IPL: When Dhoni's slow knocks spelt defeat for his team

In a losing cause

MS Dhoni might be the greatest finisher in the game of cricket. However, Dhoni is known to play some excruciatingly slow knocks that have cost his team a win on many occasions. Remember the 108-ball 58 he scored against West Indies in 2017 where he was unable to see the side through chasing a paltry 190?

Here, we look at a few instances from the Indian Premier League (IPL) where Dhoni’s slow innings have come between his team and a win:

8* off 22 balls vs Kolkata Knight Riders, Kolkata – May 14, 2016

Batting first, Pune’s Dhoni could never take off and finish the innings in style like he normally does. A strike-rate of 36 meant his side could put up only 103/6 in 17.4 overs before rain intervened. Pune were 74/4 in 10.3 overs as the dark clouds hovered over the Eden Gardens. Scoring 29 in the next 7 overs, with Dhoni eating up most of the strike, wasn’t a pretty sight for any Dhoni fan. Chasing 66 from 9 overs in a rain-curtailed match was never an issue for KKR.

Kolkata Knight Riders 66 for 2 (Yusuf 37*, R Ashwin 2-30) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 103 for 6 (Bailey 33, Chawla 2-21) by eight wickets (D/L method)

31* off 37 balls vs Rajasthan Royals, Ahmedabad – April 19, 2015

Again batting first, Chennai Super Kings looked good with both Dwayne Bravo and MS Dhoni batting as they went on to stitch a crucial 89-run stand helping CSK reach 156 at the end of the innings. However, what was wrong was the pace at which the duo went about their business. While Bravo smashed a 36-ball 62*, Dhoni’s strike rate of 83 and playing most of the deliveries turned out to be the key point of the match. As a result, RR ended up getting there in just 18.2 overs.

Dhoni’s lack of killer instinct and not taking risks while batting was talked about by many fans who were left disappointed by the loss.

Rajasthan Royals 157 for 2 (Rahane 76*, Watson 73) beat Chennai Super Kings 156 for 4 (Bravo 62*, Smith 40) by eight wickets

41 off 38 balls vs Royal Challengers Bangalore – April 22, 2016

Chasing 186 for win and despite losing Steve Smith and Faf du Plessis early on, Pune were in the game throughout the chase. With Kevin Pietersen retired hurt, Ajinkya Rahane took it upon himself to give a strong platform by striking 60 off 46 balls. MS Dhoni did well to stay there till the 16th over scoring 41 off 38 balls.

However, Dhoni got out when it mattered the most. Even a 13-ball 34 from Thisara Perera and an 11-ball 21 from Rajat Sharma wasn’t enough for the team to cross the line as they fell short by 13 runs. Had Dhoni not wasted so many deliveries, the result may be different.

Royal Challengers Bangalore 185 for 3 (de Villiers 83, Kohli 80) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 172 for 8  (Rahane 60, Dhoni 41) by 13 runs