While the last decade has seen the ODI battling with its younger, (arguably) more attractive cousin for relevance, the nineties and the noughties were undeniably the golden age of ODIs. Having started watching cricket in the 90s, we thought it would be nice to do a series where each of our bloggers picks his favourite ODI innings. This is the first part of the feature and DJ has picked his favourite ODI innings – M.S. Dhoni’s 91* v Sri Lanka
Cometh the hour, cometh the man
World Cup finals can reduce the best captains to rubble – just ask Brendon McCullum. Heartbreak seems around the corner with India floundering after being set the highest ever chase in a World Cup final. The destructive Sehwag and demi-God Sachin are already back in the pavilion. Indian fans are starting to brace themselves for a repeat of 2003. I have flown into Mumbai from London hours earlier just to watch this game and am beginning to wonder whether the decision was too hasty. The third wicket falls after a bit of a partnership – Kohli lobs a catch back to the bowler. Unbelievably, the Indian captain promotes himself above Yuvraj, India’s in-form player, and walks out to join Gambhir. A billion people watch every move.
Gambhir gets out for 97 but Dhoni is brutally effective as he flays the Sri Lankan attack. As the target gets closer, Indian flags are waved faster and faster. The noise at the Wankhede is deafening. Eventually, the moment arrives. And like in every schoolboy’s dream, Dhoni wins the World Cup for India with a six.
Dhoni scores 91 not out off 79 balls, winning India its second World Cup trophy in the process. Talk about trusting your gut and absorbing pressure. What a legend!
Here is a a YouTube link to the MS Dhoni innings in the World Cup final.
It is not the most attractive innings ever played nor was it against the world’s most threatening attack. But will we ever see a better innings played under such pressure?
Do let us know what you think in the comments below.