Chennai Super Kings skipper (CSK) MS Dhoni, popularly known as ‘Thala’ (Meaning- Boss) by the die-hard of the franchise has been one of the flagbearer of the world’s biggest cricket league- the Indian Premier league.
Much like the tournament itself, MS Dhoni since the inception of the league has been a talismanic figure for the franchise. After being bought as the highest paid player in the inaugural edition, MS Dhoni has guided the franchise to 3 IPL title- the most won by any captain.
Over the years, MS Dhoni has established himself as one the best finishers in the league apart from being a charismatic leader who can impeccably marshall his troops. In this article, we check out 10 facts that makes MS Dhoni the numero uno skipper in IPL.
1. Highest Paid earner – 137.8 Cr
CSK skipper MS Dhoni, who is heralded as the ‘Captain Cool’ is the highest-earning IPL player. MS Dhoni has earned a total of ₹ 137.8 crores in salaries over 13 years in his IPL journey. Ms Dhoni played for Chennai Super Kings for 11 seasons. In 2016 season and 2017 season Dhoni has played for Rising Pune Super Giants, the time when the Chennai franchisee along with Rajasthan Royals were in their 2-year suspension term.
Ms Dhoni is now back with the yellow army. CSK retained him for ₹15 crore for IPL 2020 season. The star keeper-batsmen current season salary saw a hike of 150% from the inaugural edition when he was paid ₹6 crore.
|2020 (Retain)||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 150,000,000|
|2019 (Retain)||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 150,000,000|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 150,000,000|
|2017||Rising Pune Supergiant||₹ 125,000,000|
|2016||Rising Pune Supergiant||₹ 125,000,000|
|2015||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 125,000,000|
|2014||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 125,000,000|
|2013||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 82,800,000|
|2012||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 82,800,000|
|2011||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 82,800,000|
|2010||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 60,000,000|
|2009||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 60,000,000|
|2008||Chennai Super Kings||₹ 60,000,000|
2. Most final played by Captain- Dhoni played 8 Finals out of 12
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the player with the experience of most final games in the IPL. He has played nine of the 12 IPL finals so far and during this time he has also won the IPL 3 times. Dhoni has played in 8 finals for Chennai Super Kings. At the same time, he has also played a final for the Rising Pune Supergiants.
Out of the eight finals played for Chennai Super Kings, he has won three of them. At the same time, he could not win the final that he played for Pune Supergiants. In this case, after Dhoni, Suresh Raina grabs the second spot, who has played eight final matches in IPL.
3. Only captain to have successfully defended the IPL trophy
Most of his success as captain came for his second home – Chennai. Despite being a great himself, he treats every individual player equally and with respect. CSK have a great environment in the dressing room which helps them to overcome tough situations.
The captain is the pioneer in building this camaraderie among players. This was evident in the 2010 season when they were at the bottom of the table during mid-season. The players believed in the captain and he delivered the title for them.
CSK went to win the IPL trophy again in 2011. By winning IPL-4, Dhoni became the first captain to successfully defend the IPL and remains the only skipper to do so yet.
4. Only Captain to lift the IPL title at home
Except in 2017, the 38-year-old has been the captain of every IPL side he has played in (Steve Smith captained Rising Pune Super Giants that year). Many players have expressed their liking for playing under him. Even international captains like Dwayne Bravo, Faf du Plessis, and Brendon McCullum loved playing under his leadership.
Youngsters see it as a jackpot to have him as their captain. He makes them feel at home – a concept which has benefitted CSK massively. Chennai thrives playing at home and in the 2011 season, they won every game they played at their home ground. It includes the IPL final against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Till now, Dhoni is the only captain to have won the IPL at their home ground. The likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli have missed that opportunity in 2010 and 2016 respectively.
5. Most Games Won as an IPL Captain
As a captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has won the most matches in IPL history. He has won a total of 104 matches as captain in the IPL. He has so far won 99 games for Chennai Super Kings under his captaincy.
At the same time, he has also won five matches under his captaincy for now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants.
In this way, he is the captain to win the most matches to his team in the IPL. He has also made CSK win the IPL title thrice since he took over as the captain
6. MS Dhoni has the highest average among Indian batsmen
MS Dhoni averages 42.20 in the IPL, which is astounding if we consider the number of high-risk shots he plays in each innings. Among Indian batsmen, only Iqbal Abdulla has a higher average, but the left-arm spinner has scored only 88 runs in the history of the tournament.
If we include overseas batsmen, Adam Voges, Hashim Amla, and Jonny Bairstow have higher averages, but they have only played 35 innings combined. The only batsman, Indian or overseas, who can hold a candle to MS Dhoni is Australian opener David Warner, who has scored 4706 runs at an average of 43.17.
MS Dhoni is second on the list of batsmen with over 1000 runs in the IPL, with his 65 not out innings in the IPL playing a big part in bumping up the average.
7. Best finisher- Only player to have scored 500 runs in the 20th over
MS Dhoni is rated as one of the best finishers of all-time. His composure in the death overs is a skill that every player wants to replicate. In his 15-year career, the world has witnessed many matches in which he has dominating the final overs.
CSK’s basic batting strategy of keeping wickets in hand to help their captain to tee off in the death overs has reaped them rich rewards. Especially in the 20th over, Dhoni has delivered almost every time irrespective of who the bowler is.
The fact that he is the only player to have scored 500+ runs in the 20th over is magnificent. He has scored 564 runs. Kieron Pollard stands a distant second with 281 runs.
8. Most Matches played as a captain in IPL
MS Dhoni is also the player with the most number of matches as a captain in IPL history. He has led his team in a total of 118 matches in the IPL. He has captained 104 matches for Chennai Super Kings. At the same time, he has also captained 14 IPL matches for Pune Supergiants.
He has won 99 out of 104matches for CSK under his captaincy. At the same time, he has won five out of the 14 matches for Rising Pune Supergiants.
9. Only player to win 100 IPL games as captain
The IPL may be a domestic T20 league, but winning it is as hard as any tournament. It is because of the difficulties in building a solid sqaud by buying players through the auction process. After that, the task of finding the right balance for the team to compete at different venues is hard as well.
Despite doing all these, many teams have failed as captains find it hard to bring out the best from the players. If there is one captain who has done this consistently, it is MS Dhoni. He has been successful since 2008 and holds the record for being the only captain to win 100 IPL games.
10. Most Dismissals In IPL
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has kept wickets in 183 matches out of the 190 matches in the IPL. In those 183 matches, he has made a total of 132 dismissals. He is the wicketkeeper with the most dismissals in IPL history.
Dhoni has taken a total of 94 catches and 38 stumpings behind wickets.
Although Dinesh Karthik is not far behind as he also has a total of 131 dismissals to his name in IPL but currently, the record holder is MS Dhoni.