MS Dhoni is generally regarded as a legendary middle-order batsman, but he has batted in the top order as well. In fact, he has batted at every batting position from 1 to 8 in his ODI career.
Here is Dhoni’s average at different batting positions in ODI cricket –
#Opening (Average – 49.00)
Dhoni opened the batting for India in just a couple of games and while he got out cheaply in one of them, he played a fantastic knock of 96 in the other game against England at his home ground in Jamshedpur.
Dhoni’s overall average as an opener is 49.00.
#No. 3 (Average 82.75)
It’s at no. 3 that Dhoni was most successful as an ODI batsman as far as the batting average is concerned. He batted at no. 3 in only 16 games, but he was immensely successful in those games.
Two of Dhoni’s biggest hundreds in ODI cricket have come at no. 3, one against Pakistan at Vishakhapatnam where he scored 148 and the other one against Sri Lanka at Jaipur where he scored 183.
Dhoni has scored 993 runs at no. 3 at an average of 82.75 with 2 hundred and 6 fifties.
#No. 4 (Average 56.58)
Dhoni batted at no. 4 for a decent period of time, but he later pushed himself further down the order as India didn’t have too many finishers who could play the big hits in the death.
Dhoni’s numbers at no. 4 are pretty impressive as well, as he has scored 1358 runs in 30 games at no. 4 at an average of 56.58.
#No. 5 (Average – 50.30)
Many people thought that no. 5 was the most ideal spot for MS Dhoni as it allowed him to first get his eye in and then go after the bowling later.
Dhoni played probably the greatest knock of his ODI career batting at no. 5 in the World Cup final against Sri Lanka in 2011 where he scored 91 runs off 79 balls and powered India to their 2nd World Cup title in ODI cricket.
Dhoni has got more than 3000 runs to his name batting at no. 5 at an average of 50.30. He has also scored 4 hundreds at no. 5, which is the most number of hundreds he has scored at any batting position.
#No. 6 (Average – 47.31)
No. 6 is literally the toughest batting position in ODI cricket because a no. 6 batsman is always batting in a pressure situation.
If the wickets fall early, then he is entrusted with the tough task of stabilizing the ship and if the top order batsmen bat for a long time, then the no. 6 batsman has to come and go after the bowling from ball one. So, it’s difficult both ways.
However, MS Dhoni has still done an incredible job for India at no. 6, scoring 4164 runs in 129 games at an average of 47.31.
#No. 7 (Average – 44.76)
Dhoni has not batted at no. 7 a lot in his career. It was probably at the start of his career that he was often slotted at no. 7 as India had a lot of experienced batsmen up the order. Later, when he cemented his place in the ODI side, Dhoni mostly batted at no. 4, 5, or 6.
However, in the few games in which Dhoni has batted at no. 7, he averages 44.76. The former Indian captain has also scored 2 hundred at no. 7.
#No. 8 (Average – 17.00)
Dhoni has batted at no. 8 in only three games and he has remained not out in two out of those three games.
Whenever Dhoni batted at no. 8, he didn’t get too many deliveries to face. Dhoni’s total runs’ tally at no. 8 is just 17. His average at no. 8 is also 17 as he got dismissed just once.