Stats: MS Dhoni scores 100 international fifties; joins elite batting club
If one thought that scoring an international fifty would be a remarkable achievement, then contemplate on scoring a century of half-centuries at the highest level of cricket. Iconic Indian batsman MS Dhoni joined an elite club of batsmen when he registered his 100th half-century in international cricket. The 36-year old from Ranchi became only the 15th batsman in the history of the game to achieve the memorable feat.
On a bowler-friendly surface during the first ODI against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Dhoni smashed an 88-ball 79 to complete a century of fifties across all formats combined. His sublime knock alongside all-rounder Hardik Pandya's blistering 66-ball 83 ensured that India managed to put on 281 runs at the end of 50 overs.
This was Dhoni's 66th fifty in ODIs from 301 matches. In addition to those, the wicket-keeper batsman has also scored 33 half-centuries from 90 Tests and one fifty from 78 T20Is. Combining all three formats, he became only the fourth Indian batsman to reach the commendable landmark of 100 half-centuries.
Not surprisingly, Sachin Tendulkar leads the way with as many as 164 fifties in international cricket. Adding his century of centuries, the batting maestro stands head and shoulders above every batsman in the game's illustrious history.
Having registered 153 half-centuries in his storied career, Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara comes second in this exclusive list. South African all-rounder Jacques Kallis rounds off the top three with 149 fifties across all formats.
Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting and India's batting stalwart Rahul Dravid have both scored 146 half-centuries each. Sri Lankan run-machine Mahela Jayawardene and Pakistani batting icon Inzamam-ul-Haq follow with 136 and 129 fifties respectively.
Caribbean batting legends Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Brian have notched 125 and 111 fifties from 454 and 430 matches respectively. Erstwhile Indian captain Sourav Ganguly amassed 107 half-centuries even as Sanath Jayasuriya posted 103 such scores in his trailblazing career. The likes of AB de Villiers and Allan Border have both registered 102 half-centuries each.
Dhoni completes the select group of 15 world-class batsmen with at least 100 international fifties to their names. In a way, it was fitting that he reached the landmark in his adopted home ground of MA Chidambaram Stadium. While a typically vociferous crowd cheered him on, the seasoned campaigner came up with a dexterous knock to help pull India out of a hole.
Here are those 15 batsmen who have managed to score 100 or more half-centuries at the international level. Among active players, West Indies giant Chris Gayle appears likely to enter the distinguished club sooner rather than later. He currently has 97 fifties across all formats combined. The likes of Hashim Amla and Virat Kohli are on 75 half-centuries at the moment while England's Test specialist Alastair Cook sits on 74 such scores.
Most International Fifties (Tests+ODIs+T20Is)
**Note: All Statistics are accurate as of 17th September 2017 (at the end of India's innings in the first ODI at Chennai)