Chennai Super Kings captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, popularly referred to as ‘Thala’ (Meaning- Boss in Tamil) by the die-hard fans of CSK has been one of the biggest ambassadors of the world’s biggest cricket league, the IPL.
Much like the tournament itself, M.S Dhoni has been a talismanic figure for CSK since the establishment of the league.
After being bought as the highest-paid player in the inaugural season of the IPL, M.S Dhoni has guided CSK to three titles so far, the most won by any captain.
Over the years, M.S Dhoni has established himself as one of the best finishers not only in the league but in world cricket, aside from being a charismatic leader who can impeccably marshall his troops.
Today, we share 5 facts that make M.S Dhoni the best skipper in the IPL.
1. Highest-Paid cricketer in the league
Over the past 13 years in the IPL, M.S Dhoni has earned a total of ₹137.8 crores. He played for CSK for 11 seasons. However, due to the ban of the franchise in 2016 and 2017, Dhoni had to play for Rising Pune Super Giants.
This year, CSK has retained him for ₹15 crores. The legendary keeper-batsman current season salary saw a hike of 150% from the inaugural edition when he was paid ₹6 crores.
2. Most IPL finals played by a Captain
Dhoni has so far played in 9 Finals of the IPL, the most by any captain. He has played 8 finals as the captain of Chennai Super Kings and 1 final as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants. Out of the 9 finals, he has won three of them.
3. Most Games Won as an IPL Captain
As a captain, M.S Dhoni has won the most matches in the IPL history – 104.
He has won 99 games for Chennai Super Kings and 5 games for Rising Pune Supergiants. M.S Dhoni has also made CSK win the IPL title thrice since he took over as the captain of the franchise.
4. M.S Dhoni has the best batting average among any other Indian batsmen
M.S Dhoni averages 42.20 in the IPL, which is astounding if we consider the position he bats in and the number of high-risk shots he plays in each innings. The only batsman, Indian or overseas, who can hold a higher average than M.S Dhoni is Australia and Sunrisers Hyderabad opener David Warner, who has scored 4706 runs at an average of 43.17.
5. Best finisher in the IPL
M.S Dhoni is the only player to have scored over 500 runs in the 20th over. It is not surprising at all since M.S is rated as the best finisher of all-time in International cricket. His composure in the death overs of any format of the game is a skill every player wants to have. CSK’s basic batting strategy of saving wickets in hand to assist their captain to play in the death overs has reaped them rich rewards. Especially in the 20th over, M.S Dhoni has delivered almost every time regardless of who the bowler is. He has scored 564 runs so far in the 20th overs in the IPL.