Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed 139 not out to help India post 303 in the third One-Day International (ODI) against Australia at Mohali. He walked in when India were 76 for four and needed to take them to a good total. Nishad Pai Vaidya presents Dhoni’s figures at No 6.
In times of crisis, when the odds are stacked against India, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni invariably scripts an epic to rescue his side. Late last year, his innings of 113 not out against Pakistan lifted India from 29 for five to a competitive 227 — a knock that highlighted his ability to pace his innings to perfection under extreme pressure. Against Australia at Mohali, he did it yet again under different circumstances. Rallying the tail, his explosive burst towards the end took India past the 300 mark, a score that looked unlikely at one stage.
Dhoni’s 139 not out is the third highest at No 6 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He is behind Kapil Dev’s 175 against Zimbabwe at Tunbridge Wells and Andrew Symonds 143 not out against Pakistan at Johannesburg, both knocks coming in World Cups. Interestingly, these inniongs have come under pressure. Kapil had walked into bat when his side was nine for four, whereas Symonds was in at 86 for four. Dhoni entered the stage at 76 for four and at one point, India were 154 for six.
Here is a list of the highest scores at No 6 in ODIs:
With Ravindra Jadeja taking the spot at No 7, Dhoni comes a spot higher at No 6. It has been Dhoni’s most successful position in the batting order as a major chunk of his knocks have come there. He has performed even when he has been given a promotion, but at No 6, he is someone who can rally the innings in case of a collapse or provide that surge towards the end.
As of now, Dhoni is only behind the Australian Michael Bevan in terms of most runs scored by a batsman at No 6:
Time and again, Dhoni proves his worth in pressure cooker situations and is known to pull a rabbit out of the hat. Be it promoting himself in the batting order during the 2011 World Cup final, or finishing matches with remarkable sixes at Adelaide in 2012 and Trinidad in 2013, Dhoni has truly been remarkable. It looks like a tough situation is just another game for him. This is what he told the famous sports psychologist Rudi Webster (in his book Think Like a Champion), “A lot of negative things are said about pressure. To me, pressure is just an added responsibility. How can it be pressure when God gives you an opportunity to be a hero for your team and your country?”