One of the greatest cricketers of the modern era, MS Dhoni, is all set to reach yet another milestone in his career as he is gearing up to play his 300th One Day International match in Colombo when India take on Sri Lanka in the fourth of the five-match series on Thursday, August 31.
The 36-year-old, ever-since making his debut in 2004, has been an integral part of the Indian cricket team. From making heads turn with his big-hitting skills in the initial phase of his career, to becoming the anchor and the finisher in the middle-order, Dhoni has done it all in his glittering 12-year-old ODI career.
Time and again, Dhoni has reinvented himself to suit the needs of the team. Questions were asked of his ability to contribute for the team ahead of the Sri Lanka series as the Team India selectors, looking ahead, were not reluctant to drop seniors from the side. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh, both of whom failed fitness tests, faced the axe.
Dhoni though is still among the fittest members of the team. However, chief selector MSK Prasad made his intentions clear when he reportedly said the team would be looking for alternatives if the wicketkeeper batsman does not perform consistently.
Dhoni has so far done well in Sri Lanka to keep the critics quiet. The World Cup-winning former captain has bailed Virat Kohli's team out of trouble twice already in the series. His knocks of 45* and 67* in the second and third ODIs in Pallekele were not fluent, but came after the top-order of the team had rare failures.
As the veteran gears up for his 300th ODI, he has a couple of world records in sight.
- Dhoni needs one more stumping to go past Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara's record of most number of stumpings in ODI cricket (99).
- Dhoni has remained unbeaten 72 times in ODIs and just needs to do so one more time to go past Shaun Pollock and Chaminda Vaas.
Ahead of what could be a historic ODI for the Indian star in Colombo, IBTimes India compiles some of the magical numbers that has made Dhoni what he is today.
- Dhoni needs 12 runs to go past Adam Gilchrist and become the second highest run-getting wicketkeeper in ODIs. Sangakkara, with 14,234 runs, tops the list.
- Dhoni is currently fourth of the list of highest Indian run-scorers behind Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly.
- Known for his finishing abilities, Dhoni is the only player (with more than 1000 ODI runs) to have an average of more than 100 (101.84) in successful chases.
- Dhoni already has the most stumpings in international cricket (all-formats combined) -- 160. Sangakkara is the next best with 139.
- Dhoni has hit the highest score by a wicketkeeper in ODIs -- 183* against Sri Lanka in Jaipur in 2005.
- He has the highest batting average in ODIs for a player who has featured in more than 250 matches - 51.93.
- He is also sixth in the overall list. (Only Indian player with a greater average than the wicketkeeper-batsman is Virat Kohli, Who has a career average of 54.54.)
- Dhoni has played 199 matches as captain-wicketkeeper, the most by any player. Andy Flower is second on the list with 46 matches.
- Dhoni is the most sucessful Indian captain, with 110 wins in 199 ODIs. Mohammed Azharuddin was the previous best with 90 wins in 174 matches.
- Dhoni has hit most sixes -- 209 -- by a wicketkeeper in ODIs. Brendon McCullum, with 228 big hits, is second on the list.
- The Ranchi dasher has also hit the most sixes by a captain in ODIs. Ricky Ponting, with 194, trails the Indian wicketkeeper-batsman.