‘MS Dhoni has surpassed Sachin in terms of craze and fanbase’: MSD vs Tendulkar debate erupts after Thala’s near-heist | Cricket

MS Dhoni rolled back years with a special knock that left fans enthralled late Sunday night. Despite Chennai Super Kings being well out of the chase following a stellar bowling display in the middle overs from Delhi Capitals, Dhoni’s unbeaten knock of 37 from 16, sent fans berserk across the globe in what was his first outing with the bat since lifting the IPL trophy last season as a captain. However, the vintage knock sparked an epic fan battle on social media, with many claiming that Dhoni has now “surpassed Sachin Tendulkar in terms of craze and fanbase.”

MS Dhoni's near-heist sparks epic fan debate
MS Dhoni’s near-heist sparks epic fan debate

With the likes of Ishant Sharma, Anrich Nortje and Mukesh Kumar troubling CSK with cutters and wide yorkers, along with Axar Patel putting on an economical three-over spell in, Delhi managed to bounce back after Ajinkya Rahane threatened to take the game away with his 45-run knock in the 192-run chase.

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However, in his first innings in IPL 2024, Dhoni stepped up in style, as he smashed two boundaries in the first three balls he faced, against Mukesh, before floating a six over extra cover against Khaleel in the next over. But he reserved his ultimate best for the final over, where he punished Nortje for 20 runs, comprising two sixes and as many boundaries, which sent the crowd into a frenzy.

The Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, in Visakhapatnam, was supposed to be Delhi Capitals’ home ground for this season, but a sea of yellow, donning the iconic No. 7 jersey, who invaded the venue at the start of the evening on Sunday, chanted ‘Dhoni-Dhoni’ throughout that special knock. Meanwhile, social media witnessed an epic battle between fans, who felt Dhoni’s fandom is more than that of former India captain Sachin Tendulkar. Here are some of the reactions.

Despite what the fans may say, Dhoni continues to consider Sachin as his idol. In an event for CSK last year, Dhoni admitted saying: “Growing up when I was your age, I used to watch him play and always thought I wanted to play like him but couldn’t. Inside in my heart I always wanted to play like him, he was a cricketing idol growing up.”

Meanwhile, before the start of the IPL 2024 opener at Chepauk, Sachin, in a conversation on Jio Cinema, recalled the time he recommended Dhoni for India captaincy after BCCI had offered him the role in 2007. He said: “The BCCI offered me captaincy in 2007, but my body was in terrible shape. My observation of MS Dhoni was very good. His mind is very stable, he’s calm, he’s instinctive, and makes the right decisions. I recommended him for the captaincy”. And the rest remains history. Dhoni led India to the inaugural T20 World Cup win that year before captaining the side to 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy win.


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