MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli

MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli is the biggest debate of Indian cricket fans & fans the world over in recent times. While MS Dhoni has been the most successful captain in Indian cricket with an immense record of wins & trophies, Virat Kohli has been one of the most successful & in-form cricketers in world cricket. While both cricketers have played their respective roles very well, when it comes to the Kohli vs Dhoni debate, their captaincy approach & records are often under scrutiny. Nevertheless, they both are among the favorites of fantasy cricket players around the world due to their skills on the field.

Table of Contents:

Dhoni vs Kohli Stats Comparison

The overall comparison of Kohli and Dhoni in different formats of cricket are:

Dhoni vs Kohli in Test

In the purest form of the game, which is considered the true test of a cricketer’s talent, let’s see how Dhoni & Kohli compare:

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 90 96
Innings 144 162
Runs 4876 7765
Avg 38.09 51.08
Hundred 6 27
Fifty 33 27
Best 224 254*

If we observe closely, the batting statistics are skewed in favour of Virat Kohli. This goes to show that in obvious terms Kohli is the better batsman. But, if we look closely at the catches record which is overlooked here, it will show that Dhoni has 256 catches to his name while Virat only has 96. But that is not a number to show any considerable difference because Dhoni is a wicket-keeper & Kohli is an outfielder.

Dhoni vs Kohli in ODI

In the 50-over format of the game, Dhoni & Kohli are pretty evenly matched. So let’s have a look at how their individual stats compare:

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 350 254
Innings 297 245
Runs 10773 12169
Avg 50.57 59.07
SR 87.56 93.25
Hundred 10 43
Fifty 73 62
Best 183* 183

In this comparison, both cricketers have crossed the 10000-run mark. But if we look closely at the numbers then Virat has slightly better stats. But, we have to consider that at most times Virat has always batted at number 3, which means he has had the opportunity to face more deliveries. MS Dhoni on the other hand comes to bat at 6 or 7, most times under huge pressure of finishing the match with a positive result. Therefore in ODIs Virat is the better batsman again, but Dhoni is the better finisher & has an immense record as well.

Dhoni vs Kohli in T20

The shortest format of the game again sees the numbers skewed in favour of Virat Kohli in the Kohli vs Dhoni comparison:

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 98 95
Innings 85 87
Runs 1617 3227
Avg 37.60 52.04
SR 126.13 137.290
Fifty 2 29
Best 56 94*

Even though the numbers heavily favour Virat Kohli in the T20 format of the game. MS Dhoni is more known for his captaincy & number of wins in this format of the game. He has captained India to a T20 World Cup victory.

Dhoni vs Kohli in Indian T20 League

The Indian T20 League numbers are good for Virat Kohli as always, but Dhoni betters him on the average part. Let’s see how they compare first:

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 220 207
Innings 193 199
Runs 4746 6283
Avg 39.50 37.39
SR 135.8 129.94
Hundred 5
Fifty 23 42
Best 84* 113

Kohli’s numbers again take precedence over Dhoni’s, but we have to keep in mind that Dhoni has won 4 titles with his franchise Chennai. Kohli is yet to win an Indian T20 League title with Bangalore. Kohli has also recently left captaincy for Banglore.

So, Who is Better Batsman – Dhoni or Kohli?

If we consider the overall record, Virat Kohli wins this comparison hands down. He is by far the most successful batsman of the current generation. The current Indian team captain is ranked 6th in Tests in the ICC rankings & is ranked number 2 in ODIs. His current T20 rank is 11th on the ICC rankings.

MS Dhoni vs Virat Kohli Stats As Captains

The captaincy record heavily favours Dhoni because of the major tournaments that India has won under his leadership. Let’s see how they compare in the different formats:

Captaincy in Tests

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 60 65
Wins 27 38
Loss 18 16
Draw 15 11
Win % 45 58.46

Virat Kohli has surpassed Dhoni’s number & win percentage as captain in the longest format of the game.

Captaincy in ODIs

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 199 95
Wins 110 65
Losses 74 27
Tied 4 1
No Results 11 2
Win % 55.28 70.43

In ODI’s Virat’s win percentage is more, but Dhoni has led India in more matches & hence more number of wins. Virat still has a lot left to do there since he is still playing. Also, winning two ICC trophies makes Dhoni a better leader. Under MSD India played two world cups & won one, while under Virat India couldn’t go beyond the semi-finals in 2019.

Captaincy in T20s

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 72 50
Wins 41 30
Losses 28 16
Tied 1 2
No results 2 2
Win % 56.94 64.58

Once more Virat leads the comparison by numbers but, if you look closely you will see that Dhoni has led India in more matches, hence the percentages are still to be justified. MS Dhoni has also led India in all 6 editions of the T20 world cup & won the inaugural edition as well. Kohli’s T20 World Cup run was poor as India crashed out of the group stages in 2021.

Captaincy in Indian T20 League

Stat MS Dhoni Virat Kohli
Match 204 140
Wins 121 64
Losses 82 69
Tied 3
No Results 1 4
Win % 59.60 48.16

MS Dhoni is considered the most successful captain in the Indian T20 League. He has captained & led his franchise to 12 out of 14 finals so far. Chennai has also won 4 titles under his leadership, while Virat has only managed one runner-up finish with Bangalore in 2016.

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