It is that time of the year. It is July 7, yet another birthday of India’s most loved cricketer MS Dhoni. With this birthday, Dhoni turns 36 and here are some mind-boggling statistics about MSD from his illustrious career.
1 — Dhoni is the only Indian till date to be dismissed run out for golden duck on ODI debut. A total of 6 players have achieved this unwanted feat in ODIs. Dhoni was the first to fall under this unwanted list in this century. After Dhoni, two more cricketers got this record to their name — Sharafuddin Ashraf (Afghanistan) and Rilee Rossouw (South Africa). Before Dhoni, players to achieve this record are Ijaz Faqih in 1980 (Pakistan), Paul Allott in 1982 (England), Gavin Rennie in 1996 (Zimbabwe).
2 — Despite being wicketkeeper all his international career so far, Dhoni bowled in 9 innings. 7 in Tests and twice in ODIs. This is most number of times a wicketkeeper bowl in international cricket. Bill Storer of England holds the 2nd spot in the list by bowling 4 times as wicketkeeper in international cricket.
3 — Dhoni bowled 132 balls in international cricket after being designated wicketkeeper of the team, the 2nd most by a wicketkeeper after Storer, who bowled 168 balls. Dhoni bowled in both Tests and ODIs while Storer did only in Tests and that too between 1897 – 1899.
4 — Out of 9 innings, Dhoni bowled 8 as captain, which is also the most by any captain-wicketkeeper, followed by Tatenda Taibu (3). As non-captain, Dhoni bowled only once, which happened during the 2nd Test against Pakistan in 2005-06. Rahul Dravid was captain and exchanged wicketkeeping gears with Dhoni so that he could bowl an over with second new ball on Day 5 of the match.
5 — As captain-wicketkeeper, Dhoni is only one of the two players to have taken a wicket in international cricket. Taibu is the other one. Dhoni scalped his only wicket in 12th match of ICC Champions Trophy 2009 against West Indies by dismissing Tim Dowlin in his very first over. However, Taibu holds the record for taking most wickets as captain-wicketkeeper. He has got three wickets in international cricket, 2 in ODIs and 1 in Tests.
6 — The only century by a captain at number 7 position or below in ODIs is by Dhoni. In the 1st ODI of the series against Pakistan in 2012-13 at Chennai, Dhoni played a lone hand of unbeaten 113 off 125 deliveries, including 7 fours and 3 sixes to take India to a respectable total of 227. Although, India lost that match 6 wickets.
7 — Since 2012, Dhoni is the only batsman in ODIs whose batting average never went below 50 with 250-run cut-off. In this period, Dhoni scored 2,999 runs at 51.70. A total of 7 batsmen (excluding Dhoni), scored in excess of 1,000 runs in ODI with the average of 50 or above but all of their’s average went below 50 at some point.
8 — Dhoni scored 212 runs in an ODI series of 2011-12 against England. You must be wondering what is special about that. Well, with those many runs, Dhoni scored the most runs by an Indian in a series across formats without being dismissed. Moreover, India won that series by 5-0. The previous record holder from India was Dilip Vengsarkar for smashing 186 runs against Australia in 1986-87 Test series.
9 — He scored unbeaten 139 twice in his ODI career. Both the times for different teams. Dhoni is the only player to score in excess of 130 for two different teams and that too unbeaten and identical scores. First for Asia XI against Africa XI in 2007 and second for India against Australia in 2013.
10 — Dhoni’s highest 2nd highest score in both Tests and ODIs is 148. He is one of the rare cricketers to the identical highest 2nd highest scores in both the formats of the game. Both of his 148 came against Pakistan. First in ODI in 2005 and then in Tests in 2005-06.
11 — With 60 Tests as wicketkeeper/captain, Dhoni is the only cricketer to lead a side as wicketkeeper at least in 50 Tests. No other wicketkeepers have even led their side in 30 Tests. Mushfiqur Rahim has captained Bangladesh as wicket-keeper in 26 Tests so far, the 2nd most after Dhoni.
12 — Dhoni has hit 10 centuries in ODIs but the tally could have been more if he had converted his 90s into hundreds. So far, Dhoni has got six 90s in ODIs, the joint-most for among wicketkeepers along with Adam Gilchrist and Kumar Sangakkara. Out of those 6, Dhoni remained unbeaten thrice. Moreover, as captain/wicketkeeper Dhoni has most 90s in ODIs — 4, with 2 unbeaten.
13 — In terms of half-centuries, Dhoni has 47 fifties in ODIs as captain, which also could have been much more if he had converted 40s into 50s. As captain/wicketkeeper, Dhoni ended his innings in 40s 15 times. This is the most by any captain/wicketkeeper in ODIs. 6 out of them were unbeaten. No other captain/wicketkeeper has even 10 40s in ODIs.
14 — Dhoni has been dismissed on duck for only 8 times in ODIs from 255 innings. That means, Dhoni gets out on duck after every 31.875 innings, which is the 2nd highest for any wicketkeeper-batsman with 100 ODI innings after Brad Haddin (54 innings/duck).
15 — No wicketkeeper has won as many Man of the Series award as Dhoni in ODIs. The former Indian captain has won 5 Man of the Series, the most for any wicketkeeper, followed by AB de Villiers with 4.
16 — Not only in terms of stats but Dhoni also rules when it comes to ICC awards. He is the only cricketer to have won ICC Cricketer of the Year award twice. No other cricketer has achieved this feat.
17 — When it comes to stumpings, no wicketkeeper come close to Dhoni. In an ODI, the record for most stumpings is 3 and Dhoni has done it for record 3 times. Before him, 4 wicketkeepers recorded 3 stumpings in an innings twice in their career — Ian Healy, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Moin Khan, Kumar Sangakkara. Moreover, Dhoni is one of the 2 cricketers to achieve this feat for two different teams as he took 3 stumpings for Asia XI as well against Africa XI in 2007. Sangakkara is the other player to record the similar feat by representing Asia XI against ICC XI in 2005.
18 — There have been 4 Indian captains to amass 1,000 runs in a calendar year. So did Dhoni but he did it twice. So did Ganguly as well but then what is special about Dhoni. The special part of Dhoni is that he did in consecutive years (2008 and 2009), while Ganguly did in 2002 and 2000. Moreover, Dhoni’s average of 70.47 in 2009 is the best by an Indian captain in a calendar year with 1,000-run cut-off, 3rd best overall after AB de Villiers (79.53 in 2015) and Ricky Ponting (79.11 in 2007).
19 — Dhoni began his T20I career by going out on duck in 2006 but since then, he is yet to be dismissed on duck. Since his debut T20I, Dhoni has played 65 innings without a single duck — most consecutive innings without a duck and still counting.
20 — Well, since we talking about Dhoni’s duck in T20I debut, how can we forget that he is the first wicketkeeper-batsman to be dismissed on duck in T20I debut. Later, 5 more players achieved this record but Dhoni is the 1st.
21 — As captain across formats, Dhoni won 17 man of the match awards, most among Indians, followed by Mohammad Azharuddin at second with 14. Dhoni won 15 in ODIs and 2 in Tests.
22 — No player is even close to Dhoni in the list of runs scored by batsmen at number 5 or below in ODIs. Dhoni has amassed 7,182 runs at 5 or below at 47.88. The second batsman in the list is Arjuna Ranatunga with 6,041 runs at 35.12.
23 — With 7 centuries at 5 or below, Dhoni has the joint most hundreds along with Yuvraj Singh. Dhoni also has most half-centuries at 5 or below with 46, followed by Ranatunga with 40.
24 — At the staggering average of 82.75 at number 3, Dhoni holds the top spot in terms of best average at 3 with 500-run cut-off. Dhoni has scored 993 runs at 3 and his career best of unbeaten 183 against Sri Lanka also came at the same batting position.
25 — With 2,434 runs at 97.36, Dhoni has the highest batting average in successful chases with 1,000-run cut-off. Not to forget that his career best of unbeaten 183 also came while chasing.
26 — Dhoni has remained unbeaten 40 times while chasing. 38 out of 40 times India ends up winning the match, while the other two instances includes a defeat and a tied match. The defeat came against Pakistan in 2012-13 at Eden Gardens and the tied match was against Sri Lanka at Adelaide in 2011-12.
27 — India won 94 matches across formats under Dhoni’s captaincy despite losing the toss. This is the 2nd most wins for a captain in losing toss causes after Ponting (100).
28 — In ODIs, India have won 63 matches under Dhoni while chasing, the most among Indian captains and 2nd most overall after Ponting (64). Had he led few more matches, Dhoni would have surely gone pas Ponting as well.
29 — Not only in ODIs, even in T20Is as well India holds brilliant record under Dhoni. India have won 41 T20Is under Dhoni, no other captain has lead any side for even 30 matches. Asghar Stanikzai is at 2nd in the list with 27 T20I wins.
30 — Be it any format, Dhoni has been excellent when it comes to winning toss. He has won 158 tosses across formats, the 2nd most by any captain after Ponting (170).
31 — When it comes to Dhoni’s favourite opposition, it has to be Sri Lanka, against whom he smashed his career-best in ODIs. Dhoni has scored 1,596 runs against Sri Lanka as captain in ODIs, the most by any captain against any opponent, followed by Ranatunga’s 1,468 runs against Pakistan.
32 — In this so far illustrious career, Dhoni also got an unwanted record for playing a slow knock. His half-century of 108 balls against West Indies in 4th ODI is the slowest by him in ODIs and 2nd slowest among Indians after Sadagoppan Ramesh (116 balls against Kenya in 1999).
33 — The reaction time Dhoni’s stumping has been one of the biggest researchable topic. He has been the fastest stumper behind the wickets. During the 3rd ODI against Australia at Melbourne in 2016, Dhoni stumped George Bailey at the reaction time of 0.09 seconds, which is said to be the quickest.
34 — Dhoni led India in 331 matches across formats, the most by any captain, followed by Ponting at 324.
35 — Dhoni has remained not out 119 times in international cricket, joint most by any cricketer along with Muttiah Muralitharan. Soon, he will surely go past that record as well.
36 — Only once, has Dhoni been part of an international match on the day of his birthday. It was the 3rd Test of the series between India and West Indies in 2011 at Dominica. The second day of the match was the day of Dhoni’s birthday. Since his entrance in Indian team, Dhoni has been in overseas tour 6 times — 2007 in England, 2008 in Pakistan, 2011 in West Indies, 2013 in West Indies, England in 2014 and West Indies in 2017.
37 – Most centuries at No.7. He has scored 2 centuries at No.7, more than any player.