The 13th edition of the world’s biggest T20 league, IPL 2020 is just a few weeks away as the cricket universe is getting ready to witness yet another exciting season of the cricket carnival. Mumbai Indians has been the most successful team in IPL history with 4 title wins in 12 seasons. They are followed by Chennai Super Kings who have captured the championship on three occasions.
It is worth noting that the Chennai-based franchise has never changed its captain in the 12 years of IPL. India’s only T20 World Cup-winning captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni started his journey as the CSK skipper in 2008 and he is all set to lead the franchise in 2020 as well. The right-handed batsman has been instrumental in his team’s success. Not only has Dhoni done well as a captain but he has also shone as a batsman.
Here are the 5 teams MS Dhoni loves playing against in the IPL:
1. Rajasthan Royals
The inaugural IPL champions, Rajasthan Royals have not enjoyed playing against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL. CSK have got RR’s number on many occasions and the Yellow Brigade‘s captain has led his team from the front against the Jaipur-based IPL franchise. Dhoni has played a total of 19 innings against RR.
In those 19 innings, he has remained unbeaten 9 times which itself showcases that the Rajasthan bowlers have not been much successful against Thala. He has registered two half-centuries versus Rajasthan and his highest score in 75*.
The right-handed batsman has aggregated 420 runs at an average of 42.00 playing against Rajasthan Royals. His strike rate in those matches has been 131.52 while he has also taken 14 catches and executed 2 stumpings, keeping the wickets against RR batsmen.
2. Pune Warriors
The now-defunct IPL franchise, Pune Warriors has the worst win-loss record in IPL history. In its brief existence, the Pune-based franchise could not qualify for the playoffs even once as it always found itself in the bottom half of the points tally. This record indicates that the Pune Warriors were easy opponents for their rivals and MS Dhoni ensured that he toils Pune with his big-hitting.
Since Pune Warriors did not last long in the IPL, Dhoni could only play 6 matches against them. He batted in 5 innings during those games, amassing 135 runs at a fantastic average of 45.00.
Although he could never breach the 50 runs milestone against Pune Warriors, his highest score was 45*. The highlighting statistic of his record against Pune Warriors was his strike rate of 150.
3. Kolkata Knight Riders
The Gautam Gambhir-led Kolkata Knight Riders had made life difficult for MS Dhoni when he was a part of the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise. During one of the games between KKR and RPS, Gambhir set an aggressive field as if the two teams were playing a Test match. This field setting did not allow Dhoni to play his natural as he could not touch the double digits despite playing 20+ balls.
However, this was the only instance where KKR could keep the Ranchi-born superstar under control. In the 24 games that Dhoni has played against KKR so far, he has aggregated 471 runs at an astounding average of 52.33.
Despite his slow innings for RPS, Dhoni has a strike rate of 134.57 against Kolkata which suggests that he has tormented the Purple and Gold Army’s bowlers in the IPL. He recorded one half-century against KKR with his highest score being 66*.
4. Sunrisers Hyderabad
The fans who watched the Champions League T20 match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad would know how much MS Dhoni enjoys playing against the Orange Army. The right-handed batsman had struck a whirlwind half-century in that match decimating the SRH bowling attack. Besides, he had even registered a 28-ball fifty against David Warner’s team in IPL 2015.
Speaking of his overall record against Sunrisers Hyderabad, the Ranchi-born player has batted in 13 innings against them and in those innings, he did not lose his wicket six times. He has four fifties to his name against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Also, his highest score is 67* whereas his average rises to 56.43 when he plays versus Hyderabad. He has a strike rate of 150.19 against this opposition which further shows his domination.
5. Kings XI Punjab
Whenever fans talk about MS Dhoni’s IPL career, two of his innings against Kings XI Punjab will pop up first. During IPL 2010, Chennai Super Kings needed a victory against Kings XI Punjab to stay alive in the competition and the Mohali-based franchise posted a big score of 192 runs on the board. It seemed like Chennai would lose the match however, Dhoni played a knock of 54 runs to guide his team home.
He played merely 29 balls in that innings and on that night, the fans witnessed a new aggressive avatar of the CSK captain. The other game where Dhoni blew away Punjab was during a fixture between Rising Pune Supergiant and KXIP. Dhoni did the unthinkable by scoring 22 runs off the final over against Axar Patel to avoid Pune from an eighth-place finish.
The Ranchi-born cricketer has scored 595 runs in 21 innings against Punjab which includes five fifties and a best score of 79*. His strike rate rises to 155.76 while playing against the Preity Zinta-owned franchise which reflects that he loves to bat against KXIP.
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