MS Dhoni has played some outstanding IPL knocks over the years. We all remember the epic in Dharamsala to take CSK to the playoffs in 2010. Then there was the time he helicoptered Lasith Malinga in the 2012 eliminator, and when he got 12 off two balls to win against the Kings XI Punjab in Vizag .
In the last two seasons, we've seen MSD 2.0 show up against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Twice he took the game deep and rattled Virat Kohli's men at the end, smashing Corey Anderson and Mohammad Siraj, in 2018, and almost scoring 26 runs from the final over against Umesh Yadav, in 2019. Apart from these classics, a number of Dhoni knocks have slipped under the radar. Here are four of the best.
65 off 30, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, 2008
Let's go back to the first edition of the IPL, when the Super Kings played the Royal Challengers in Bangalore. Batting first, the Super Kings were 94 for 3 with Dhoni and Michael Hussey at the crease. Dhoni stepped on the gas. He took 23 runs off one Dale Steyn over, then 14 runs from the first four deliveries of the next, by Zaheer Khan. In all, he and Hussey got 84 off the last six overs to take the Super Kings to a match-winning 178.
70 not out off 40, Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Chennai Super Kings, 2011
Same venue, same opposition, different situation. If in 2008 Dhoni had support and wickets in hand, this time he came in to bat in the powerplay with the score 22 for 4. Wickets kept falling at the other end, and Dhoni had to drop anchor. With four overs to go, the Super Kings were 82 for 6. Dhoni went after Abhimanyu Mithun, hitting him for three sixes and a four, and S Aravind for another six across the last three overs to lift the score to 128. It was not enough in the end, as the Royal Challengers won by eight wickets.
15 not out off 12, Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals, 2012
Dhoni did not bring out his big hitting in this match - he used his composure to take his side home. On a tough Chepauk pitch, the Super Kings were cruising in their chase - they needed just 31 runs off 24 balls with nine wickets in hand. Then Kevon Cooper took two wickets for two runs in the 17th over to build some pressure. Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo targeted Amit Singh in the 18th over, taking 13 off it, then played out Cooper's 19th for eight runs. That left eight to get off the final over, to be bowled by Stuart Binny. Dhoni did it with ones and twos, flicking the final ball, a low full toss, to deep square leg for two to complete the win.
67 not out off 37, Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, 2013
Another masterclass in chasing. With 46 runs needed from 30 deliveries, Dwayne Bravo played out a maiden against Karn Sharma. Dhoni decided to target Dale Steyn and smashed him for two sixes in the 17th over. With 32 needed from 18 balls, the Super Kings struggled to score against Ishant Sharma, and it came down to 28 to get off the last two. Dhoni again went after Steyn, scoring 13 runs off the 19th and ensuring he had strike for the last over. Ashish Reddy had to defend 15. After a wide and a dot, Dhoni went six, four, four, to finish the game.