Most of us will never see an opera or theatre play in our lifetime. However, if you were fortunate enough to be around for MS Dhoni’s time. You might have seen both without leaving your home. Dhoni marshals his troops in the field just like an experienced general, who is familiar with strengths of weaknesses of not only his men but also of the opponents. Forget his captaincy, the man and the myth surrounding him are in themselves works of art. Known as Mahi for North Indians and Thala for South Indians, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been a fan favorite since his debut.
He has significantly contributed to the Indian Premier League (IPL) and is one of the greatest cricketers of all time. His contributions to the IPL have been immense, and is arguably one of the league’s most sought-after players. The IPL was popularized by him, and it has grown into one of the biggest T20 leagues in the world as a result. Cricket fans and players alike consider him a legend in the game of cricket and the IPL. With him about to hang his boots after the 15th edition of IPL, let’s look at the legacy he will leave behind.
MS Dhoni – The Captain Cool
In his career, Dhoni has excelled as a captain. Known for his calm demeanor and ability to lead effectively, he is a great leader. Making match-winning decisions in crucial moments has been possible due to his tactical knowledge and game-reading ability.
In his role as captain of the Yellow Army, Dhoni has earned the respect of his teammates and became one of the most successful IPL captains. In his time as captain of the Chennai Super Kings, Dhoni led the team to 123 victories out of 210 matches. Only Rohit Sharma had a better win rate than him, with 59.60%.
Most matches won by an IPL Captain
Having begun his IPL career in 2008 with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Dhoni has been affiliated with them since, apart from 2 seasons with Rising Pune Supergiant, when CSK was banned. Throughout his career, he has been a vital member of the CSK team and has helped them win multiple titles. The CSK team has reached the finals of several IPL competitions under his captaincy, winning four titles in 2010, 2011, 2018, and 2021.
In 2008 and 2009, Dhoni led Chennai Super Kings to the final and semi-finals, but they failed to win the title. Nevertheless, Chennai Super Kings won the IPL trophy for the first time after defeating Mumbai Indians in the finals on April 25, 2010. His score during the tournament was 287 runs, including two half-centuries.
In the final against Royal Challengers Bangalore, Chennai Super Kings won the IPL title for the second consecutive season. As a captain for Chennai Super Kings, he scored 392 runs and had a strike rate of 158 for the 2011 Indian Premier League. As the lone fighter for Chennai, he scored 70 runs off 40 deliveries against Royal Challenger Banglore in a league stage match when all other players except Wriddhiman Saha failed to cross a score of 20.
Chennai Super Kings won their third Indian Premier League title under Dhoni’s calm leadership and uncluttered mind in 2018. He scored 455 runs with a strike rate of 150, including three half-centuries. It was one of his best IPL seasons.
Despite a lackluster performance in 2020, Chennai Super Kings returned with renewed vigor under MS Dhoni. As a result of winning the final against Kolkata Knight Riders, CSK won their fourth IPL title.
Batting stats in IPL
Apart from being a stellar captain, Dhoni is also a talented batsman. His explosive batting style has won many matches for CSK. The IPL has given him 234 opportunities to play. He has scored 4978 runs at a strike rate of 135.2.
According to IPL records, he has played most matches in the league. He is fourth on the list of all sixes hit in IPL and tops the list with 229 sixes for CSK.
With his quick thinking and ability to read the game, Dhoni has become one of the most valuable players in T20 cricket. Many accolades and awards have been bestowed upon him for his leadership and batting skills. Including the 2010 IPL Player of the Tournament award.
Moreover Dhoni has been involved in numerous last over and even last ball thrillers. He has taken his side across the line in various crunch situations and hence earned the title of ‘Captain Cool.’ He likes to take the game deep and then pounces on the opposition.
Most Sixes in IPL
- The 2010 and 2011 IPL crowns were won by Dhoni, the first captain to win two consecutive trophies.
- Currently, MS Dhoni is tied with Rohit Sharma for the most IPL trophies as captain of the CSK franchise (2010 IPL, 2010 CL T20, 2011 IPL, 2014 CL T20, 2018 IPL & 2021 IPL).
- During his tenure as captain of the CSK franchise, MS Dhoni led the team to 11 out of 12 IPL playoffs or semi-finals.
- Among all IPL captains, MS Dhoni is the only one who has played 300 matches.
- As captain, Dhoni has won 100 IPL matches, the most in league history.
- During his stint as IPL captain, MS Dhoni became the first player to surpass 4,000 runs.
Ultimately, MS Dhoni will be remembered for one of the greatest IPL legacies in history. Fans and players consider him a legend because of his contributions as a captain, batsman, and player. His legacy as one of the best IPL players will never be forgotten.