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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - MS Dhoni vs Yuvraj Singh

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Will MS Dhoni prevail or Yuvraj Singh? Find out!

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Friday Fights | The Big ODI Fight - MS Dhoni vs Yuvraj Singh

Two of India’s best finishers on their nights, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh go head-to-head in a bout of Friday Fights, without the interference from any others. Only statistics could propel one over the other, in this contest of Friday Fights but who will win this cruciating encounter?

On the field, there has been no sort of controversy between two of India’s best finishers in the yesteryear but off the field, there has been some. In the recent past, the left-handed all-rounder cited how MS Dhoni favoured Suresh Raina over him after the 2011 World Cup. But in between them, they have scored over 18,000 ODI runs for the national team and two ICC titles - 2007 T20 World and 2011 ODI World Cup. 

In this edition of Friday Fights, however, only one could walk away as the victors and their power-hitting won’t be a factor that would be considered. Love them, hate them but you can never ignore these two cricketers and their contribution to Indian cricket. It is a number-game here, let the fight begin.

ROUND 1 -> CAREER AVERAGE: DHONI STARTS OFF IN STYLE

It has always been MS Dhoni finishes it off in style for India but in his bout, he has started off in style knocking his dear ol’ friend Yuvraj straight up in the first round. His career average of 50.57 for a batsman who has finished more games than ever clearly edges past the left-hander’s average of 36.55. Safe to say, Dhoni has an edge at least in this round. Now, it’s up to Yuvraj to stage a return for himself. 

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 7

ROUND 2 -> AVERAGE IN FOREIGN CONDITIONS: Another DHONI MASTERCLASS

Home or away, Dhoni has always been well-supported, thanks to his fans. But just in terms of his performance in numbers, does he hold an edge over his counterpart? Well certainly, the Jharkhand man’s numbers are more than enough to push aside his competition with a difference of 15 runs as an average between them. Two rounds have gone by instantly, yet the result has remained the same, Dhoni 2-0 Yuvraj. 

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 7

ROUND 3 -> AVERAGE IN HOME CONDITIONS: WHO CAN STRIKE IT BETTER THAN HIM?

Call him a pie-chucker or a struggler here in this fight, Yuvraj Singh has just not been able to stand up to MS Dhoni in the contest thus far. At home too, his numbers are a shadow-self of what his captain has been able to produce. Clearly the now 39-year-old has started taking his boxing classes seriously post-retirement, edging past his former teammate, with 12 runs separating them. 

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 7

ROUND 4-> AVERAGE IN WORLD CUPS: YUVRAJ COMES BACK!!!

When it’s about the World Cup, the ghost of Yuvraj Singh naturally comes back to life, such has been his influence for the Indian team in the premier competition. Having played three editions of the World Cup, the left-handed all-rounder gains an incredible hand over his Indian skipper, at 52.71 compared to Dhoni’s 43.33. Talk about the influence on the biggest stage, there he is, ever-present. 

MS Dhoni - 8  Yuvraj Singh - 10

ROUND 5-> STRIKE RATE: BANG BANG, TWO IN A ROW

Two-in-a-freaking-row-baby, the Punjabi in Yuvraj has come out finally and has landed the fists on Dhoni, who had us all fooling in the first three rounds. All the training, the hard work has now come to good use and rightly so, these two are entertaining us on the field and inside the ring as well now. The round was pretty close, with the left-hander’s 87.67 edging narrowly past Dhoni’s 87.56

MS Dhoni - 9  Yuvraj Singh - 10

ROUND 6-> % OF 50s IN WINNING CAUSES: A YUVRAJ HATTRICK OFF THE FIELD

Surely it isn’t heading the other way, right? The contest has seen multiple turns thus far but nothing more dominant than this passage from the Punjabi man. Who would have dreamt of this, Yuvraj has a higher - a significant percentage difference over the former Indian skipper in terms of the 50s in winning causes. His 75% is 15% more than Dhoni’s 60.2% but the contest isn’t quite over thus far!

MS Dhoni - 7  Yuvraj Singh - 10

ROUND 7 -> NO OF BOUNDARIES PER INNINGS (4s and 6s): FOUR-IN-A-ROW

Another one, another round bites the dust for MS Dhoni, the bout is seemingly slipping away from his hands. At the other end, however, the hands are firm and quite ready for the contest as Yuvraj packs the punch with his fourth consecutive round win. He is thoroughly pumped up and has also pulled off the chainsaw celebration, signalling the end of his former skipper. But this is boxing, it isn’t going to be that easy for him but this round has been, with 3.82 boundaries per innings compared to Dhoni’s 3.55

MS Dhoni - 7  Yuvraj Singh - 10

ROUND 8 -> AVERAGE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: DHONI’S BACK!!

He soaked in the pressure during the middle-phase of his bout as he does in the middle overs of an ODI innings. Come to the start of the death overs, he is back, operating like a monk who has been let loose. Calm yet composed and concentrated, the right-hander wants to grab his opponent by the scruff of his neck and land the sucker punch. In an attempt to land the right sucker punch, Dhoni lands a brilliant jab with 19 runs more on average in successful chases. Can Dhoni finish it off in style?

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 6

ROUND 9 -> STRIKE RATE IN SUCCESSFUL CHASES: DHONI’S WARNING!

Yes, he’s a calculative guru but he knows how to dominate and more importantly, turn the screw when the contest is heading to a close finish. We are talking about a man, who has soaked in all kinds of pressure in one of the world’s most scrutinized jobs - captain of the Indian cricket team. The Jharkhand man certainly knows where he is and what it takes to beat his opponent and he’s just emulating it in fine fashion. But Yuvraj stands clueless, knowing that he has left it too late to bag a point on his back, striking the ball at 93.72 against 96.16. 

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 9

ROUND 10 -> 100s IN WINNING CAUSE: YUV-ULTIMATE ROUND

Have you always heard of the penultimate final which can change the shape of the entire tournament? This is the Yuv-Ultimate version of it in the boxing ring, as the southpaw lands his left fist right into Dhoni’s cheerful face, with 11 hundreds in winning cause compared to his opponent’s seven, staying true to his jersey number. One more round to go, who will topple the other?

MS Dhoni - 7  Yuvraj Singh - 10

FINAL ROUND -> 50s WITH STRIKE RATE OVER 140: WHO FINISHES IT OFF?

Two of India’s biggest finishers have got past ten rounds of intense fighting but this round will arguably decide who was better than the other, purely in terms of numbers. Let the round begin. There is the shuffle from Dhoni and Yuvraj equally is trying to counter it with a big backlift, trying to intimidate his opponent. A lot of argy-bargy in the virtual crowd, everyone wants their hero to win on the night. Both of them look equally determined and tired at the same time, shuffling across looking at each other eye-to-eye. Eye contact has been made but no physical contact yet, with none of them risking the bout. What’s that, there comes the fist from the right-hander which is the ultimate blow in his fixture. Yes, he has done it but we are just waiting on the confirmation from the referee. 

MS Dhoni - 10  Yuvraj Singh - 9

WINNER BY UNANIMOUS DECISION - MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI

FINAL SCORE: 100-95

It took 11 rounds to separate the two in a pulsating fixture of boxing, a divine boxing experience for the first-timers. The expectations have been raised in the tournament, with every round trying to outdo the other in terms of the results and this one will certainly go down as one of the best. While two of them tried to keep the tempo going, there was Dhoni who timed the entire bout in a way that he has specialised in international cricket. Yuvraj would be heartbroken, he came so close in this contest yet so far on the night, as he lost out by just five freaking points. 

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