Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds numerous captaincy records, such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
He is known to be an ‘instinctive’ captain, unorthodox and takes decisions that surprise many ‘in the business’. Otherwise, how does one explain his bringing on Joginder Sharma to bowl the 20th over in the title clash against arch-rivals, Pakistan, in the inaugural ICC T20I World Cup and go on to win the title?
Under his captaincy, India climbed to No 1 spot in the ICC Test Rankings in December 2009. Subsequently, he led India to a series-levelling World Championship of Tests against South Africa in February 2010. India also managed to draw the Test series 1–1 in South Africa later that year.
MS Dhoni, as his team-mates call him, also successfully led India to win the ICC World Cup 2011 (50-overs). staged by India, (Pakistan) and Sri Lanka. The Cup was won after 28 years, since Kapil’s Devils’ won it way back in 1983, defeating West Indies, the then power-house of world cricket.
10 significant facts about MS Dhoni:-
1. First wicket-keeper to lead India in a Test
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the first ever wicket-keeper in all these years, to captain Team India. None of the earlier captains donned the ‘big gloves’
2. India’s most successful captain in Test cricket with 27 wins in 60 matches.
MS Dhoni is the most successful Indian skipper in Test cricket. He has won 27 games out of the 60 matches he had led Team India in a career outing of 90 Tests
3. Became only the eighth Indian captain to start his captaincy stint with a win.
MS Dhoni was the eighth Indian Test skipper to have started his captaincy assignments with a win. This he achieved played against South Africa at Kanpur in April 2008.
4. The second Indian captain (after Sourav Ganguly) to win his first Test both at home and abroad.
MS Dhoni has been the second Indian captain after Sourav Ganguly to win his first Test match both at home and overseas. After winning his first game as captain, against South Africa in April 2008, in Kanpur, he led India for the first time in an overseas Test assignment against New Zealand at Hamilton in March 2009, which India won by 10 wickets.
5. Did not lose any of his first 11 Tests
MS Dhoni did not encounter defeat in first 11 Test matches that he led Team India. This is the ‘longest unbeaten streak’ for any player since making captaincy debut.
6. Has the highest run-aggregate as Indian captain – 3,454 runs in 60 Tests
MS Dhoni has the highest aggregate of runs scored as captain. He had scored 3.454 runs in 60 Test matches captained by him. Incidentally, he surpassed the previous record holder Sunil Gavaskar in Melbourne Test in December 2014 (his final Test appearance), after which he announced his retirement.
7. MS Dhoni is the only Indian keeper to score 4,000 runs and effect 200 dismissals
MS Dhoni is the only Indian wicket-keeper to have scored 4,000 runs and effected 200 dismissals from behind the stumps in the longer format of the game. However, in his career of 90 Test matches (144 innings), he has scored 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09 with 224 runs his highest individual score. He has 6 centuries and 33 half-centuries to his credit. He also has taken 256 catches and effected 38 stumpings.
8. Under Dhoni, India won six consecutive Tests
Under his leadership, India has won six consecutive Test matches between February 2013 and November 2013. This has been the longest winning streak for any Indian captain.
9. Only Indian captain to win five consecutive series
MS Dhoni is the only Indian captain to win five consecutive Test series. This was between 2008 and 2010.
10. Became the first Indian captain to win a Test match on New Zealand soil in 33 years
Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the first Indian captain to win a Test match on New Zealand soil after a gap of 33 years. He led India to 10-wicket win at Hamilton in March 2009. Prior to him, Sunil Gavaskar had won a Test at New Zealand soil way back in January 1976.