Home > Features >

MS Dhoni and the Deathly Hallows

    Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane helped India to their victory; Photoshopped by Kadar Shaikha
Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ajinkya Rahane helped India to their victory; Photoshopped by Kadar Shaikh

With his leadership in overseas Tests under scrutiny, India’s victory at Lord’s has probably come as a life-saver in MS Dhoni’s career as Test captain. Abhishek Mukherjee and Shiamak Unwalla look at the Deathly Hallows that had come to the aid of the Indian captain.

“Those of us who understand these matters, however, recognize that the ancient story refers to three objects, or Hallows, which, if united, will make the possessor master of Death.” — Xenophilius Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

There they were at Lord’s, MS Dhoni’s Deathly Hallows that perhaps gave him another whiff at immortality. India have been acquiring one or two over the years, but it has been ages since they have managed to combine all three. It has taken them 28 years to achieve a victory at the sanctified turf of Lord’s; and nothing short of the Deathly Hallows would have achieved that.

So what were Dhoni’s hallows, really? Let us delve deep into the reasons behind his magical success story…

The Invisibility Cloak

“We are talking about a cloak that really and truly renders the wearer completely invisible, and endures eternally, giving constant and impenetrable concealment, no matter what spells are cast at it.” — Xenophilius Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the only Indian to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar for a First-Class duck, but despite a decent job — especially with the new ball — in the shorter formats, his Test career had never really taken off. He had also scored a First-Class hundred, but had never delivered with the bat in international cricket.

Then, as the tour commenced, Bhuvneshwar came of age. He scored two fifties and took a five-wicket haul at Trent Bridge. Then came Lord’s, where he played two supporting roles — to Ajinkya Rahane in the first innings and then to Ravindra Jadeja in the second. Then there was the six-wicket haul in the first innings that got lost somewhere in the Ishant Sharma barrage of the fourth innings.

The victory was hard-earned and historic: the blows, however, came from the unexpected sources. Dhoni’s greatest weapon has not been a destructive one; it has tiptoed in disguise upon to the opposition, unnoticed, and had got the job done without drawing attention.

The Resurrection Stone

“I open at the close.” — Albus Dumbledore on the golden snitch, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

India were reeling at 145 for seven on Day One. They were dead and buried, looking frantically for help to arrive from somewhere. One could not bring the dead back to life; but the near-dead Test could always be revived. With the Invisibility Cloak by his side, Dhoni’s Resurrection Stone began the rebuilding, breathing life into the near-dead innings. That stone was Ajinkya Rahane.

“There’s no such thing as a Resurrection Stone!” they sceptics have said. When James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Liam Plunkett had left the Indian innings in tatters, however, there emerged an individual that believed in himself and believed that he could revivify an Indian innings that was meandering towards an untimely demise. The Resurrection Stone came in handy just before Death struck the Indian innings. And once it lived, the innings grew in stature and virility.

The Elder Wand

“A wand more powerful than any in existence: a wand that must always win duels for its owner, a wand worthy of a wizard…” — The Tales of Beedle the Bard.

They had laid a secret ambush on the enemy under the protection of the Invisibility Cloak. They had been brought back to life by the Resurrection Stone. All that was needed, now, was the final, fatal blow by the Deathstick. And then, down the Lord’s slope came the tall, lanky frame of Ishant Sharma.

He tore down the hill and unleashed one lethal bouncer after another; some got out fending, others trying to hook or pull; but there was no stopping Ishant on the day. Those hapless bits of willow did not stand a chance; they crumbled in front of Ishant’s spell from hell. The green light flashed seven times, five times on Day Five, and they fell, and it was all over.

The scar has stopped hurting Dhoni. For now, at least.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with CricketCountry. He is a self-confessed sci-fi geek and cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating, sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on Twitter here.)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Australia Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara’s efforts go in vain as Sri Lanka trump England by 25 runs in 1st ODI

West Indies tour of South Africa 2014-15: Sheldon Cottrell ready for return

Phil Hughes’ injury asks for review of safety factor in cricket equipment, feels Jagmohan Dalmiya

Shikha Pandey shines in India Women’s win over South Africa

Phil Hughes would have felt the impact like a bullet, say experts

Daniel Vettori becomes the most capped New Zealand player

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza slapped by Sonali Raut in Salman Khan’s show!

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Why did Sonali Raut slap Ali Quli Mirza? Bigg Boss 8 Episode update

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 28 of your pregnancy

Bigg Boss 8 Day 66 episode recap: Karishma Tanna couldn’t meet her mother thanks to selfish Renee Dhyani

Bigg Boss 8: Should Sonali Raut be disqualified for slapping Ali Quli Mirza? Vote!

विपाशा बासु: पिनकेथॉन महिलाओं को जागरूक करने का महत्वपूर्ण प्लैटफॉर्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here