Twitter was flooded with photos of MS Dhoni diving at full length to avoid getting run out in Chennai Super Kings’ IPL 2021 match against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Yes, it was a brilliant effort from the CSK captain to beat the throw from the inner ring and save his wicket with a full stretched dive at the age of 39 but. Dhoni was lauded for his fitness by many but for the majority of the cricket fans on Twitter, it brought back the memories of India’s 2019 World Cup semi-final clash against New Zealand in Manchester.
Coming in to bat at No.7 in 14th over on Monday, Dhoni pushed a Rahul Tewatia delivery in the next over towards cover and set off for a single but was rightfully sent back by non-striker Ravindra Jadeja. Dhoni turned quickly and while getting back to his mark realised that only a dive can help him beat the throw. Thankfully, it was a not direct hit and despite Sanju Samson whipping the bails off in a flash, Dhoni was in.
That dive was enough to send back cricket fans to July 9, 2019.
India needed 25 off 10 balls to reach the final of that World Cup with a well-set Dhoni batting in the middle. The legendary cricketer, who had just hit six in the first ball of Lockie Ferguson’s over tapped it towards the deep square-leg region in the third ball and pushed for two to retain strike. Dhoni’s challenge was to beat Martin Guptill – regarded as one of the best fielders in world cricket. Guptill picked up the ball quickly and with a bullet-liked throw, hit the target with only one stump to aim. And unlike on Monday, Dhoni didn’t dive and he was short of his crease. India lost the match by 18 runs and were knocked out of the World Cup. That incidentally was also Dhoni’s last match for India as the two-time World Cup-winning skipper announced his retirement on August 15 2020, after not playing any form of cricket for more than a year.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Dhoni’s dive against RR in IPL 2021, which brought back memories of the 2019 World Cup semi against New Zealand
Dhoni had the chance to go big against RR but he played a patchy innings where he tried to go big but could not get going.
Dhoni scored 18 off 17 balls with two boundaries. Dhoni’s innings, however, had no bearings on the outcome of the match as CSK beat RR comfortably by 45 runs. Chasing 189 for victory RR only managed to score 143 for 9 in their 20 overs as CSK spinners made the ball talk on a day where dew was absent.
Dhoni in the record books
Dhoni again made a record in his Indian Premier League career. He added another feather to his cap as he played his 200th game for Chennai Super Kings as skipper. Dhoni became the first player to captain a franchise 200 times in T20 cricket.
Dhoni achieved the feat during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match against Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday.
Dhoni, who has played 207 matches in the IPL, has featured for CSK in the tournament and Champions League T20. Last week, Dhoni played his 200th game for CSK when he took the field against Punjab Kings. In one game, Suresh Raina had captained CSK in the 2012 Champions League T20.
The 39-year-old, who has led CSK to three IPL titles, is at the eighth spot in the list of leading run-getters in IPL, with 4,632 runs