India’s former skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has achieved everything in cricket that one could ever dream of. He is arguably the most successful captain in India’s cricketing history. He is the only skipper to have won every ICC tournament.
MS Dhoni announced his arrival in Indian Cricket with a stellar century against Pakistan. During his cricketing career, he has demolished the most feared bowlers of his era. There wasn’t anyone who troubled him in his prime years.
However, in the last few years, MS Dhoni has struggled a lot against spin. His batting woes against spin bowling have often come to the spotlight. Given his unorthodox technique, he hasn’t been able to find gaps and rotate the strike.
The spinners have not only troubled him in international cricket but also in IPL as well. In the ongoing edition of IPL, spinners have spun a web around him.
In this article, we look at 4 spinners who have dismissed him twice in an IPL season:
1. Pragyan Ojha in 2008
MS Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings for the first time in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008. Under his leadership, CSK reached the finals only to lose against Rajasthan Royals in the summit clash. He fared quite well with the bat, scoring 414 runs at an average and strike rate of 41 and 133.54.
However, Pragyan Ojha was one bowler who did trouble the former skipper. CSK played twice against Deccan Charger and Ojha got the better of Dhoni in both the games.
In one of the games, Dhoni was looking good for his 25-ball 37 before Ojha sent him back to the pavilion and brought DC back into the game. CSK, though, won that game by 7 wickets.
2. R Van der Merwe in 2009
In the following edition in 2009 IPL, it was South Africa’s left-arm spinner who troubled Dhoni on a couple of games. Van der Merwe played two matches against CSK, including the semi-final of 2009 edition He got the priced wicket of Dhoni on both the occasions.
In an important semi-final game, Dhoni was guiding the team to a competitive total before the South Africa spinner accounted for the wicket of CSK spinner and helped RCB restrict CSK to a below-par total. RCB won that game by 6 wickets.
3. Kuldeep Yadav in 2017
2017 IPL saw Dhoni struggling badly against spin. He looked clueless against KKR spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, who got him out twice in two games.
In the 30th game, Dhoni was batting brilliantly, having struck 2 sixes and 1 four for his 11-ball 23. However, Gautam Gambhir pulled out a masterstroke as he gave the ball to Kuldeep Yadav in the 19 over of the innings. It reaped rewards as Dhoni was out stumped on the second ball of his over. CSK ended on 182. It could have been 20 runs more to their total had Dhoni not lost his wicket in the second last over. KKR won that game by 7 wickets.
4. Varun Chakravarthy in 2020
2020 IPL has been the worst IPL season for MS Dhoni in his IPL career. Under his leadership, CSK did not qualify for the playoffs for the first time in IPL history. In 13 games, MS Dhoni has only managed 200 runs at an average of just 25.
Dhoni’s struggle against spin has been quite evident in the tournament. Every time he came to bat, the opposition immediately brought spinners into the attack. While he has found tough going against them, KKR’s mystery spinner, Varun Chakravarthy got him out twice this season. With that, he became the fourth spinner to have claimed Dhoni’s wicket twice in a single edition of IPL.