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What makes Dhoni India's best captain ever!

Last updated on: January 05, 2017 12:19 IST

Rajneesh Gupta salutes Captain Cool.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's surprise resignation as India's limited overs skipper on Wednesday, January 4, brings to an end one of the most successful captaincy tenures in cricketing history.

A surprise choice for the captaincy in 2007, under Dhoni India has won everything possible, both in the 50 overs and the T20 format -- including the World T20 title in 2007, the 50 overs World Cup in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.

Dhoni led India in 199 ODIs, of which India won 110 matches. At home he captained the team to 43 wins out of 73 matches.

Dhoni's record as captain in ODIs:

 MtsWonLostTiedNRWin%
In India 73 43 26 1 3 58.90
In the opposition's venues 86 39 39 2 6 45.35
In neutral venues 40 28 9 1 2 70.00
Total 199 110 74 4 11 55.28

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Dhoni enjoys the best captaincy record against Bangladesh, among all the Test playing nations, having won eight games out of 11 for a success percentage of 72 against the neighbours.

On other hand, Australia proved to be tough opposition, with India winning just 14 games out of 40 against the Aussies under Dhoni's leadership.

Against Pakistan, Dhoni guided India to 11 wins out of 18 games.

Dhoni's ODI captaincy record against each country:

OppositionMtsWonLostTiedNo ResultWin%
Australia 40 14 21 0 5 35.00
Bangladesh 11 8 3 0 0 72.73
England 28 17 8 2 1 60.71
Hong Kong 1 1 0 0 0 100.00
Ireland 2 2 0 0 0 100.00
The Netherlands 1 1 0 0 0 100.00
New Zealand 18 8 8 1 1 44.44
Pakistan 18 11 7 0 0 61.11
South Africa 19 8 10 0 1 42.11
Sri Lanka 41 25 13 1 2 60.98
United Arab Emirates 1 1 0 0 0 100.00
West Indies 15 10 4 0 1 66.66
Zimbabwe 4 4 0 0 0 100.00

Dhoni first captained India in an ODI in 2007, against Australia at Bangalore -- the first ODI of a seven match series which was eventually washed out because of rain.

The extra burden of captaincy never really impacted Dhoni, who boasts of a better record as a skipper than as a player.

He played 84 ODIs before he was appointed captain and his performance only got better when he was handed the reins of the team.

Comparing Dhoni's record as a player and as a captain:

 MatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
As a player 84 2,477 183* 44.23 96.26 3 14
As Captain 199 6,633 139* 53.92 86.29 6 47

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

As expected, Dhoni's record as a batsman in ODIs is top notch.

He has an impressive tally of 1,596 runs against Sri Lanka at an average of 61, while also scoring 1,204 runs against Australia.

Against England, he has made 901 runs at an average of 53, while also scoring 723 and 684 against New Zealand and Pakistan respectively.

Dhoni's batting record in T20Is as a captain against each country:

OppositionMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
Australia 40 1,204 139* 43.00 80.91 2 6
Bangladesh 11 319 101* 63.80 86.68 1 1
England 28 901 87* 53.00 93.27 0 8
Hong Kong 1 109 109* - 113.54 1 0
Ireland 2 34 34 34.00 68.00 0 0
The Netherlands 1 19 19* - 47.50 0 0
New Zealand 18 723 84* 55.61 80.24 0 6
Pakistan 18 684 113* 57.00 82.50 1 5
South Africa 19 531 92* 35.40 91.70 0 3
Sri Lanka 41 1,596 107 61.38 87.40 1 14
UAE 1 - - - - - -
West Indies 15 428 95 71.33 91.64 0 3
Zimbabwe 4 85 85* - 111.84 0 1

Captain Cool first made his mark as skipper in the T20 format, when he led a young squad to the World T20 title in the inaugural edition of the tournament in South Africa in 2007.

He has led India in 72 T20 Internationals, with India winning 42 out of them.

Dhoni as captain in T20Is:

 MatchesWonLostTiedNRWin%
In India 20 10 10 0 0 50.00
In opposition venues 23 13 10 0 0 56.52
In neutral venues 29 19 8 0 2 65.52
Total 72 42 28 0 2 58.33

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

As captain, Dhoni boasts of a good record against Pakistan with India losing just one out of eight T20Is against them.

India never lost a T20 game to Bangladesh under his leadership.

Dhoni's T20I captaincy record against each country:

OppositionMatchesWonLostTiedNRWin%
Australia 13 9 4 0 0 69.23
Bangladesh 5 5 0 0 0 100.00
England 8 3 5 0 0 37.50
Ireland 1 1 0 0 0 100.00
Afghanistan 2 2 0 0 0 100.00
New Zealand 5 0 5 0 0 0.00
Pakistan 8 7 1 0 0 87.50
Scotland 1 0 0 0 1 0.00
South Africa 9 5 4 0 0 55.56
Sri Lanka 10 6 4 0 0 60.00
United Arab Emirates 1 1 0 0 0 100.00
West Indies 6 1 4 0 1 16.66
Zimbabwe 3 2 1 0 0 66.66

Interestingly, Dhoni has played just one match as just a player for India in the T20 format, way back in 2006 against South Africa in Johannesburg.

Dhoni's batting record in T20Is as a player/captain

 MatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
As a player 1 0 0 0.00 0.00 0 0
As captain 72 1,112 48* 37.06 122.60 0 0

Dhoni has played 13 T20Is against Australia, scoring 231 runs at an average of 38.

He has played 10 games against Sri Lanka, against whom he scored 129 runs, but he hasn't played too many games against the other teams.

Dhoni's batting record in T20Is as a captain against each country

OppositionMatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
Afghanistan 2 33 18* - 220.00 0 0
Australia 13 231 48* 38.50 113.79 0 0
Bangladesh 5 89 26 89.00 167.92 0 0
England 8 167 38 41.75 131.49 0 0
Ireland 1 14 14 14.00 107.69 0 0
New Zealand 5 106 30 35.33 97.24 0 0
Pakistan 8 93 33 23.25 119.23 0 0
Scotland 1 - - - - - -
South Africa 9 124 45 41.33 129.16 0 0
Sri Lanka 10 129 46 32.25 119.44 0 0
UAE 1 - - - - - -
West Indies 6 98 43 32.66 130.66 0 0
Zimbabwe 3 28 19* 28.00 93.33 0 0

India has consistently won trophies under Dhoni's leadership, starting with the 2007 World T20 triumph to the Asia Cup T20 victory in Bangladesh last year.

The 2011 50 overs World Cup triumph would certainly rank as the highest point of his career, which saw India win back the World Cup after a long wait of nearly 28 years.

India's tournament wins under Dhoni's captaincy:

 YearFormat
ICC World T20 in South Africa 2007 T20I
Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia 2008 ODI
Compaq Cup in Sri Lanka 2009 ODI
Asia Cup in Sri Lanka 2010 ODI
ICC World Cup in India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh 2011 ODI
ICC Champions Trophy in England 2013 ODI
Celkon Mobile Cup in the West Indies 2013 ODI
Asia Cup T20 in Bangladesh 2016 T20I

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Dhoni is second in the list as the most successful captain with the bat in ODIs, just behind A B de Villiers, who boasts of a better average and a strike rate.

Dhoni has the better tally of runs with 6,633 from 199 games as compared to de Villiers, who has 4,219 runs from 87 One-Dayers.

For most part of his career, Dhoni came in at No 5 or No 6 or below and has been content to play the role of finisher as against de Villiers or Kane Williamson or Steve Smith, all top order batsmen.

Most successful captains with bat in ODIs (Minimum 25 matches):

 MatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
AB de Villiers 87 4,219 162* 65.92 111.05 13 22
M S Dhoni 199 6,633 139* 53.92 86.29 6 47
Kane Williamson 30 1,367 123 50.62 81.03 2 10
Steve Smith 33 1,433 164 49.41 87.32 4 8
Ashish Bagai (Canada) 27 1,011 92* 48.14 68.86 0 10
Kumar Sangakkara 45 1,756 111 47.45 84.30 1 14
Michael Clarke 74 2,745 117 45.75 77.19 5 17
Brendan Taylor (Zimbabwe) 34 1,369 138 45.63 85.77 5 7
Martin Crowe 44 1,634 100* 45.38 70.09 1 13
Greg Chappell 49 1,718 138* 45.21 74.69 3 12

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Dhoni is also second in the list of most successful captains with the bat in T20 Internationals, just behind Faf du Plessis, his former Chennai Super Kings team-mate.

Most successful captains with the bat in T20Is (Minimum 25 matches):

 MatchesRunsHighest ScoreAverageStrike Rate100s50s
Faf du Plessis 31 1,003 119 40.12 130.93 1 6
M S Dhoni 72 1,112 48* 37.06 122.60 0 0
Graeme Smith 27 803 89* 32.12 127.46 0 4
Brendon McCullum 28 735 74 29.40 130.78 0 5
Mohammad Hafeez 29 753 86 28.96 115.31 0 5
George Bailey 28 470 63 26.11 140.71 0 2

Photographs: BCCI

Rajneesh Gupta
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