MS Dhoni, who may be seen for the last time in national colours at his hometown, can make the occasion memorable. @ PTI

At the beginning of the year, MS Dhoni shut his critics with the willow striking three back-to-back half-centuries in India’s 2-1 ODI series win of Australia Down Under.

The 37-year-old former India captain is now on the cusp of reaching an important landmark in international cricket. As India are eyeing an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match ODI series against Australia on Friday at Ranchi, Dhoni, who may be seen for the last time in national colours at his hometown, can make the occasion memorable. (ALSO READ: An ODI behemoth: The numbers that highlight Virat Kohli’s genius)

The senior wicketkeeper-batsman is 33 runs short of reaching 17,000 runs in international cricket, which will make him only the sixth Indian to reach the commendable feat.

Dhoni, who has featured for India and Asia XI in international cricket, has 16,967 runs. He averages 45 from 528 matches and holds 16 centuries and 106 half-centuries in international cricket. (ALSO READ: Experts analyse Shikhar Dhawan’s patchy form that’s become a growing concern for India)

Ahead of Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar (34,357), Rahul Dravid (24,208), Virat Kohli (19,453), Sourav Ganguly (18,575) and Virender Sehwag (17,253) crossed the landmark of 17,00 runs in international cricket.

In the ongoing series against Australia, Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 59 in the series opener Hyderabad, but he followed it up with a duck in Nagpur.