MS Dhoni Career


image-ll6vmov4MS Dhoni has led India to three ICC Trophies (Source: Twitter)

It would always be challenging to put down the career of a player like MS Dhoni in words. He has been one of the best servants of Indian cricket, taking the nation to newer heights in the game. 

In this article, we will take a look at the journey of Dhoni from being an ignored name to the legend that he has become now, at the twilight of his career. 

This incredible journey started at the DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir school in Ranchi, Jharkhand (then Bihar). Mahi, as his friends fondly called him, was spotted because of his excellent goalkeeping skills by Keshav Ranjan Banerjee the school cricket coach. He inspired Dhoni to keep wickets for the school team. Dhoni's unusual and excellent wicketkeeping skills allowed him to be a regular keeper for the Commando Cricket Club. This set in motion an excellent journey which brought many accolades to India in the future.



The Rise of Legend: MS Dhoni's Early Cricket Career

The Early Days of MS Dhoni's Cricket Journey

Following a good season at the club level, MS Dhoni was selected to play for the Central Coal Fields limited by Deval Sahay, Ranchi District Cricket President. This was his first try at the professional level of cricket, and he passed the test with flying colours. His exceptional performance gave CCL a promotion to division A and him a chance to play for the junior Bihar cricket team. 

image-ll6vvcfbMS Dhoni played for Bihar at the beginning of his domestic career (Source: Twitter)

In the 1998-99 Cooch Bihar Trophy, Dhoni played for the Bihar U-19 team and had a moderate tournament scoring 176 runs in five matches. That year did not bear much fruit in his career as he failed to get further higher-level selections. 

But in the next season, he bounced back and scored 488 runs in 12 innings, affecting 24 dismissals from behind the stumps. In the final of the Cooch Bihar Trophy, he played a gutsy knock of 84 runs helping Bihar to 357. But his efforts went in vain, as his future international teammate Yuvraj Singh alone scored 358 runs helping Punjab to a mammoth total of 839. 

But his performances got noticed, and he got selected for that season's Bihar team in the Ranji Trophy. He scored a fifty in his debut match against Assam. However, Dhoni's maiden first-class century came in the next season (2000-2001) against Bengal.

Catching the Selectors' Eye: 

After a couple of relatively moderate seasons in the domestic season, MS Dhoni started grabbing attention in the 2002-03 season. His effective hard-hitting batting style started bearing fruit lower down the order as he smashed two half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy that year.  

Dhoni smashed a century against Assam in the first match of the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2003-04 season. He continued his excellent work, scoring 244 runs from 4 innings while being part of the East Zone team that won the Deodhar Trophy. 

Dhoni was also a part of the East Zone team in the Duleep Trophy final, where he replaced the then-Indian team wicketkeeper, Deep Dasgupta. Though he scored a fighting half-century, East Zone failed to win the match. 

image-ll6w1vkxMS Dhoni while representing East Zone Duleep Trophy (Source: Twitter)

After this, Dhoni was soon spotted by Talent Research Development Wing (a part of the BCCI's initiative to bring small-town talents to light). Dhoni impressed Prakash Poddar (a TRDO) while playing for Jharkhand at Jamshedpur in 2003 and came to the National Cricket Academy (NCA) notice. 

For his brilliant show in the limited overs, Dhoni was selected as a part of the India A team sent for a tour to Zimbabwe and Kenya. Against ZimbabweXI at Harare Sports Club, Dhoni impressed one and all with his keeping skills as he affected 11 dismissals from behind the stumps. In the following tri-series involving Pakistan A, India A and Kenya, Dhoni set the stage ablaze, scoring 362 runs in six innings at an average of 72.40. He was a key cog in India A winning the tournament, bringing him to the then-Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly's notice. 


MS Dhoni ODI Career

The Beginning of MS Dhoni's International Career

While MS Dhoni was getting noticed for his flamboyant style, Indian cricket was going through a revolutionary phase under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly. The Prince of Kolkata groomed Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper for the 2003 World Cup, indicating that India was looking for a keeper whose abilities were not only limited behind the stumps. 

He was picked up for the Indian ODI team that went to Bangladesh in 2004. Unfortunately, he had the worst start to his career as he was run out for a duck. Even after three moderate performances in the series, Ganguly backed him, and Dhoni got selected for the next home series against Pakistan.

image-ll6vtecaMS Dhoni made his debut against Bangladesh in ODIs (Source: Twitter)

In the second match of the series, Dhoni's fifth ODI, Ganguly promoted him to number three, and the world of cricket saw the rise of a phenomenon. Dhoni smashed 148 runs off 123 deliveries and made his way into the hearts of millions of cricket fans giving birth to a legacy that will be immortal in the books of Indian cricket. 

MS Dhoni Batting Record in ODIs

MS Dhoni played 350 ODI matches for India. In these matches, he batted in 297 innings and scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57 and a strike rate of 87.56. His ODI highest score of 183* against Sri Lanka remains the highest individual score by a wicketkeeper and the second-highest in a successful chase. Here is a glimpse of his ODI record:

Matches
Innings
Runs
Average
Strike Rate
50s/100s
35029710,77350.5787.5673/10


MS Dhoni Captaincy  in ODIs

MS Dhoni took over the reins in the ODIs in 2007. His first assignment as a skipper of the Indian ODI team was against Australia in a seven-match series. Australia won the series 4-2, where Andre Symonds played a key role for the Aussies. 

But this did not at all mark the beginning of the wonderful things that were to come under the leadership of MS. His first series win as a skipper was against Pakistan in November 2007, where India clinched the series 3-2. 

image-ll6w3e5eMS Dhoni with 2011 World Cup Trophy (Source: Twitter)

In 2008, India won the CB series in Australia under MS Dhoni. This was the first win for India in Australia in a multi-nation tournament after the win in the Benson and Hedges World Championship of cricket in 1985.

In the following year, 2009, India managed to win the ODI series in New Zealand by a margin of 3-1. This was India's first-ever bilateral series win in New Zealand. 

Moving onto 2010, India won the Asia Cup under the leadership of MS. This was India's first Asia Cup trophy since 1995.

The biggest success followed this in MSD's rein; the ODI World Cup win in 2011. Dhoni played a key role in the night of the final as he scored a not-out 91 alongside an outstanding knock of 97 by Gautam Gambhir. 

India also won the ICC Champions trophy in 2013 under Dhoni's leadership. After winning this trophy, MS Dhoni became the first and, till now, the only skipper in the world to win all three ICC trophies. 

Stats
Matches
Won
Lost
Win Percentage

Overall2001107455%
In Multi-National Tournaments3224575%


MS Dhoni in Test Cricket

MS Dhoni made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in 2005. The last Test match where MS represented India was against Australia in 2014. 

image-ll6w4eebMS Dhoni made his Test debut against Sri Lanka (Source: Twitter)

In a career that spanned nine years, MS Dhoni played 90 Tests for India. He batted in 144 innings and scored 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09. He scored 33 half-centuries and six centuries. The highest score for MS Dhoni in Test cricket was 224 against Australia at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Here is a glimpse of MS Dhoni's Test career:

Matches
Innings
Runs
Average
50s/100s
Highest
901444,87638.09
33/6224


MS Dhoni Captaincy in Test Cricket: A Tale of Ice and Fire

Whenever we talk about MS Dhoni, the captain, we talk about his achievements in the limited-overs. This might be that phase of Indian cricket faced where they lost eight consecutive Tests away from home under his captaincy. 

image-ll6w5jh1MS Dhoni scored his maiden Test hundred against Pakistan (Source: Twitter)

As a red-ball skipper, his records show he is not an outstanding captain. Critics believed he sometimes went too defensive too early in the longest format. However, the numbers are near-perfect if we talk about his record in home Tests. Also, under his leadership, India attained the number-one rank in Test cricket for the first time. 

With all the negatives and positives of MSD's captaincy, we might look at the brighter side and accept that it was the phase which was preparing team India for the dominance that they showed in away Tests in the future.

Stats
Matches
Won
Lost
Win Percentage
Overall60271845%
Home Tests3021370%
Away Test3061520%


MS Dhoni in T20Is: The Trailblazer

MS Dhoni featured in 98 T20Is for India. He batted in 85 innings and scored 1,617 runs at an average of 37.60 and a strike rate of 126.13. Here is a glimpse of his T20I career:

Matches
Innings
Runs
Average
Strike Rate
Highest
98851,61737.60126.1356


MS Dhoni captaincy in T20I Cricket

India won the first-ever T20I World Cup in 2007 under the leadership of MS Dhoni. This was a huge achievement for the team, as the squad that went to South Africa was as inexperienced as the skipper himself. 

image-ll6w7n60MS Dhoni was the captain of the Indian team in the 2007 T20 World Cup (Source: Twitter)

In 2016, India defeated Australia in a T20I series in their home by a 3-0 margin. This was the first time Australia was whitewashed in a limited-overs series on their home turf by a team. 

Dhoni also became the first skipper to win the Asia Cup in the T20I format in 2016.

However, MSD led team India in five more T20 World Cups but could not lift the trophy again. 

Matches
Won
Lost
Win Percentage
72 41
2856.94


MS Dhoni in IPL: The Legend of 'Thala'

The Indian Premier League has been the biggest league in the cricketing world since its inception. Whenever we talk of MS Dhoni and IPL, his association with Chennai Super Kings has been the biggest highlight. 

image-ll6w8nsfMS Dhoni has led the CSK team form the inaugural season in 2008 (Source: Twitter)

Dhoni has led CSK in all thirteen seasons that the team has participated in the league. During this extensive period, CSK have won five trophies and have played ten finals. The imprints of MS, the leader, will forever be crept into the franchise's history. Even after years of Dhoni's absence from the game, how he led the franchise will be a lesson in building an empire from nothing.

Notably, MS Dhoni led the now disbanded Rising Pune Super Giants in 2016, when CSK was suspended from the league for a couple of seasons as a result of the 'Spot Fixing Scandal'.

Stats
Matches
Won
Lost
Win Percentage
Overall2261339158.84%
For CSK
2121288260.37%


MS Dhoni Batting Record in IPL: The Evolution of the Finisher

image-ll6wc0z2MS Dhoni evolved as a finisher in the IPL (Source: Twitter)

MS Dhoni has been one of the key cogs in the CSK batting mechanism over the years. In most cases, he has finished some impossible games for the team, coming out to bat at number six or seven. It was probably in IPL, where he kept polishing his game towards the end of a match, which was translated into the international format and earned him the title of 'One of the best finishers' to have ever graced the game.

Matches
Innings
Runs