MS Dhoni gears up for 300th ODI: Cool Ranchi dude to a cricket giant in 14 years

first_imgNearly 14 years after storming into the international arena, MS Dhoni is set to become the sixth Indian to play 300 one-day internationals.The former skipper is now the fourth highest leading run-scorer for India in ODIs and will go down in history as one of the limited-overs greats. He is an ODI giant.The long-haired, brutally aggressive Jharkhand wicketkeeper-batsman was a breath of fresh air in the Indian team. He was fearless and he could do anything you wanted him to. His wicket-keeping skills were still developing but boy, could he wield the long handle?WATCH FULL VIDEOThere was nothing artistic about Dhoni’s batting, there was none of the wizardry of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly or Rahul Dravid. Mahi walked in with his own blend of technique – his helicopter shots first amused the opposition and later put the fear of the almighty in the hearts of their bowlers.Despite the obvious lack of copybook technique, Dhoni is now only behind Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dravid as India’s leading scorer in ODIs. He will go into his 300th ODI with 9608 runs, out of which 3738 came in 115 matches at No.6 and 2693 from 67 matches at No.5. Not that he did not do well up the order. (Also Read: There is no one who can replace Mahendra Singh Dhoni till 2019 World Cup, says Virender Sehwag)At No.3, Dhoni scored two out of his 10 hundreds and scored 993 runs from 16 matches including his career best of 183 not out against Sri Lanka. At No.4, Dhoni was equally successful, scoring 1223 runs from 26 matches including a hundred.advertisementDhoni pushed himself lower down the order when he took over as captain to finish games off. That was something he did with alarming regularity. For all of his career, he defined composure and played with the grit of a man, who was driven to win.And when the time came, he walked up the order again to steer India to their second World Cup triumph. He had an ordinary run right through the tournament but with Muttiah Muralitharan in the attack, he had to come out and take him on. The rest is history.Dhoni is now the senior statesman in the team. He gave up the limited-overs captaincy in January and has since regained his mojo with the bat. His presence in the middle-order brings with it a sense of assurance. The Kandy victories might well have been eventually carved out by younger players but Dhoni’s role was just as significant. (Also Read: 2nd ODI: MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar steal victory in tight thriller as India take 2-0 series lead)There is no way Kohli would go to battle in the 2019 World Cup without Dhoni. There is no way India would want to go to England without Dhoni. The Mahi way is still far from over.last_img

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