The legend, the hero, the inspiration of many Indians- Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Saturday through an Instagram post.
Arguably India most loved cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, the Ranchi boy has made a huge name for himself in 15 years of a long illustrious career. Leading the Indian team to 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 WC glory. After making his international debut on 23rd December 2004 against Bangladesh where he got out on a duck in an unfortunate manner (run-out) and his last match ended with same as he got run-out on 50 in the semifinal of 2019 World Cup which ended India's hope for winning the biggest trophy for the third time. It was not the ending anyone was expecting as India were the favourites to lift the coveted trophy but one bad game cost them everything. (Also Read | MS Dhoni – The Pioneer of India’s rise from the ashes of 2007 ODI World Cup debacle)
A legacy of fearless cricket ended with Dhoni hanging his boots, he played 350 One Day Internationals with the same passion. He reinvented Indian cricket after 2007 ODI World Cup debacle.
Here are the stats of MS Dhoni illustrious limited-overs career that proved that he is one of the biggest match-winners India had ever produced.
As a batsman in ODI cricket
MS Dhoni is a part of the elite list of players who have scored 10,000 ODI runs for India including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli. In 350 ODI matches, Dhoni scored ------ runs at an astonishing average of --.--. The best finisher of his time has smashed -- centuries while -- fifties for India. The powerhouse from Ranchi is famous for his huge sixes and in his distinguished career Dhoni hit --- sixes and is - in the list of most number of sixes in ODI cricket.
Breakdown of his ODI career…
The first phase of his career was about India telling the world of the arrival of their version of an aggressive wicketkeeper-batsman much like Australia's Adam Gilchrist and Sri Lanka's Sangakkara.
After a poor maiden series in Bangladesh, Dhoni scored his maiden international ton en-route to a sensational 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam. And a year later, he ramped up his highest career score of an unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka in Jaipur. The then-newbie scored 1,735 runs in 53 innings during that period, the seventh-most among all batsmen.
The second phase (between 2007 and 2011) saw the rise of Dhoni as a tormentor with the willow, scoring 4,762 runs in 122 innings. He was the highest run-getter during the period, standing well ahead of other contemporary stars like Sangakkara (4,472 runs - 2nd) and AB de Villiers (3,863 runs - 7th). He also finished off with 1000-plus runs in three consecutive years during this period – 2007 to 2009 – and was, in fact, the joint highest run-getter in the format in 2009 alongside Australia’s Ricky Ponting.
It was also during this time that Dhoni was handed over the captaincy reigns. He was named the Indian skipper for the inaugural World T20 in South Africa where he guided a young team, in the absence of some big names of Indian cricket, to title triumph, India's first big trophy since 1983 World Cup. Following the tournament, he became the ODI skipper and later guided India to the famous 2011 World Cup glory on home soil.
Post the World Cup victory and until 2016, Dhoni continued with his dominance as a batsman, although compared with other contemporaries of that period, who all batted higher in the batting lineup, the veteran did not have as many runs to back his case. With 2,613 runs in 71 innings at an impressive average of 50.25, Dhoni was well outside the top-10 bracket, but his average was the second-best among middle-order batters after De Villiers (3,869 runs at 65.57). It was also during this period that Dhoni guided India to their maiden ICC Champions Trophy triumph, in England in 2013.
The final three years of his ODI appearances, (July 9, 2019 being his last) witnessed a gradual downfall in his scoring rate with 2018 being his worst ever calendar year (275 runs in 13 innings at 25.00).
As a finisher
Among the few things that have become synonymous with Dhoni is the word 'Finisher'. Limited-overs cricket has witnessed quite a few good finishers like Australia's Michael Bevan or Mike Hussey or South Africa's Lance Klusener, but has there been a better finisher than Dhoni? No. Period.
The signs of Dhoni as a finisher was witnessed in the early days of his career. Remember his 72 off 46 in Lahore in 2006 when India required 99 off remaining 92 balls? And then in the same series, Dhoni, along with Yuvraj Singh, finished off the chase of remaining 146 off 118 balls within 99 deliveries. However, the most iconic finish still remains that history-scripting six in the 2011 World Cup final.
Over the course of his career, he became a more calculative finisher, took fewer risks, and backed himself for the big showdown with fewer balls remaining. According to ESPNCricinfo, Dhoni's scoring rate increases beyond 170 in final five overs of an ODI match while batting first, and to almost 140 while chasing. Of the 11 games in his career that Dhoni has batted till the final over, India won seven and lost three.
As a captain in ODI cricket
If Sourav Ganguly set up the foundation of fearless cricket then Dhoni took it forward to lead India to every ICC trophy, be it 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI WC or 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Dhoni stood as captain in 200 ODIs, which is third-most by any skipper. Ricky Ponting is on the top of the list with 230 matches while former New Zealand great follows him in the list with 215 games.
Out of 200 matches, Dhoni led to India to 110 victories, he faced defeat in 74 matches, five were tied and 11 ended in a no-result contest. (Also Read | Does MS Dhoni walk away as the greatest ever Indian captain?)
Dhoni was first appointed as India's ODI team captain in 2007 taking charge from Rahul Dravid. The young dynamic player was the one that India needed in their desperate time and Dhoni led the Indian team to their first bilateral series win in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. He last captained the Men in Blue against Afghanistan in 2018 Asia Cup when regular skipper Virat Kohli was rested from the tournament and stand-in captain Rohit Sharma was out of the game due to fever. The match was ended in a tie and it marked as the 200th ODI for Dhoni as a captain of the Indian cricket team in ODIs.
India’s former captain was not a conventional wicketkeeper like Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara or Mark Boucher but his unorthodox skills and game awareness was enough for him to join the elite list of glovesmen.
Preferred over Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik in the initial stages of career, Dhoni registered 444 dismissals in ODI career behind the stumps. He holds the record of a maximum number of stumpings – 123.