A special home season awaits veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he is set to scale another peak in his illustrious international cricket career.
As India prepare to host Australia in a five-match One Day International series starting in Chennai on Sunday (September 17), a major landmark beckons 36-year-old Dhoni.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, holder of several records, is on the verge of another milestone.
Also read: India-Australia series schedule
Dhoni is only 342 runs away from completing 10,000 runs in ODIs. So far only 11 batsmen have managed to achieve the feat and only three (Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid) are from India.
The right-hander has so far accumulated 9,658 runs from 301 matches. He averages 52.20 with 10 hundreds and 65 fifties. His highest score is 183 not out.
Recently, during the Sri Lanka series, Dhoni featured in his 300th ODI. He still has a lot to offer as shown during the matches in the island nation.
Dhoni made his ODI debut in 2004 against Bangladesh and it was a forgettable outing as he was run out for a duck. But as years passed he has emerged as one of the best finishers in the format and one of top captains too.
He is the only skipper to have won all three International Cricket Council (ICC) trophies - World T20 (2007), World Cup (2011) and Champions Trophy (2013).
India's head coach Ravi Shastri has backed Dhoni to go on till 2019 World Cup in England as he said the stumper is not even half finished yet.
"MS Dhoni is a massive influence on the team. He is a living legend in the dressing room and an ornament to the game," Shastri said in Sri Lanka recently.
"By no means or by any stretch of imagination is he finished or even half finished yet. If anyone thinks so, they are mistaken and they have another one coming. They are in for some surprises. The old dog has plenty to offer," he added.
Dhoni can achieve the 10,000-run mark during Australia series or he can do it against New Zealand, who arrive in India next for three ODIs and three T20Is.
The former India captain needs 63 runs to go past Pakistan's Mohammad Yousuf (9,720) and occupy the 12th spot in the most ODI run scorers list.
The batsmen in 10,000-run club in ODIs
1. Sachin Tendulkar (India) - 18,426 runs (463 matches)
2. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka) - 14,234 (404)
3. Ricky Ponting (Australia) - 13,704 (375)
4. Sanath Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka) - 13,430 (445)
5. Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) - 12,650 (448)
6. Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) - 11,739 (378)
7. Jacques Kallis (South Africa) - 11,579 (328)
8. Sourav Ganguly (India) - 11,363 (311)
9. Rahul Dravid (India) - 10,889 (344)
10. Brian Lara (West Indies) - 10,405 (299)
11. Tillakaratne Dilshan (Sri Lanka) - 10,290 (330)