The second ODI at Adelaide between India and Australia saw two master chasers – Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni – at work. The two enjoy an invincible record in ODI chases. And whenever they have come out to bat together, they have helped India crossed the finish line almost every single time.
But at Adelaide, the situation was slightly different. Virat Kohli usually carries his bat through the innings in successful chases. But he was dismissed when India still needed 57 runs for a win at a required run-rate of 9 runs per over. MS Dhoni, who was criticised for his 96-ball 51 at Sydney, has a challenge at his hand to not only help India cross the finish line, but also silence his critics with a match-winning knock.
And the former Indian skipper brought up all his experience to the fore to score 55* and steer India to a series-levelling win in the company of Dinesh Karthik.
As long as the two master chasers are at work, India can breathe easy to cross any target thrown at them. So, who’s a better master chasers in ODIs.
Cricwizz takes a look at their records in chases in ODIs to crack this puzzle.
In successful chases in ODIs
Kohli averages 99.04 in successful chases in ODIs. He has scored a record 21 tons and 19 fifties in successful chases in 80 such ODI innings. He has been the best top-order batsman when it comes to successful chases in ODIs. Only 3 of his 24 tons in ODI chases have come in lost causes. So, whenever King Kohli scores a ton in ODI chases, India enjoy a winning percentage of 88.
Dhoni enjoys a batting average of 99.85, slightly better than Kohli, when it comes to successful chases in ODIs. He has scored 2 tons and 18 fifties in 111 successful chases for India in ODIs. Although Dhoni enjoys a slightly better average in ODIs in successful chases, it’s due to his unbeaten knocks and finishing skills while batting lower down the order. Dhoni has been unbeaten 45 times in successful ODI chases compared to 28 by Kohli who bats longer and aims to remain not out while taking India across the finish line.
Overall in ODI chases
It’s obvious Kohli likes to chase as he can control the innings then. He also has a sharp cricketing brain as he paces his innings during chases brilliantly according to the demand of the match situation. Some of Kohli’s best ODI knocks have come in chases.
Once Gautam Gambhir was so impressed with a Kohli special in a successful chase, he shared his man of the match award with the current Indian skipper.
Coming to the records, Kohli averages 69 in 124 ODIs with 24 tons and 28 fifties while chasing. Among players who have at least played 10 ODI innings, Ryan ten Doeschate averages 76.80, which is better than Kohli’s in ODI chases. But Ryan has played just 33 ODIs, which is negligible compared to Kohli’s tally of 218 ODI matches.
Dhoni averages 49.46 in ODI chases in 181 innings with 2 tons and 32 fifties. But for the major part of his career, he has batted down the order at No 5, 6 or 7 to do the job of a finisher for his country.
He has arrived at the crease when India have been 4/3 (like in Sydney ODI) and in deep trouble or few overs left to finish off the game for his country. Hence, he has not played many overs to score that many runs or when he has batted, it has been when India have been at a hopeless situation, to spice up his second innings average.
Both Dhoni and Kohli have been legends at their own right and playing spots. While Kohli has done his job of a finisher for a top-order batsman, carrying his bat through the innings whenever he is batting during the tense chases, Dhoni has donned the role of a finisher for a lower-order batsman, taking the team across the finish line or making a contest of a dead match.
Hence, the two, whenever they hang up their boots, will be remembered for their heroics in chases in ODIs.
At the moment, India are happy to see the two bat together and script many a victory in tough ODI chases which they are master at.