The Man, The Myth, The Legend!
What name rings your ears when you hear the age-old cliché, the Greatest of All Time? A name that pops into the mind instantly is that of an Indian great, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. From whitewashing the mighty Aussies to the pinnacle of winning a World Cup, Dhoni has done it all, and now he is doing the same in Indian Premier League (IPL).
After replacing Rahul Dravid as the Skipper of the Indian National Team back in 2007, Dhoni went on to win series against Sri Lanka and the Kiwis before going on to win the inaugural T20I World Cup against their arch-rivals, Pakistan.
Often referred to as Captain Cool, Dhoni has widely been regarded as one of the greatest finishers of all time in limited-overs cricket and has earned numerous accolades over the course of his glittering career, the highlight of which being winning the World Cup in India in 2011. In 2013, he wrote his name into the History Books when he lifted the ICC Champions Trophy, becoming the only captain in history to win all ICC tournaments (limited overs). He also became the first captain ever to lead India to 1st position in Test rankings. Dhoni’s success has been down to him being a very calm operator even in the toughest of the situations, being pro-active at all times and reading the game like no one else does in modern-day cricket.
An IPL Great!
With that being said, IPL 2019 is around the corner and a question has been asked quite often, who is the best IPL captain ever? Among those names are the likes of MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Gautam Gambhir to name a few. Now, what makes MS Dhoni the best of the lot? Let’s answer that.
After the inauguration of the Indian Premier League in 2008, Dhoni became the then most expensive player when he signed for Chennai Super Kings as a captain. Bringing all his leadership qualities and international experience to the domestic circuit, Dhoni almost delivered instantly where he led CSK to the final of the first ever IPL but fell short to Rajasthan Royals. After reaching the semi-finals next season, Dhoni led his team to back to back Indian Premier League trophies. He led his team to 3 finals in the next 4 seasons but fell short on all three occasions. Following this, Chennai was banned by IPL for match-fixing and Dhoni was captured by Rising Pune Supergiants. He had a torrid start to life there. He finished 7th in his first season for his new club and lost his captaincy for the next season.
CSK retained Dhoni as captain again in 2018. He proved their decision worthwhile by winning the 2018 IPL trophy on their comeback. This was his 3rd IPL trophy as a captain (tied with Rohit Sharma). Moreover, Dhoni also led his team in the Champions League T20I, a tournament he won twice. In total, Mahindra Singh Dhoni led his team to 9 finals, 7 in IPL (winning 4 of them). In IPL, he has the most number of matches as captain under his belt. He also has the most number of wins (93) as a captain with a win percentage of 59.11% (min. 25 innings) bettered only by the great Sachin Tendulkar (60.78). He had his best season in 2018, a year in which people were marking his end. He scored his personal best of 455 runs with a mammoth average of 75, best in the tournament.
Overall, he is ranked 7th for most runs scored and 3rd for most sixes hit.
Best in the World!
Letting his stats and his qualities do the talking, Dhoni, with all due respect to the rest of the captains, is not only the best captain in IPL but also one of the very best to have ever graced this beautiful game of Cricket and if someone thinks otherwise, the joke’s on you buddy!
Do you think we will be able to see Captain Cool in the same form again in the 12th edition of IPL this year? Let us know in the comments.
For more updates, keep visiting Cricket Howzat.