4. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (India) – 91 vs Srilanka, 2011
Michael Atherton described this Dhoni special from the 2011 World Cup as one of the best innings played by a captain in a World Cup Final, obviously after the great Clive Lloyd. Mahendra Singh Dhoni had led his side very well in the tournament, and they had the final hindrance – Srilanka to be crowned champs after 1983. Srilanka was not an easy nut to crack. Srilanka batted first and put a daunting task on the board with Mahela Jayawardene scoring that quintessential hundred in the final. Indian bowling was taken to the cleaners in the final over with some fierce stroke making from Thisara Perera. India was set a target of 275 for victory, and the fans already became tense about chasing this huge score. Virender Sehwag, on whom we had hoped to give an explosive start was out for a second ball duck. Sachin Tendulkar fell prey to Malinga like Sehwag. India was ailing at 31/2 from 7 overs and already there were tension all across in this high pressure game. But Virat Kohli and Gautam Gambhir showed good composure and set about to stabilise the proceedings. Even though Kohli looked good for a big innings, the partnership was broken after an 83 run partnership stand. Captain Marvel surprised a few when he promoted himself and came to bat above Yuvraj Singh who was having the tournament of his life. But that is why Dhoni is special, he reads the situation really well. While Gambhir was continuing in the way he started, Dhoni was setting himself up for an innings that would be remembered as one of the best innings played by a captain in the final. Dhoni was getting into his mood, carting boundaries over the extra cover region. Dhoni made 91 off 79 balls in an innings of determination and aggression. He would go on to finish the match in typical Dhoni style – with a six! Mahendra Singh Dhoni is no.4 in the list of top 10 greatest innings in world cup.