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Four years ago, MS Dhoni's genius against Bangladesh overpowered the ghosts of 2007 ODI WC

It was exactly four years ago when MS Dhoni's masterclass as a leader sail India to a win in a do-or-die clash against Bangladesh in 2016 T20 World Cup.

Aditya Maheshwari Aditya Maheshwari @aditya7696
New Delhi Updated on: March 23, 2020 11:36 IST
Four years ago, MS Dhoni's genius against Bangladesh overpowered the ghosts of 2007 ODI WC
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Four years ago, MS Dhoni's genius against Bangladesh overpowered the ghosts of 2007 ODI WC

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one the greatest captains to ever play the game of cricket. The former India skipper led India to 2011 World Cup trophy and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. 

MS Dhoni's Team India entered every ICC tournament as the favourites to lift the trophy and the same thing happened when the Men in Blue started the 2016 T20 World Cup journey at home. The things didn't go in India's favour as they faced a defeat against New Zealand in Nagpur, courtesy Kiwi spin duo Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, who trapped India batsmen in their web.

Team India bounced back in the tournament with a dominating win over arch-rivals Pakistan at Eden Gardens. The last jigsaw in Team India's way en route next round was Bangladesh at a batsman-friendly M Chinnaswamy pitch in Bengaluru.

It was exactly four years ago when MS Dhoni's masterclass as a leader sailed India to a win in a do-or-die clash. After losing the toss, India were asked to bat first and the batters didn't convert the bright starts into a big one. Bangladesh bowlers restricted the host on just 146/7 in 20 overs. But the game was not over yet, at least not in Dhoni's mind.

Like India, the Bangladesh batsmen also failed to convert bright starts. Tamim Iqbal (35)  Sabbir Rehman (26) and Sakib  Al Hasan (22) played a crucial role to take the team closer to target but Indian bowlers took wickets in regular intervals, which put pressure on the visitors.

Chasing a moderate target of 147, Bangladesh needed 11 runs in the final over of the match and Dhoni did an unthinkable as he gave the bowl to Hardik Pandya (who was a bit inexperienced at that time) as every senior bowler quota of four over was over. 

Dhoni’s plan, however, didn’t go quite as he wanted to in the initial stage, as Mahmudullah took a single one first ball after that full-charged up Mushfiqur Rahim slammed two back-to-back fours. The boundaries started haunting every Indian fan and the nightmares of 2007 ODI WC started coming in everyone's mind.

The equation was very simple for Bangladesh as they needed 2 runs from 3 balls and from the visitors choked miserably. 

With everything under control, Rahim lofted the length ball in the deep mid-wicket region and Shikhar Dhawan took an easy catch to change the dynamics of the game. The positive thing about Bangladesh was that experienced Mahmudullah was on strike, and Dhoni played a trick and switched the fielders at deep from Dhawan to Ravindra Jadeja.

The plan worked as Pandya bowled a wide full-toss and an over-excited Mahmudullah did the same mistake as Rahim and was caught in the deep courtesy a stunner by Jadeja.

Then it came to the last ball and two runs for Bangladesh, Dhoni and senior pacer Ashish Nehra came to talk to Pandya to discuss some plans. During the whole process, Dhoni took his right wicket-keeping glove off. Pandya, with a responsibility of keeping Indian fans’ dream alive, took the pace away from the last ball as Shuvagata was beaten and ran for a bye. Dhoni, without gloves, sprinted towards the stump with stunning speed to prevent a bye and destroyed the wickets. Dhoni's brilliance to not throw the ball was hailed by everyone across the world as  Mustafizur Rahman was given run out by the third umpire and India won the nail-biting thriller by one run to stay alive in the tournament.

Eventually, India were knocked out by West Indies in the semifinal, who went to lift the T20 World Cup trophy at Eden Gardens.

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