Dhoni the best finisher in ODIs and T20s: Let’s know Mahi, the Test player

MS Dhoni India AMany people know MS Dhoni as the best finisher in ODIs and T20s. People know that he is very cool under pressure. That’s why he was called Captain Cool.  He averages best while chasing and has put behind Michel Bevan and many other great players in the art of chasing. But, somehow people have forgotten that he was a good Test player as well. He was India’s best Test captain. As a player he played only 90 Tests and captained India in 60 of them.  From overall 90 Test matches, he has scored 4876 runs at an average of 38.09 with 6 hundreds and 33 fifties. His best score of 224 came against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk in Chennai.

Dhoni made his test debut against Sri Lanka in Chennai in 2004. He made 30 runs in his debut test. He scored his first 50 against Sri Lanka in Delhi. He scored 51 not out in that match.

Here is the best of Dhoni in Test:

·       224 Vs Australia – Dhoni’s first and only double hundred in his career. His score of 224 is the highest by a wicketkeeper batsman against Australia. This is also the second highest score by an Indian captain in test. In his innings of 224, Dhoni shared a much needed partnership, first with Virat Kohli for the fifth wicket. They both added 128 and second with pacer Buneshwar Kumar for the 9th wicket. This was the second highest partnership of that match. Dhoni and Bhuvi added 140 runs. This allowed India to post 572 in their 1st innings and took the match away from Australia. At the end India won the match by 8 wickets.

·       148 Vs Pakistan – This was the maiden test match hundred for Dhoni. This hundred came against Pakistan in Faisalabad. This was high scoring encounter. Pakistan scored 588 runs. Tons from Shahid Afridi and Inzamamm Ul Haq led to such massive score. India in reply scored 603. Thanks to Dravid’s 103, Dhoni’s 148 and all rounder Irfan Pathan’s 90. In second Innings, Younis Khan’s 194 and Mohd Yousuf 126 allowed Pakistan to score 490 for 8 declared. India was 21 for no loss in their second innings. At the end, match was drawn. 

·       76 not out Vs England at Lords – His match saving innings gave India a series victory on England soil after 28 years. India was completely on the back foot in their first test. England wanted to score big but they there were bowled out for 298 runs. Andrew Strauss’s 96, Michel Vaugahan’s 79 were the top scorers for England. India reply to 298 was a poor one. Wasim Jaffer’s 58 and Rahul Dravid’s 37 were the only highlight of that Indian Innings. Dhoni didn’t trouble the scorers as he was out on a duck in 1st innings. With the advantage of 97 runs, England scored 282 in their second innings. They gave a target of 380 runs to chase on the final day. India were in spot of bother again like their 1st innings. Five wickets fell on just 145 runs on the board. Then VVS Laxman and Dhoni put a rescue act together.  Their 86 runs partnership, rescued team a bit. But this was not enough. After Laxman’s wicket, it was Dhoni who fought with the England bowlers. Rain god also helped him. In the end, the match was drawn. In the second test India won the test match and the series for the first time in 28 years.

·       In 2011, India toured England again. But this time India suffered a 4-0 whitewash. They couldn’t manage to repeat the 2007 feat. Dhoni was the top scorer in two tests. He scored 77 and 74 not out, both the scorers came in Birmingham. 

·       144 Vs West Indies at Kolkata –Dhoni’s superb knock of 144 sealed the game against the Windies. With Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman also scored tons that ensured India scored 631 against the West Indies. Pragyan Ohja, Umesh Yadav and R Ashwin bowled superb spells to bundle out West Indies to 153. Then India decided to give follow on to West Indies. In their second Innings the visitors scored 453, but that wasn’t enough. India defeated the Windies by Innings and 15 runs.

Read more: Sam Billings' brilliant 93 helps England beat India A by three wickets in warm-up match

·       133 not out Vs South Africa – India was down in the first match. The hosts went to Kolkata to save the series. For only the second in history of Indian, four top order batsmen scored a century. In reply to South Africa’s 296 in their first innings, India scored mammoth 643 -- thanks to the tons from Sachin Tendulkar 106, Dhoni 132 not out,  VVS Laxman 143 not out and Sehwag 165. In the second innings, the South African batsmen could last long their all out for just 290 runs. This gave India an easy win over the Proteas. Due to this solid performance from India in the 2nd test , the 3-match series ended in a Draw.

However, Dhoni could not score a century in the overseas tour. He captained India in 60 test matches, 30 at home and 30 abroad. At home he won 21 and lost only 3. At abroad, he won only 6 and lost 15. He had been criticised for this poor overseas records. This is the only low point of his captaincy career in tests.