When MS Dhoni was run out for 99

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MS Dhoni in a match where people played shots

To fall one centimetre short of a hundred is probably a little bit irritating. MS Dhoni is doubtless wishing he had longer arms.

We quite like a 99 and to be run out is the best way to do it. There’s a sort of soiled majesty about it – so much hard work ending with a smeared frontage and a bit of choice language.

MS Dhoni is a run out for 99 kind of batsman. We mean that as a compliment. He doesn’t play to build himself flattering statisics. He plays to win.

Today Dhoni hit a fifty, which is neither here nor there. Today Dhoni put India in a very good position, which is significant.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. You know, despite (or possibly because of) this moribund pitch, I’m really enjoying this test. Perverse, maybe.

  2. Indeed, Daneel, run-outs are always that much more comical when one of the culprits is fat – e.g. some on Inzy’s better efforts.

    Or when the victim is on debut, like Strauss’s second test innings, in which he was denied a second ton by the soon-to-retire Nasser.

    Ah, memories…

    1. I remember that Randall run out vividly. I followed that 1977 Trent Bridge test avidly on the TV, as by then I knew that I was going to see test cricket live, for the first time, at the Oval a few weeks later.

      England looked in all sorts of trouble that match until Knott joined Boycott at 5-down and the two of them turned the match around. Boycott scored enough runs for him and Randall in the end:


      A young lad named Ian Botham from Somerset was on debut in that game – he couldn’t have been a sensible pick by the selectors because I hadn’t even heard of him.

    2. There’s a story (probably made up) from Dickie Bird of a Yorkshire / Barnsley match in which he was batting and Geoffrey was non-striking at the pavilion end. Bird turned one behind square and set off for a run while watching the ball. “I think there’s one there, Geoffrey”, he called. Three-quarters of the way down the pitch he finally looked at his partner who hadn’t moved a muscle. “I disagree, Dickie”, said Boycott, “I think you might as well keep on going.”

  3. Thanks for the links – just spent a happy half hour following ‘cheating Ricky Ponting’ links, Flintoff greatest over and finishing with Flintoff’s bowling at Kallis in 2008. I’d forgotten he was still a force that Summer.

    Love the Boycott one.

  4. Are you sure? Dhoni doesnt try to build up his average?
    I seem to remember him walking in forever at 96/1 int he 10th over in T20, and chickening away from 20/3 in the 4th over equally often.

    I am not good with cricinfo and statsguru but I remember in ODIs Dhoni distinctly playing for a red-inekr and India losing by a few runs(<10) while Dhoni majestically remains not out.

    I may be biased and over-stating it but I dont think Dhoni is this unselfish -win-for-India-is-paramount sort of Cricketer. He seems to have his eye firmly on his Captain Cool image(which gets him the ad contracts) over and above showing passion to rouse his team mates, and "long term growth of Indian Cricket be damned, give me my turning pitches so I can banish memories of 0-8 from public memory with a win at home."

    Same with "Ponting always played for win unlike selfish Tendulkar". Not the Ricky who bowled Clarke, White and Hussey when a chance for win was tehre in Nagpur 2008. He did that to speed up the over rate and avoid a ban. Fat lot of good that did to Aussies' winning chances in that series.

    Me thinks there is too much of pigeon-holing and lazy image-based Cricket writing.

    Last person I hope to see embracing that sort of thing is this website*.

    *I realise this website is not a person.

    1. Dhoni tends to get criticised for how conservatively he goes about run-chases when batting, but he does tend to get them home.

      Actually, having checked, I’ve undersold him.

      Here’s a list of his one-day not out innings when batting second. India won 31 of those 32 matches. They tied the other.


  5. Do you have a list of matches where he got out close to the end after putting India in a unwinnable situation?
    See how easy it is to go wrong with stats?

    Also, Dhoni plays IPL too where he has shown similar tendencies – and since I watch all formats(stopped IPL last year but watched 4 years of IPL before that), I rememebr Dhoni doing this very often.

    Like I said, some players like Ponting have more of a reputation than actual doing of “being so selfless and team man”. As I pointed, Ricky did one of the worst selfish, anti-team thing towarsd the end of his captaincy. He hung on to captaincy and #3 until the Ashes were decisively lost. And hung on to his place until the selectors had a chat with him before the last test with SA.

    But if I had a dime for every comment I read in the internet that “Look at Ponting, he stepped down as soon as he started under performing unlike Tendulkar who hangs on..”, I’d be well probably having 100 dimes now.

    Characters are far more complex than such simplifications. Usually.

    1. Of course a statistic like that doesn’t constitute proof. It’s just a means of showing that his conservative batting is often effective.

      That’s not really the point though. I just seems odd to us that a player would try and maintain his profile by looking after his average when what he initially became known for was mad and highly effective slogging.

      He just strikes us as a pragmatist and that opinion is borne of his wilfully lumpen batting rather than what someone else has said about him.

      As for Ponting, we’re pretty sure the selflessness was only mentioned once they were sure he was going.

      Perhaps in both cases it’s a fine line between absurd self confidence and selfishness; between taking responsibility and denying others opportunities to do so.

  6. For the record if you take last 5 years record, 4 years record, 3 years record, 2 years record, SRT is much better than Ponting yet SRT is greedy and selfish while Ponting was altruistic and selfless according to conventional wisdom.

  7. Yeah it’s really very disappointing for a batsman when he is being out at 99,one short of that milestone,and being run out at 99 is really very hurting.It was not just the matter of a wicket for India they really lost their way after that run-out for England’s point of view it was due to the absolute brilliance of the English Captain.

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