Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most popular and charismatic cricketers of all time. The right-hand wicket-keeper batsman redefined the art of finishing a game. ‘Captain Cool’ is also, without doubt, one of the outstanding leaders in the history of the sport. Under his captaincy, the Indian national team and the Chennai Super Kings have won every silverware possible under the sun. In recognition of his achievements, the Government of India honored him with the Padma Shri in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan in 2018. He celebrated his 40th birthday yesterday on 7 July. Let us look at a few of the legend’s milestones in the Indian Premier League.
Dhoni is one of the fiercest strikers the cricket ball has ever known. With his impeccable hand-eye coordination and muscular forearms, he clears boundaries with ease. The inventor of the helicopter shot is currently fourth on the list of Batsmen with most sixes in the IPL. He has hit 217 maximums till now. It is awe-inspiring, considering he usually bats in the lower middle order.
|2.||Ab de Villiers||176||5056||406||245|
Click here to watch Dhoni’s most famous big hit
Video Courtesy ICC
Dhoni is one of the most prolific run machines in the limited-overs game. He has amassed over 10000 runs in ODIs. The Player of the Match from the 2011 World Cup Final had a staggering average of 102.71 in successful run chases. In the IPL, he is the 8th highest run-scorer. He has an impressive average which is third-best amongst the top 15 run-getters in the league. He has been unbeaten at the end of an innings a record 70 times. Nobody even comes close to that bit of stat. Here is a look at his career numbers in the IPL:
One of the sharpest cricket minds in the game comes with a hefty price tag. Dhoni is one of the costliest players in the league. In spite of this, Chennai Super Kings are always happy to retain the stalwart. He has been part of the CSK family since the beginning of the IPL. He also represented Rising Pune Supergiant for two years. After collecting this year’s paycheque, Dhoni became the first player to cross the INR 150 crore mark.
|2018-2021||Chennai Super Kings||INR 15,00,00,000|
|2016-2017||Rising Pune Supergiant||INR 12,50,00,000|
|2014-2015||Chennai Super Kings||INR 12,50,00,000|
|2011-2013||Chennai Super Kings||INR 8,28,00,000|
|2008-2010||Chennai Super Kings||INR 6,00,00,000|
Mahi is the face of the Chennai Super Kings. Under his leadership, they have won the title three times in 2010, 2011, and 2018. CSK has qualified for the playoffs in 10 out of the 11 seasons they have appeared in, only missing out in the 2020 edition. After the match-fixing debacle hit the IPL and CSK were banned for two years, Dhoni was bought by Rising Pune Supergiant ahead of the 2016 season. Thala again worked his magic and led the side to an IPL final in 2017, finishing second best to the Mumbai Indians.
Before a certain Virat Kohli appeared on the stage, MSD was the master of the chase. He often takes the game till the very end and steps on the gas in the final overs. Not only a batting powerhouse, but he is also brilliant behind the stumps. He is the world record holder for most stumpings. Dhoni is also a great runner between the wickets. On rare occasions, he can be seen bowling right-arm medium pace too. The following table lists his career batting and fielding stats in the IPL:
Dhoni’s list of records in international cricket is unending. Here are some of his achievements in the IPL:
Dhoni has hit seven sixes in an innings twice, both against RCB at the M. Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.
|Runs||Balls Faced||4s||6s||Strike Rate||Date|
|70||34||1||7||205.88||25 April 2018|
|84||48||5||7||175||21 April 2019|
His highest strike rate in an innings came against the Pune Warriors India in April 2013.
|Runs||Balls Faced||4s||6s||Strike Rate|
IPL is the most entertaining and most followed cricket show in the world. The cash-rich league lures in top stars from around the globe every year. Few cricketers say no to the lucrative deals it has to offer. Players also get to be part of various endorsements and other events. Iconic Indian players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and international stars like Chris Morris, Pat Cummins, and Kylie Jamieson, etc., take home handsome salaries. Dhoni, before the start of the 2021 season, had earned INR 137.2 crore in IPL wages. He has breached the INR 150 crore mark this year with another INR 15 crore contract.
IPL is a tough tournament, and it has become even more demanding due to the challenges thrown by the pandemic. Players from around the world do a two-month stint in the league and are richly rewarded. MS Dhoni is the second-highest paid Indian player in the league in 2021. He has a contract worth INR 15 crores. Virat Kohli’s services were retained by RCB for INR 17 crores. Rohit Sharma, Rishab Pant, and Kyle Jamieson were paid at par with the former Indian Captain. The two highest-paid foreigners in the league this year are Chris Morris (INR 16.25 crores) and Pat Cummins (INR 15.5 crores).
After winning everything cricket had to offer, MSD retired from international cricket on 15 August 2020. His stats in the IPL may have waned a little bit in the last couple of years, but he still contributes to the side in many ways. Top officials in the CSK hierarchy have indicated that they expect Dhoni to continue in 2022 and that they will retain his services in the mega auction. No cricket fan wants to see Mahi hang up his boots, and one hopes he continues in the yellow jersey for at least another year.
Suresh Raina, fondly called ‘Chinna Thala’ by the CSK faithful, is known as Mr. IPL. The stylish southpaw is the first Indian batsman to hit centuries in all three formats of international cricket. He is the vice-captain of CSK and has also captained Gujarat Lions in the IPL. With his consistent performances through the years, Raina has been an instrumental part of CSK’s success stories. One of the most capped players in the league, he is currently third in the list of leading run-scorers behind Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli. Moreover, the lightning-quick fielder has taken some unbelievable catches and affected some great run-outs. Here is a look at his stats so far:
CSK had a forgettable 2020 IPL campaign where they finished 7th. Their experienced batting line-up, which was the backbone of their successes in the past seasons, was particularly disappointing, and they failed to finish off games. However, they have started this season well and are 2nd in the points table with 7 games. There will be a mega auction for IPL 2022 where teams will retain three players and use the RTM Card for another two. If Dhoni decides to play next year, he will certainly be retained by the franchisee. Ravindra Jadeja and Faf du Plessis could likely be the other two players. The all-round skills of Sam Curran and veteran Suresh Raina are indispensable, and CSK might use the RTM option to retain their services.