IPL 2021: MS Dhoni set to become first captain to lead in 300 T20 matches
Friday’s encounter against KKR will be Dhoni’s tenth appearance in an IPL final.
Updated - Oct 15, 2021 4:25 pm
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will name himself an unprecedented record as soon as he steps out against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Dubai International Stadium on October 15 as the 2021 Indian Premier League final will be his 300th fixture as a T20 skipper.
Dhoni has been a part of the IPL ever since its inception in 2008 and has led the Chennai Super Kings in eight finals so far, winning three titles (2010, 2011 and 2018), second only to Mumbai Indians’ five. Friday’s encounter against KKR will be Dhoni’s tenth appearance in an IPL final as he led the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL 2017 final when CSK was suspended for two years from the league.
Arguably one of the finest international captains, Dhoni has enjoyed similar success in the league, having won 130 fixtures out of the 213 he has skippered, both individual best records. In terms of most matches won, MI’s Rohit Sharma is the distant second with 75 victories, while Virat Kohli’s 140 matches played as captain are the second-most after Dhoni’s 203.
The 40-year-old recently confirmed that he will remain with the Super Kings in the next season, although he is unsure of his role. On being asked by Danny Morrison at the toss during CSK’s 7th October league match against Punjab Kings, he said: “You’ll see me in yellow next season but whether I’ll be playing for CSK you never know. There are a lot of uncertainties coming up, two new teams are coming, we don’t know what the retention rules are and so on.”
The tournament is set to become a ten-team affair from the next season, which will be preceded by a mega auction. Though the modalities of the mega auction are yet to be revealed, it is understood that the teams will be allowed to retain only a handful of players. If not in the capacity of a player, Dhoni’s remarks have cast in stone the possibility of the CSK management giving him a coaching role with the franchise, not least because of the plethora of things he brings onto the table.
Dhoni announced his international retirement in 2020 and is set to mentor the Indian team during the impending T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.