Former Indian captain MS Dhoni is regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in ODI cricket, especially when it comes to finishing a game. The talismanic cricketer made a seamless transition from being an explosive batsman at the top of the order to becoming a cool finisher in the middle order.
MS Dhoni has amassed 10773 runs in ODI cricket at an excellent average of 50.53 in 350 matches, including the three encounters he played for Asia XI. The wicketkeeper-batsman has also smashed 10 ODI centuries with the highest score of an unbeaten 183 runs against Sri Lanka.
On that note, let us have a look at the statistical breakdown of MS Dhoni's outstanding ODI career to date.
A statistical breakdown of MS Dhoni's ODI performances
#1: Performances against all oppositions
MS Dhoni has been the most prolific against Sri Lanka and has scored 2383 career runs against them. Among the major cricketing nations, the former Indian captain has scored the least runs against South Africa and Bangladesh. His low run tally against Bangladesh could be attritbuted to the fact that he has played a limited number of innings against them.
Even if we consider MS Dhoni's ODI batting average, it is the best against the Sri Lankans if we ignore his performances against the minor teams and Africa XI. He has been a consistent performer against all teams barring South Africa, against whom his average is the lowest.
Among the Test playing nations, MS Dhoni has smashed a couple of centuries each against Australia, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan along with a ton each against Bangladesh and England. West Indies, South Africa and New Zealand are the fortunate teams against whom MS Dhoni has not scored a century, primarily because he has batted down the order.
MS Dhoni's highest score of an unbeaten 183 runs came against Sri Lanka at Jaipur in October 2005. His highest score of 84 against New Zealand is his lowest among Test playing nations and came at Napier in March 2019.
#2: Performances over the years
MS Dhoni scored over 1000 calendar runs in three consecutive years from 2007 to 2009. He has performed consistently over the years since becoming a regular member of the Indian ODI team, with the years 2016 and 2018 being the only exceptions.
The year 2009 was MS Dhoni's best year both in terms of the number of runs scored and his average of 70.47. The averages also suggest that the CSK captain had a couple of lean years in 2016 and 2018.
MS Dhoni smashed a couple of centuries each in 2005 and 2009. His last century in ODIs came in the year 2017, a 134-run knock against England at Cuttack.
MS Dhoni's highest score of 183 came in the year 2005. After becoming a regular feature in the Indian ODI lineup, 2018 is the only year in which MS Dhoni has not struck a half-century.
#3: Performances while batting first vs chasing
MS Dhoni has scored slightly more runs while setting a target, but that was primarily because he got more opportunities while batting first.
MS Dhoni has averaged more than 50 in both match innings, demonstrating his proficiency while setting or chasing a target.
A majority of MS Dhoni's centuries have come while setting the target, which is understandable considering the more opportunities he has to build an innings while batting first.
MS Dhoni's highest score of an unbeaten 183 runs came while chasing a 299-run target against Sri Lanka, with the swashbuckling batsman scoring more than 60% of the runs.
His highest score while setting a target was the 148-run knock he played against Pakistan at Visakhapatnam in April 2005, an innings which announced his arrival at the world stage.
#4: Performances based on venues
MS Dhoni has scored an almost equal number of runs in home and away conditions, with 1902 runs coming in neutral venues.
MS Dhoni has a slightly better average at home compared to away and neutral venues, although he has been quite consistent everywhere.
Seven of MS Dhoni's 10 centuries have come in the familiar home conditions, with a couple being scored at neutral venues and a solitary hundred struck away from home.
While MS Dhoni's highest score of 183 runs had come at home, an unbeaten 101-run knock against Bangladesh at Dhaka in January 2010 is his top score in away conditions.
#5: Performances based on match results
More than 60% of MS Dhoni's runs have come in a winning cause. He has scored a total of 435 runs in matches that ended in a tie or did not have a result.
MS Dhoni's average in a winning cause is more than double than that of his average when the team is on the wrong end of a result.
Seven of MS Dhoni's 10 centuries have helped his team clinch a victory.
While MS Dhoni's unbeaten 183 runs had undoubtedly helped India to emerge a victor, his highest score in a losing cause was an unbeaten 139 runs against Australia at Mohali in October 2013.
#6: Performances based on batting position
Almost 90% of MS Dhoni's total runs have come while batting in the middle order, having taken up a finisher's role after his initial couple of years in ODI cricket.
MS Dhoni's extraordinary average while batting at the top of the order, primarily at No.3, clearly shows that he was extremely consistent even while taking the attack to the opposition almost from the word go.
Most of MS Dhoni's ten centuries have come lower down the order, which is quite natural considering he has played a majority of his matches as a finisher.
While the unbeaten 183-run knock had come while batting at No.3, MS Dhoni's highest score in the middle order is the two times he has scored unbeaten 139 runs. The first such instance was for Asia XI against Africa XI at Chennai in June 2007 while batting at No.7. He replicated that effort against Australia at Mohali in October 2013, this time at No.6.
#7: Performances as a captain vs non-captain
MS Dhoni has scored more runs while playing as a captain, having played 200 of his 350 ODI matches as the skipper.
MS Dhoni has a slightly better average while performing captaincy duties. It demonstrates that, much like Virat Kohli, the pressure of leading the side did not have an adverse impact on his game.
MS Dhoni has a couple of additional hundreds while leading the side than otherwise.
The unbeaten 183-run knock had come when MS Dhoni was yet to assume duties as a captain. His highest score as captain of India is the unbeaten 139 runs against Australia at Mohali in October 2013.
Published 06 Jul 2020, 13:01 IST