Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably the greatest Indian cricketer to have ever donned the jersey of the Indian cricket team. As one of the most prestigious sporting personalities in the history of cricket, Dhoni possessed the ability to inflict sheer carnage during the death overs and outfox his opponents with his tactical plans. While his on-field tactics helped India win numerous games, his beloved fans have also been captivated by some scintillating MS Dhoni centuries over the years.
Dhoni improvised and learned as a tactician, but did not have the most elegant batting style. Nevertheless, his unorthodox approach fetched a colossal amount of runs throughout his career. By the end of his career, Dhoni had become a multi-dimensional ODI batter who could adapt to any game situation, switch gears, and roll out humongous sixes whenever the situation called for it.
Hailing from the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, Dhoni made his way to the top of the sport with his tailor-made batting and wicketkeeping techniques that would challenge the traditional norms of orthodoxy. Under his leadership, the Indian Cricket team soared to new heights.
Across his career, Dhoni lifted two World Cup trophies, a Champions Trophy, and two Asia Cups for India while his beloved CSK has won four IPL titles. While his international career has now come to a close, let us rewind the clock and look at some of the inspirational Dhoni centuries in international cricket that still remain etched in the memories of many Indian fans.
MS Dhoni centuries: Career summary
In terms of popularity, MS Dhoni is right up there with the likes of the great Sachin Tendulkar and current king of cricket, Virat Kohli. Dhoni served his national side for 15 long years appearing in 90 Tests, 350 ODIs, and 98 T20Is.
Across all three formats, the Ranchi-based wicketkeeper-batsman has amassed 16 centuries. Overall, Dhoni’s centuries comprise six Test and 10 ODI centuries while he holds no centuries in the T20I format.
Dhoni has scored the majority of his runs in white-ball cricket, primarily in the ODI format. Most MS Dhoni centuries have come in the ODI format, where he has 10 centuries and 73 half-centuries to his name. In the longest version of the game, Dhoni has accumulated 4876 runs with six centuries under his belt.
As well as this, Dhoni has played some explosive cameos in T20Is and domestic T20 competitions such as the IPL. Batting low down the order, Dhoni has come close to registering a century in the format but never succeeded while doing so. Let’s jump right into some of the iconic MS Dhoni centuries that made him a god-like figure for Indian cricket.
MS Dhoni centuries: ODI, T20I and Tests
Deviating from conventional coaching manuals, Dhoni’s centuries all showcase his unique batting technique, with a proclivity for hitting full-length deliveries toward the long-on, long-off, and mid-wicket regions. Here is a comprehensive snapshot of all the top MS Dhoni centuries encompassing all three formats.
MS Dhoni ODI centuries
Dhoni has been a prolific run-getter for team India for the past two decades. He has registered some swashbuckling centuries in this format, most of which came in a winning cause.
In 279 ODI innings, Dhoni racked up 10 centuries averaging a shade over 50 while maintaining a powerful strike rate of 87.56. In addition, he has also scored 73 half-centuries in this format. Interestingly enough, all of the MS Dhoni centuries in ODI cricket came in subcontinent conditions. Dhoni has amassed six centuries against Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Australia in total while he has one solitary ton against Hong Kong, Bangladesh, and Africa Xl.
|124||Vs Australia||Nagpur||28 Oct 2009|
|139*||Vs Australia||Mohali||19 Oct 2013|
|139*||Vs Africa Xl||Chennai||10 Jun 2007|
|101*||Vs Bangladesh||Mirpur||7 Jan 2010|
|134||Vs England||Cuttack||19 Jan 2017|
|109*||Vs Hong Kong||Karachi||25 Jun 2008|
|148||Vs Pakistan||Vizag||5 Apr 2005|
|113*||Vs Pakistan||Chennai||30 Dec 2012|
|183*||Vs Sri Lanka||Jaipur||31 Oct 2005|
|107||Vs Sri Lanka||Nagpur||18 Dec 2009|
Dhoni played the innings of his life against Sri Lanka in a home ODI series back in 2006 where he bashed the likes of Vaas, Zoyasa, and Muralidaran to all parts. In pursuit of 300, Dhoni went all guns blazing as he notched up his career-best ODI score of 183* (145) which powered the Men in Blue to a crushing victory by a margin of 6 wickets and 23 balls to spare. During his dominant stay at the crease, Dhoni smashed a total of 15 fours and 10 sixes.
One of his most exciting ODI centuries came against his arch-rivals Pakistan in a crucial contest dating back to 2005. India were leading the series by 1-0 and needed something special from one of their players to keep their winning momentum going. MS Dhoni rose up to the occasion and notched up a record-shattering ton of 148 (123) to virtually bat Pakistan out of the game. He had a memorable outing in that game, crushing 15 fours and four sixes. India went on to win that game comfortably by 58 runs.
His third-best century came against the mighty Aussies at Nagpur in 2009. Dhoni’s blistering 124 (107) helped India overpower the Ricky Ponting-led Australian side by a mammoth 99 runs. He smashed nine fours and three sixes in that innings.
Read also: Who is Dhoni's wife?
MS Dhoni T20I centuries
Dhoni also fared well in the shortest format of the game and played some electrifying cameos throughout the entirety of his international and IPL career. The finisher does not hold a T20I century but has two half-century scores to his name which also includes his career-best score of 56 against England in a winning cause. Overall, he averages 37.6 in this format and has over 1500 runs.
However, the two-time World Cup-winning captain has a prolific track record in domestic T20 competition. He has plundered over 7000 runs in the format and achieved his best IPL score of 84* against the RCB in the 2019 IPL edition. Dhoni's strike rate in T20 as well as T20Is stands at an explosive high of 134.49 and 126.13 respectively.
MS Dhoni Test centuries
MS Dhoni had a reputation for adapting and playing the long innings in the red ball format.
With over 4800 test runs, Dhoni averaged 38.09 with six test centuries under his belt out of which, five of them came on home soil. Dhoni has only one solitary away century on Pakistani soil. Two out of his six international Test centuries were against Sri Lanka, whereas he scored one century each against Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and West Indies. Additionally, he also has 33 half-century scores in this format.
|224||Vs Australia||Chennai||22 Feb 2013|
|148||Vs Pakistan||Faisalabad||21 Jan 2006|
|132*||Vs South Africa||Eden Gardens||14 Feb 2010|
|110||Vs Sri Lanka||Ahmedabad||16 Nov 2009|
|100*||Vs Sri Lanka||Brabourne||2 Dec 2009|
|144||Vs West Indies||Eden Gardens||14 Nov 2011|
The most impressive innings that Dhoni played was in 2013 in a home Test series against Australia. During the first Test match, he registered a record-shattering double ton to flatten the vulnerable Aussie bowling lineup. His mammoth score of 224 helped India set up a huge first-innings lead over Australia. As a result, Australia were not able to post a respectable target and India sailed to a comfortable eight wicket win.
Dhoni’s only overseas century came during India’s tour to Pakistan in early 2006. During the second Test of the series, Pakistan posted an imposing first-innings total of 589. To get past it, Dhoni put on a splendid show with the bat scoring 148 (153) to get India past the 600-run mark giving them a handy lead of 15 runs. The game eventually ended in a draw.
Another excellent Dhoni century came when he executed a brilliant rescue job in the decider Test match against South Africa in 2010. India were already 1-0 down in the series and were desperately looking to get back to winning ways to level the series. After bowling out South Africa for just 296, four centuries from Dhoni, Laxman, Dravid, and Sehwag gave India a massive lead of 347 runs. It proved to be too great a challenge for the Proteas to chase down this massive deficit, and they lost by an innings and 57 runs.
MS Dhoni centuries: Near misses
Despite Dhoni’s god-like status in Indian cricket, there are times when the man has been exposed as a mere mortal as well, falling short of a century. There have been seven such instances across all formats where Dhoni has been stranded in the nervous 90s.
The most painful of the lot was his dismissal against England in a 2012 Test when Dhoni was run out by Cook on 99. He batted through the most difficult period of the Test match and had his eyes set on a big score, until a sharp piece of fielding from Cook later in the day led to Dhoni’s sorrowful demise.
His second-most heartbreaking dismissal came against the Black Caps during a 2010 Test series. While batting on 98, Dhoni was all set to get to his fifth Test ton. But a well-executed loopy delivery by Vettori thoroughly outfoxed him as he patted the ball straight back to him for an easy catch.
All you need to know about Dhoni centuries: His journey to the top
Dhoni was born on July 7, 1981, in Ranchi which is in present-day Jharkhand. Born into a Rajput family who originally moved from Uttarakhand, Dhoni has two siblings and is the youngest of the lot. His father, Pan Singh worked as a pump engineer in MECON Colony within the city of Ranchi.
Initially, Dhoni performed as a goalkeeper for DAV Jawahar Vidya School’s football team. But after taking notice of his goalkeeping skills, his school team coach Keshav Banerjee motivated Dhoni to take cricket more seriously and shortlisted him for his school cricket team.
These athletic wicketkeeping skills paved Dhoni’s path into the Commando Cricket Club’s team as a regular wicketkeeper. In view of his performance at the club cricket level, Dhoni was shortlisted for the 1997-98 Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship, where he first started gaining attention.
From there on, there was no looking back for the wicketkeeper who made big gains at the U-19 level and then played for the Central Coal Fields Limited team. During the 1999-2000 season, Dhoni made his Ranji debut for Bihar. Between 2001-03, he additionally served as a Travelling Ticket Examiner at Kharagpur Railway Station while simultaneously participating in the Railways team.
However, he quit his job to give cricket a last shot and was later rewarded handsomely for his decision. Dhoni represented the Jharkhand team in the 2002-03 season in the Ranji Trophy and later in the Deodhar Trophy. In a short span of time, Dhoni was later fast-tracked through BCCI’s small-town talent-scouting program which made him secure a place in the East Zone team.
MS Dhoni: Other records
Apart from Dhoni’s centuries, the legend has also acquired a raft of records in international cricket which only a selected few could dream of getting close to.
Dhoni is the only captain in the history of cricket to lead a side to four ICC titles. He’s also the seventh fastest batsman to reach 10,000 ODI runs, and ranks fifth in terms of most sixes hit in an ODI career (229).
With regards to his IPL record, Dhoni holds the record for the most number of stumping dismissals in IPL. Furthermore, Dhoni is the only batsman to score half-centuries in five different batting positions (three, four, five, six, and seven).