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Picture Credit: BCCI

MS Dhoni, India's most successful captain and wicket-keeper batsman is set to turn 40 on the 7th of July. Dhoni, who is often referred to as 'Captain Cool', has attained a cult status image throughout the years. His incredible talent as a finisher and aggressive shot selections during the early days of his career in 2005/6 itself had made him a big stage player at that time. His captaincy skills in white-ball cricket made him one of the best captains of this era. 

On this birthday week special, let us have a look at 50 cool stats and facts about MS Dhoni's career:

1. Though MS Dhoni started his international career with a duck on his debut match, he smashed a spectacular 148 (123) against Pakistan in just his 5th international innings. At that time, it was 3rd highest score by a wicket-keeper batsman in ODIs.

Highest ODI Score by a wicket-keeper in ODIs (till 5th April 2005):

Adam Gilchrist - 172 vs Zim, 2004
Adam Gilchrist - 154 vs SL, 1999
MS Dhoni - 148 vs Pak, 2005

2. In the later part of 2005, MS Dhoni smashed his career-best ODI score of 183* vs SL in Jaipur. That remains to be the highest score for a wicket-keeper batsman in ODIs till now.

3. MS Dhoni is the first Indian player to smash 10 sixes in an ODI innings

4. MS Dhoni's 69 (52) vs WI in 2006 remains to be the lowest score by a wicket-keeper batsman in Test innings of at least 6 sixes. 

5. MS Dhoni's 218-run partnership with Mahela Jayawardene in 2007 was the highest 6th wicket partnership in ODIs at that time.

6. MS Dhoni's much-needed knock of  76*(159) at Lord's ground in 2007 helped Team India to ensure a draw when the team had just 1 wicket left in their hand. 

7. MS Dhoni smashed 1719 runs in ODIs at a batting average of 40.92 with an excellent strike rate of 91.97 under Rahul Dravid's captaincy from 2005-2007.

8. MS Dhoni as captain won the inaugural T20 WC in 2007.

9. During CB 2008 series, India for the first time defeated Australia in Australia in a multi-nation ODI series finals under MS Dhoni captaincy.

10. In IPL 2008, MS Dhoni was bought for the highest price of 1.5 Million Dollars in IPL auction.

11. MS Dhoni remains to be the only Indian player to win his first four Tests as captain. He made his Test captaincy debut in the year 2008.

12. In 2009, India ended up winning the Test series against New Zealand in New Zealand after a gap of 41 years under MS Dhoni's captaincy.

13. At the end of ICC Annual rankings in 2010 and 2011, Team India were the number 1 ranked team in Test Cricket under MS Dhoni's leadership. He led India to the number 1 Test ranking for the first time in 2009.

14. MS Dhoni was ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2008 & 2009. He has also won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007.

15. Under MS Dhoni's leadership, CSK remains to be the most successful team in IPL by reaching playoffs in all the seasons that they played from 2008-2019.

16. In IPL 2010, MS Dhoni's 54*(29) against KXIP helped CSK enter the Semi-Finals. When CSK needed 70 runs off the last 6 overs, Dhoni chipped in smashed 30 runs off the last 2 overs and single-handedly won the game for CSK.

17. MS Dhoni as captain won two consecutive IPL trophies in 2010 & 2011. Later CSK faced a 2-year ban in 2016 & 2017. In CSK's comeback year in 2018, MS Dhoni's yellow army ended up winning the title for 3rd time. 

Dhoni as captain also won two CL T20 trophies in 2010 & 2014. CSK won two more IPL titles in 2021 and 2023 also.

18. In 2010/11 India managed to draw Test series against South Africa in South Africa. That remains to be the only instance of India not losing a Test series on South African soil. India ended up winning 1 Test match in Durban. 

19. MS Dhoni played a crucial knock of 91*(79) in WC 2011 Finals and that helped his team lift the WC trophy after a long gap of almost 28 years.

20. MS Dhoni remains to be the only player to smash more than 8,000 runs in ODI cricket while batting at number 5 to 7 position.

21. MS Dhoni remains to be the only player to captain more than 30 games in T20 World Cup. Also, India remains to be the only team so far to have used only 1 captain in T20 World Cup from 2007-2016.

22. MS Dhoni remains to be the only player to captain more than 200 games for a franchise cricket (CSK) in T20s (IPL + CL T20).

23. MS Dhoni has smashed 78 sixes in Test Cricket, which is 2nd highest for an Indian player after Virender Sehwag.

24. MS Dhoni's 224 vs Australia in Test Cricket remains to be the 3rd highest score by a wicket-keeper in Test Cricket after Andy Flower's 232* and Kumar Sangakkara's 230.

25. In 2013, India won six Test matches consecutively which was a record for the Indian team at that time.

26. In 2013, MS Dhoni became the only captain to win 3 different ICC event trophies. (T20 World Cup, World Cup and Champions Trophy)

27. MS Dhoni as captain won two Asia Cup in 2010 and Asia Cup in 2016. Though he stepped down from captaincy post-2016, during Asia Cup 2018, he got the opportunity to play his 200th ODI match as captain.

28. On 30th December 2014, the Whole cricketing world was surprised when MS Dhoni decided to hang his boots from Test format.

29. MS Dhoni remains to be the only wicket-keeper to have made more than 100 stumpings in ODIs.

Most stumpings as wicket-keeper in ODIs :

MS Dhoni - 123
Kumar Sangakkara - 99
Romesh Kaluwitharana - 75

30. MS Dhoni has played 332 games as captain in international cricket which remains to be the highest for any player.

31. MS Dhoni is the only player to be involved in having 2000+ runs partnerships for the 5th wicket and having 1000+ runs partnerships for the 6th wicket in ODIs.

Most Partnership runs for 5th wicket in ODIs:-  MS Dhoni & Suresh Raina (2421 runs from 54 innings)

Most Partnership runs for 6th wicket in ODIs:- MS Dhoni & Ravindra Jadeja (1208 runs from 39 innings)

32. MS Dhoni was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2009 & also with the Padma Bhushan award in 2018.
33. Only two cricketers have a batting average of 50+ in ODIs among players who have smashed 10,000 (or) more runs in ODIs. MS Dhoni is one among the two batsman

34. MS Dhoni remains to be the only player to have won more than 100 games as captain in IPL. 

35. MS Dhoni has a batting average of 40.25 in IPL. Only 2 Indian players have a batting average of 40+ in IPL among players who have smashed at least 500 runs.

36. MS Dhoni remains to be the only player to smash 2 centuries in ODIs while batting at number 7 (or) lower position.

37. MS Dhoni has played 29 matches in World Cup which is the 4th highest for an Indian Player so far after Sachin Tendulkar, Javagal Srinath and Mohammad Azharuddin. Out of 29 matches, Dhoni played has captained in 17 of those games and won 14 matches in WC.

38.  MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings won 6 Fair Play awards for playing in a good spirit in 2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015.

39. In the 2017 ODI series between India and England, he had a record-breaking 256 runs partnership with Yuvraj Singh for the 4th wicket. That remains to be the 2nd highest fourth-wicket partnership for Team India in ODIs.

40. MS Dhoni became the first Indian player to smash 200 sixes in ODIs on 30th June 2017.

41. On 14th July 2018, MS Dhoni became the 4th Indian player after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid to smash 10,000 runs in ODIs.

42. MS Dhoni as wicket-keeper has effected 829 dismissals in international cricket which is 3rd highest after Mark Boucher & Adam Gilchrist.

43. Only two Indian players have played World Cup matches after turning 38 years old. One is Sunil Gavaskar during the 1987 World Cup and another one is MS Dhoni in World Cup Semi-Final match against New Zealand in 2019 WC.

44. MS Dhoni has represented India in 535 international matches which is 2nd highest after Sachin Tendulkar. MS Dhoni has represented India in 347 ODIs, 90 Test matches and 98 T20Is.

45. MS Dhoni has overall captained 288 T20 matches which are again the most for any player.

Most T20s played as captain:

MS Dhoni - 288
Daren Sammy - 208
Virat Kohli - 177

46. From 2010-2019, MS Dhoni played 143 matches, consecutively, for CSK and that remains to be the 3rd joint-highest for any player.

Most consecutive matches played for a single team in T20s :

Suresh Raina - 155 for CSK
Steven Croft - 148 for Lancashire
MS Dhoni - 143 for CSK
Virat Kohli - 143 for RCB

47. MS Dhoni on 12th Jan 2019 became the 5th player to score 10,000 runs for Team India alone in ODIs.

48. In Australia vs India 2019 ODI series, MS Dhoni became the oldest player to win the Man of the Series award.

49. In IPL 2019, MS Dhoni recorded his highest individual score 84* vs RCB. In that game, he also recorded the longest six of that IPL season as well, which was 111 metres long.  

50. On 10th July 2019, MS Dhoni played his last international match against New Zealand. He was unfortunately run-out in the World Cup Semi-Final after completing his fifty and that run-out ended the hopes of Team India reaching the 2019 WC Final.