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MS Dhoni’s statistics at No 5 and 6 in ODIs are phenomenal

MS Dhoni © Getty Images
MS Dhoni has averaged more than 55 in six out of last seven years since 2008 © Getty Images

MS Dhoni is now the leading run-scorer at No 6 in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). He also has the highest average for anyone who has batted for more than 50 innings at No 5. Nishad Pai Vaidya looks at a few statistics that reveal Dhoni’s greatness in ODIs.

MS Dhoni is easily amongst the greats of One-Day Internationals (ODI). Since 2008, he has averaged over 55 in six out of the seven calendar years. It is a splendid record for a wicketkeeper-batsman, captain and the designated finisher in the line-up — a testament to how he manages the pressures of the three roles. What makes those statistics even more fascinating is that majority of his innings have come lower down the order, where has either had to accelerate or time the run-chase perfectly.

Though Dhoni has often been criticised in Test cricket, he did his own reputation as a batsman no harm during the recent series in England. But, if you only consider one-day cricket, Dhoni has been phenomenally consistent across the world and had been the dependable force in the Indian batting. It is quite a change for a man who started off as a dasher and challenged the dimensions of the ground with his brute power. But, add a bit of temperance to that and you have an even better ODI batsman. Though he took up the captaincy in late 2007, it was in 2008 that he gradually remodeled his game and became a more responsible batsman for India. Here are his averages since then:

Year M Avg
2008 29 57.73
2009 29 70.47
2010 18 46.15
2011 24 58.76
2012 16 65.6

The fact that his lowest average in the last seven years has been 46.15 speaks volumes of his consistency. Even during one “lean” year, he still managed to average in the late 40s. And, since 2011, that run of good form has continued with some remarkable consistency on all fronts.

To put things in a larger context, one must have a look at Dhoni’s stats at No 6, a position which has been his own for a major part of his career. Dhoni is now the leading run-getter at No 6 in ODIs as he has gone past Michael Bevan, Here are the numbers:

Batsman M R Avg 100s 50s HS SR
MS Dhoni 111 3189 46.21 1 23 139* 84.12
Michael Bevan 105 3006 56.71 1 23 102* 77.73
Mark Boucher 116 2387 29.83 0 15 78 82.59
Tillakaratne Dilshan 98 2046 28.81 0 10 81* 78.75
Michael Hussey 74 1942 40.45 1 11 109* 88.23

Dhoni has a lesser average when compared to Bevan, but his strike-rate of 84.12 puts his effectiveness into perspective. He has the same number of fifty-plus scores when compared to Bevan. This table has some of the best one-day players and Dhoni stands tall, with a record that is unparalleled. Though Bevan’s average remains the summit, Dhoni should continue to do better that him on the other fronts.

The other important fact is that Dhoni has the highest batting average at No 5 for anyone who has batted at that spot in more than 50 innings. Here are the numbers:

Batsman

M

I

R

Ave

100s

50s

HS

SR

MS Dhoni

54

50

2045

56.80

3

11

124

87.02

Misbah-ul-Haq

69

64

2266

48.21

0

20

96*

75.55

Eoin Morgan

72

65

2256

45.12

4

14

124*

92.3

Andrew Symonds

106

96

3473

44.52

5

23

156

91.87

Rahul Dravid

79

69

2459

43.91

2

22

104

73.6

In statistical terms, Dhoni is right up there with some of the finest players in ODIs. Despite managing a heavy workload across formats with the added responsibility of being the captain and the wicketkeeper, Dhoni emerges with flying colours. Numbers indeed tell the story!

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

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