Dhoni remains permanent as Polland fifth MI skipper to toss with him

Chennai Super Kings’ captain MS Dhoni had a surprise waiting for him when he walked out for the toss in the opening match of the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 on Sunday. For it was Kieron Pollard who came out for the toss as his opposite number instead of Mumbai Indias’ regular skipper Rohit Sharma.

Sharma, who reached Dubai a few days after playing a Test match against England in Trend Bridge and had to undergo six days of isolation, had a slight niggle from that Test and though he has recovered, the team management decided to give a couple of more days of rest.

But what was a big surprise for him and his countless fans was that Pollard was the fifth Mumbai Indians skipper to come out for the toss against Dhoni.

So, while Dhoni has been a permanent fixture as Chennai skipper, Mumbai has had three regular and a couple of stand-in captains in the league since 2008.

Dhoni walked out for the toss with Sachin Tendulkar in the first three seasons, followed by Harbhajan Singh, Rohit Sharma, and also Ricky Ponting, who shared the leadership duties with Sharma in 2013. In all, Mumbai Indians have had seven skippers leading them so far — Dwayne Bravo (now playing for Chennai) and Shaun Polland, who led them in some matches in 2008.

It’s an indication of Dhoni’s longevity in the IPL that he remained the permanent fixture as Chennai Super Kings’ skipper while his opposite numbers kept changing.

The fans were quick to point out this unique record for Dhoni as they took to Twitter to share the information via photographs and tweets.