 2013

India batted first in the Champions Trophy final which got reduced to 20 overs due to rain. They put on a decent total of 129. India were winning when they reduced England to 46/4 in their run-chase. However, Morgan and Bopara set up a partnership and with 26 runs required off just 3 overs were about to win the match for England. That’s when MS Dhoni decided to give the important over to Ishant Sharma.

Ishant Sharma bowls the next over and gets hit for a six in the second ball. If that wasn’t enough, Sharma under pressure then bowls 2 wides. England were now cruising to victory at 110/4 when suddenly Ishant Sharma dismisses both the set batsman in the next 2 deliveries. Thus, he brought the match back in favor of India, and all applause goes to MS for taking this crucial decision.

“I was quite nervous, things were not going my way but I held my nerve. I’ve done it in the past so maybe that’s why [Mahendra Singh] Dhoni thought I could do it,” – Ishant Sharma

(Image Sources: Screengrabs – ICC on Facebook

5.) Promoting Rohit Sharma as an Opener

India’s one of the best-ever openers, Rohit Sharma earlier came into the team as a middle-order player and more like a finisher. No one at the time could even imagine that this young player could be a good opener. Rohit Sharma made his international debut for India in 2007, but at the start of his career was struggling with form. He had played some good innings, but he was quite inconsistent. So much so that he wasn’t selected for the 2011 World Cup squad.

In 2013, MS Dhoni decided to promote Rohit Sharma to the top order. He played his first match as an opener against England and smashed a 93-ball 83 and the rest is history.

Dhoni’s decision to send Rohit Sharma up the order gave India probably the best white-ball opener of all time.

“There was one decision made by Dhoni in the 2013 Champions Trophy to send Rohit to open. Dinesh [Karthik] was batting so well in the practice games but Rohit had to play… so the management then, mostly captain Dhoni, found a spot for Rohit at the top of the order. That was a brilliant move,” – Sridhar

6.) Dhoni’s Signature ‘No look Run outs’

One of the most underrated aspects of MS Dhoni was his absolutely amazing fielding and wicket-keeping skills. Batsmen would be nervous while running between the wickets. He could literally catch the ball thrown by a fielder and direct it toward the stumps instantaneously with absolute finesse.

7.)  Bluffing Mitchell Marsh

Dhoni as we have already mentioned probably 100 times now was a genius on the field. This instance from an ODI match between India and Australia back in 2016, is one example of this. Maxwell hits the ball which goes towards the covers. Maxwell and Marsh are taking a run when MS Dhoni just walks slowly toward the stumps. This made Marsh believe that the ball was still far away, however, the ball was fielded and Dhoni caught it and ran Marsh out.

However, the best part was when during the post-match conference Dhoni is asked whether that was a bluff to run Marsh out, to which Dhoni just cheekily smiles and denies it.

8.) MS Dhoni: The ‘Incredible’ Finisher

Dhoni was an extremely amazing finisher. He would come in when India would be down and out and win India the match by finishing the inning superbly.

In a match against Sri Lanka, India lost 9 wickets while chasing 202. India needed 15 runs off the last over and MS Dhoni was on strike. Dhoni missed the first ball and after that, he hit 6,4,6 off the next three balls, and chases the target with 2 balls to spare!

9.) Dhoni Review System 

MS Dhoni’s reading of the game and excellent presence of mind in the field is a huge asset for any team. When he used to play for India during Virat’s captaincy, many times Kohli would take a DRS review upon Dhoni’s consultation. He made some excellent DRS calls as captain of his IPL team CSK, like the one quite recently in a match against Mumbai Indians. Suryakumar Yadav attempted to play a sweep against the bowler Mitchell Santner. It seemed like he missed the ball and the umpire gave it a wide. However, Dhoni felt he heard a knick and takes a DRS. He was on point,  the bat did touch the ball very slightly and Suryakumar Yadav who was their best batsman was out for 1! And that’s just one of the many instances of the Dhoni Review System.

source: iplt20

10.) Thala Dhoni

Dhoni has been an excellent captain for India, however, his captaincy of his franchise team CSK is equally remarkable. In a franchise team, man-management and utilization of resources is more important and Dhoni has done it extremely well. He has taken Chennai Super Kings to superb heights with his amazing man-management skills. In the latest season, everyone was shocked to see Ajinkya Rahane playing at around 200 strike rate for CSK. He took an out-of-form Shivam Dube and made him a superb six-hitter. England all-rounder Moen Ali who didn’t really play well for RCB joined CSK in 2020 and became a threatening player both with the ball and bat. Players like Ambati Rayudu, Shane Watson, Robin Uthappa, and now even Tushar Deshpande performed way better when playing under Dhoni.

source: iplt20

11.) Promoted  himself up the Order & Finished Off In Style

India v/s Sri Lanka | Final | ICC World Cup 2011

Winning the World Cup for India must truly be the most badass moment of MS Dhoni. Playing the world cup in India, the team dominated throughout the tournament and ended up playing in the finals against a good Sri Lanka team. While chasing a total of 274 put up by Sri Lanka, India loses both openers Sachin and Sehwag early. Gambhir and Virat stabilize the inning in the middle. When Virat gets out, Dhoni promotes himself up the order and comes to bat ahead of Yuvraj Singh.

He played a match-winning inning of 91 runs off 79 balls. However, the best moment comes when India needs 4 runs off 11 balls and Dhoni hits the next ball for a magnificent Six. This is a six that is etched in the minds of all cricket fans, and the commentator Ravi Shastri’s famous words, ‘Dhoni finishes off in style, India lifts the world cup’ still echo.

Bonus: MS Dhoni’s Lightning Fast Stumpings 

With that, we come to the end of our article. We hope you enjoyed reading about MS Dhoni’s most badass moments in cricket. Don’t forget to share this article with your friends, till then adios!

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