Sydney: There must have been a billion Indians who yelled, "come on Dhoni, hit a four," as India needed 27 runs off three overs, then 17 off two and finally 13 off the last over in Sunday night's CB Series game against Australia.
And only, cool cat MS Dhoni looked unconcerned. He had kept it to the last minute -- hitting a six, two and three -- in the final, heart-stopping over to enable India to defeat Australia in a one-day international (ODI) for the first time in Adelaide. India take on Sri Lanka at the same venue on Tuesday.
Figure it out
Much has been written on this epic Adelaide thriller which India won. But here are stats which show the kind of ODI touch Dhoni is in: From September 11, 2011 to February 12, 2012, the Indian captain has played 10 ODIs (two vs England in England, five vs England in India and so far three against Australia in Australia) and has scored 417 runs at an average of 208.05.
When he was dismissed for 29 in the first ODI against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on February 5, he averaged 369.00 in this period as was unbeaten in his previous seven ODIs.
Sample his scores in his last 10 ODIs: In the fourth ODI against England at Lord's on September 11, he scored 78 not out and in the fifth and final ODI at Cardiff five days later, he carved out an unbeaten 50.
In the five-match ODI series against England in India last October, Dhoni was not dismissed even once. His scores: 87 not out, did not bat, 35 not out, 15 not out and 75 not out to total 212 runs in five consecutive matches.
Thus, in seven ODIs, he had scored 340 runs without getting out. In the current ODI series, he scored 29 vs Australia in Melbourne, 4 against Sri Lanka in Perth and 44 unbeaten, winning runs against Australia on Sunday.
Also, Dhoni's batting average of 104.89 in successful chases (minimum 25 innings) is the highest in ODIs. The next best is by Australia's Michael Clarke (89.20).
208.05: MS Dhoni's batting average in the last 10 one-day internationals -- against formidable teams like England and Australia
417: The amount of runs Dhoni has scored in the last 10 one-day internationals. For a batsman who doesn't come higher up in the order, this is outstanding.
212: In the five-match ODI series against England in India last October, Dhoni was not dismissed even once. His scores: 87 not out, did not bat, 35 not out, 15 not out and 75 not out. Total 212 runs in five matches.
104.89: Dhoni's batting average of 104.89 in successful chases (minimum 25 innings) is the highest in ODIs. The next best is by Australia's Michael Clarke (89.20).
Dhoni has a chance to become India's only ODI captain to win three consecutive games in Australia twice. He bagged a 'hat-trick' in the 2007-08 series Down Under when India won the tri-series by beating Ricky Ponting's Australians. In the lead-up to achieving the hat-trick of wins, India beat Sri Lanka at Hobart before going on to shock favourites Australia in the first and second final at Sydney and Brisbane respectively. It was a famous title triumph which came after the 2007 World T20 win in South Africa.