"Not necessary that a finisher has to come at number 5.."- Aakash Chopra on MS Dhoni

Updated - 02 Mar 2024, 02:31 PM

Aakash Chopra and MS Dhoni
Aakash Chopra and MS Dhoni (Image Credits: Twitter)

Former Indian cricketer and commentator Aakash Chopra lauded legendary wicketkeeper-batter MS Dhoni for his exceptional prowess as a match finisher. Aakash Chopra highlighted that there hasn’t been a better finisher than MS Dhoni in the history of cricket.

MS Dhoni led the Indian team to victory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in 2007 in South Africa. He captained the team to victory in the ODI World Cup on home soil in 2011. He was the skipper of the team that won the 2013 Champions Trophy in England.

Dhoni also made a significant impact with the bat for the national team in his illustrious career. He scored 10,773 runs in 297 ODI innings at an average of 50.57 and a strike rate of 87.56. He amassed 1,617 runs in 85 T20Is at an average of 37.60 and a strike rate of 126.13.

In a video shared on his YouTube channel, Aakash Chopra discussed MS Dhoni‘s evolution as a cricketer, specifically highlighting his prowess in finishing matches.

“Whenever a book is written on cricket, the finishing chapter will be written on him, and he might write it himself because there hasn’t been a better finisher than him in the history of cricket,” Chopra said.

The Jharkhand-born cricketer announced his retirement from white-ball international cricket on August 15, 2020. Dhoni retired from red-ball cricket during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2014-15. He stepped down from the captaincy of the Indian team in 2017.

MS Dhoni Started Getting Compared With Michael Bevan – Aakash Chopra

The former India opener noted Michael Bevan’s exceptional proficiency in finishing matches. Chopra compared Dhoni’s skills to those of Bevan, highlighting Dhoni’s ability to not only run singles and doubles but also score boundaries and sixes.

“Around 2008, MS Dhoni started developing as a limited-overs cricketer who finished matches. He started getting compared with Michael Bevan. Michael Bevan was one of the best. Very few people have finished better than him,” Chopra added.

“Michael Bevan’s specialty was singles, doubles, and running. MS Dhoni ran singles and doubles, hit fours and sixes, stayed unbeaten till the end, and his game awareness was as good as Michael Bevan, if not better,” Chopra further stated.

Dhoni predominantly batted in the lower middle order throughout his tenure with the Indian team. Notably, he amassed 7,333 runs at an average of 48.56 in 212 ODI innings at positions five and six. In T20I cricket, he scored 1,107 runs at an average of 36.90 in 58 innings.

It’s Slightly Easier For Them – Aakash Chopra

The cricketer-turned-commentator emphasized the difficulty of finishing games for lower-middle-order batters. Chopra noted that the task is relatively easier for top-order batters due to having more time to settle.

“It’s not necessary that a finisher has to come at No. 5. Top-order batters like Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma also finish games but it’s slightly easier for them. It’s difficult for Nos. 4, 5, and 6 to finish games because you don’t get the time to settle,” Chopra said.

Dhoni will next be seen in action during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024. The legendary skipper will lead the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the upcoming season. He led the team to a record-equalling title victory in the previous season.

Also read: MS Dhoni to retire after IPL 2024? His long-time friend Paramjit Singh delivers a huge update


Aakash Chopra India National Cricket Team Michael Bevan MS Dhoni