Veteran wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni on Saturday became the first captain in Indian Premier League (IPL) history to appear in 200 matches. He achieved the feat during match 47 of IPL 2021 between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Dhoni’s 200th appearance as a captain came in his 216th IPL game. He made 186 appearances for Chennai as a captain and the remaining 14 came for presently-defunct Rising Pune Supergiants during the 2016 season, when CSK was banned from IPL for two years owing to corruption. He was axed from his role as a skipper in the 2017 season. Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli stands next on the list with 136 such appearances.
Earlier in April this year, during the first half of IPL 2021, Dhoni had become the first player to captain a franchise in 200 matches in T20 cricket.
Under the leadership of Dhoni, Chennai have booked their place in the playoffs, becoming the first team to reach the knockouts in IPL 2021, following their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad earlier this week. It will be their 11th appearance in the playoffs in 12 seasons. They had finished seventh in the points table last season, scripting a forgettable campaign in the UAE
Chennai will now aim to assure themselves a top-two finish while Rajasthan will be looking to stay alive in the race to the playoffs.