Almost certainly his last Test at the historic Oval, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is in the cusp of two India captaincy record. The 33-year-old has played 87 Test matches and when he steps out to toss on Friday, Dhoni will become the most-capped India captain against England. Dhoni will be leading India in his 15th Test against England. He would go past Sunil Gavaskar, who led India in 14 Tests against England.
Dhoni will also share the record with Sourav Ganguly for the record of leading Indian in most away Tests. Ganguly has led in 28 Tests overseas. Dhoni will go past Mohammed Azharuddin, who has captained India in 27 away Tests.
Interestingly, both Gavaskar and Ganguly will be at the Oval commentating on the fifth and final Test at the Oval which India must win to level the series with England. The home team leads 2-1 with wins at Southampton and Manchester.
Dhoni's captaincy has been under the scanner in this series. He has been criticised by former New Zealand skipper Martin Crowe. Dhoni has been labelled as a good ODI skipper but unfit for the five-day game.
Given his amazing success as a ODI captain, the Indian Cricket Board has recommended Dhoni's name for the prestigious Padma Bhushan. Virat Kohli has been recommended for the Padma Shri.
Dhoni, who was awarded the Padma Shri in 2009, will become the 10th cricketer to receive the honour -- the third highest in the country -- if the BCCI's recommendation is accepted by the government of India.
Under Dhoni, India have won two limited overs World Cups, including the 50-over one at home in 2011. Last year, India beat England in a rain-hit final of ICC Champions Trophy at Birmingham.
(With inputs from HR Gopala Krishna)