”When people throw stones at you, you turn them into milestones”, MS Dhoni in this year’s IPL, is treading on exactly the same path where all his captious stones are being evolved into milestones as the game progresses. Recently the former Indian captain had clinched another milestone in his name while playing against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday. This time the above feat was snatched by Dhoni with his wicket keeping gloves on.
The glittering show of Dhoni’s keeping gloves stretched to its limit while he caught DD’s batsman Shreyas Iyer. With his glove-show, he reached the landmark of 100 dismissals since the inception of the IPL. In Jaydev Unadkat’s spell, while Iyer attempted to play an outside off, it resulted being edged to Dhoni who caught it with ease. With this particular take, he not only completed his 100th dismissal but also became the second wicket-keeper after Dinesh Karthik to reach the milestone. Playing his 156th game, he has so far claimed 71 catches and 29 stumpings in his IPL career.
Hitherto, Dhoni has played 129 matches for Chennai Super Kings, the latter was suspended for two seasons in 2015 by the Supreme Court-appointed Justice RM Lodha panel due to a betting and corruption scam that shook the nation up in 2013. He was then bought by Rising Pune Supergiant in 2016 for whom he has played 27 matches in two seasons so far.
Dhoni has been edging on his undisputed mastery behind the stumps since the days of his cricketing debut. After the commencement of Indian Premier League he has literally been riding on his prime. In 2016 he showed his class and prominence in his glove-work. Some of the Instances are:
In the final over of Gujarat Lions’ innings, Basil Thampi was on strike against Jaydev Unadkat. The left-arm pacer bowled a slower delivery and Thampi being oblivious to the bowling pace swung his bat wildly to miss it. Karthik, at the non-striker’s end, called for strike in the last ball and set off. But Dhoni ad libbing the whole situation, collected the ball and threw a direct hit at the striker’s end to send Karthik back to the pavilion. The lightning speed of Dhoni’s throw was so precise and effective that even Karthik’s desperate dive failed to save him from getting run out.
This was not the first time that Dhoni’s sharp glove-work stunned his opposition. Earlier this month, he unleashed his old sensational stumping show to dismiss Royal Challengers Bangalore batsman AB de Villiers. On the second delivery of the 11th over of the RCB innings bowled by South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, Dhoni showed real class behind the stumps when he knocked the bails off even before de Villiers could think of getting his back leg into the crease.
Last year in the month of October, Dhoni’s sensational skills behind the stumps left New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor flabbergasted. The 35-year-old snatched the limelight with his quick hands during the fourth one-day international against New Zealand. Playing at his home ground in Ranchi, Dhoni’s superb display behind the wicket left Taylor and his Kiwi side stunned. In the 46th over, Taylor, who played Umesh Yadav through square leg, was looking for a second run but Dhoni back-flicked a throw from Dhawal Kulkarni onto the stumps in a flash and without even looking at the stumps. TV replays later on showed that Taylor was short of the crease. The Kiwi couldn’t believe his bad luck as he walked off with a smirk.
In 2016, the month of March during India vs Bangladesh World T20 clash, the Mashrafe Mortaza-led side required 11 runs from 6 balls but Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad got dismissed in successive deliveries after hitting few breath taking boundaries.
It all boiled down to the last ball, from which two runs were required to clinch the victory. Dhoni remained calm and focused under all the pressure when he was required to rip off the stumps after the final ball had been bowled. As the bails flashed, Dhoni and his men went wild and celebrated the win in front of a triumphant crowd.