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In late 2004 when the Indian selection committee headed by Kiran More sat down to pick the squad for Bangladesh tour, the members were divided in terms of choices. A section wanted Dinesh Karthik, another were keen on the maverick from Jharkhand — MS Dhoni, who was smashing bowlers to pulp for India A in Kenya. As revealed in the Dhoni’s biopic, the call was left to the then India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who went with Dhoni. That one decision led to the emergence of one of the greatest cricketers of all-time. He was run out for a nought in his first ODI and in his second match, in an innings of 12, he got his first runs in this format.  FULL Cricket Scorecard, India vs New Zealand, 3rd ODI at Mohali

Twelve years later and now one of the greatest ODI players of all-time, Dhoni en route to a match-defining 80, smacked Mitchell Santner over long-on for six to bring up his 9,000th ODI run. He became the fifth Indian after Mohammad Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly and Rahul Dravid to enter this illustrious club. He promoted himself to No. 4 and reaped benefits. Had he done that more frequently in his career, he would have got to this mark earlier than this. However, he remains the only cricketer with more than 9,000 ODI runs to average over 50.

The longhaired strong young man from Ranchi shot his way to glory with his audacious stroke play and match winning knocks early on. In only his 29th ODI innings, he finished another match against Pakistan with an unbeaten 72 and in process brought up his 1,000th ODI run. A year later, after India’s inglorious exit from the ICC World Cup 2007, India played a series in Bangladesh. Dhoni fought cramps and scored a match-winning 91 not out and that is where he brought up his 2,000th run.

As years passed, his hair length reduced but the stature only multiplied. Dhoni brought up his 5,000th ODI run in the run-riot against Sri Lanka at Rajkot in December 2009. Dhoni belted a 53-ball 72 helped India to 414, a match that Sri Lanka went on to lose by three runs. The 6,000th ODI run came in the innings against the same opposition in the biggest stage of all. Dhoni en route to his match-winning 91 not out in the ICC World Cup 2011 final, brought up this milestone too.

Dhoni has this habit of bringing up his milestones with significant innings and his entry to the 7,000-club was no different. The Chennai heat and Junaid Khan’s swing had reduced India to 29 for 5 when Dhoni walked out. He beat cramps to craft 113 not out and guide India to 227. India lost the match but this knock remains one of his finest. It has taken him close to three years to bring up another two thousand but when he did, he entered the club in style. Though Virat Kohli’s 154 not out took the spotlight but it was Dhoni’s 151-run stand with his deputy that set the game up for India. The following Infographics will show when and against whom India’s captain cool got his milestone runs.

Designed by Neeraj Kathale | Infographics by Abhishek Kumar
Designed by Neeraj Kathale | Infographics by Abhishek Kumar

(Suvajit Mustafi consumes cricket for lunch, fiction for dinner and munches numerous other snacks throughout the day. Yes, a jack of several trades, all Suvajit dreamt of was being India’s World Cup winning skipper but ended up being a sports writer, author, screenwriter, director, copywriter, graphic designer, sports marketer, strategist, entrepreneur, philosopher and traveller. Donning so many hats, it’s cricket, which gives him the ultimate high and where he finds solace. He can be followed at @RibsGully and facebook.com/rivu7)