Dhoni's aggression swings balance
After Australia started the day well, MS Dhoni's brilliant counterattacking double-century helped India seize the initiative. Here are highlights from the third day's play which saw the hosts end firmly in control.
- MS Dhoni's 206 is his sixth Test century and highest score surpassing his previous best of 148 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006. It is also his first century against Australia. Dhoni's knock is also the highest individual score by an Indian wicketkeeper surpassing Budhi Kunderan's 192 against England in 1964 (also scored in Chennai). Four of the top six individual scores by Indian wicketkeepers have been made by Dhoni. The 206 is also the second-highest score by a wicketkeeper in Tests against Australia (highest for India). The highest is 210 by Taslim Arif in 1980. Dhoni is only 27 runs short of going past Andy Flower's record for the highest score by a wicketkeeper (232).
- Dhoni's 206 is now joint-fifth on the list of highest individual scores by Indian batsmen against Australia. The highest is VVS Laxman's 281 in Kolkata in 2001. India have now scored seven double-centuries against Australia in Tests since 2000. England are a distant second, with three double-hundreds.
- Dhoni scored 106 of his 206 runs against spinners, His scoring rate against the spinners was 6.23 (106 off 102 balls). He was most severe against Nathan Lyon, scoring 91 off just 73 balls at a scoring rate of 7.47. Against the pace bowlers, he scored 100 runs off 141 balls (run-rate 4.25). Dhoni scored 101 runs on the off-side (32 runs behind square) with 12 fours and two sixes. On the leg-side, Dhoni scored just 31 runs behind square but hit 74 runs in front of square including seven fours and three sixes. Off Nathan Lyon, who proved the most expensive, Dhoni scored 57 runs on the leg-side and 34 on the off-side.
- The 206 is also the highest score by an Indian captain against Australia surpassing Mohammad Azharuddin's 163 in Kolkata in 1998. Among Indian captains with 2000-plus runs, Dhoni has the third-highest average (45.20) behind those of Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. Dhoni also became the seventh wicketkeeper to go past the 4000-run mark in Tests. His average is the third-highest in the group behind those of Andy Flower and Adam Gilchrist.
- Dhoni's strike rate of 84.77 is the fourth-highest for an Indian batsman against Australia (100-plus scores). The highest is K Srikkanth's strike rate of 99.14 in Sydney in 1986. His strike rate is the fifth-highest for an Indian batsman for a 200-plus score. Virender Sehwag holds the top four spots on this list. The number of sixes hit by Dhoni (5) is joint-second on the list of most sixes hit by an Indian batsman in an innings against Australia. The highest is six sixes by Ravi Shastri in Mumbai in 1986.
- The 109-run stand between Dhoni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the eighth ninth-wicket century stand for India and their first against Australia. It is also the first century ninth-wicket stand for India since the 143-run stand between Sunil Gavaskar and Syed Kirmani against West Indies in 1983. The partnership is also the eighth century stand for the ninth wicket in Tests against Australia and the first since the 180-run stand between JP Duminy and Dale Steyn in Melbourne in 2008.
- Virat Kohli's century is his fourth in Tests and second against Australia. He has now scored 998 runs at an average of 41.58.
- The 128-run stand between Dhoni and Kohli is the fourth-highest fifth-wicket stand in Tests played in Chennai. The highest is the 169-run partnership between Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar against Australia in 2001. For the fifth time overall and the first time against Australia, an Indian innings featured four partnerships in excess of 90.
- Lyon conceded 182 runs off his 40 overs (economy rate 4.55) while picking up three wickets. The economy rate is the second-highest for an Australia bowler in Tests since 1990 (min 40 overs in an innings). Jason Krejza has the highest economy rate (4.90) during his bowling performance of 8 for 215 against India in Nagpur in 2008.
- India's total of 515 is their 13th 500-plus score against Australia (second in Chennai). On the previous occasion they scored 500 against Australia in Chennai (2001), India won by two wickets. No team has lost after gaining a 100-plus lead in Tests in Chennai, Click here.for a list of defeats (after gaining the lead) for teams at the venue batting second and here for a list when teams have lost (after gaining the lead) batting first.
Madhusudhan Ramakrishnan is a sub-editor (stats) at ESPNcricinfo