When England and India take the field on July 6, 2018 at Cardiff, it will be the second match of the three-T20I series. But more importantly for every Indian and cricket fan, the match will mark a historic event.
Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will feature for the 500th time in Indian colors on the international level. The 2011 World Cup captain will become only the third Indian player to achieve this feat after Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
Overall, Dhoni will be the eighth player to rack up this number. The other seven include Sachin and Dravid from India, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Sanath Jayasuriya from Sri Lanka, Shahid Afridi from Pakistan and Jacques Kallis from South Africa.
'Captain Cool', as he is widely known, has been a sensational player in the ODI's for India. In the 50-over format, he has played 318 matches, scoring 9967 runs at an incredible average of 51.37. His moment of glory in this format was when he lead the team to success in the 2011 World Cup.
His records in T20Is have been equally good. Till date, he has played 91 matches and scored 1455 runs at a healthy average of 36.37. He was the captain of the Indian team which won the inaugural World T20 title.
Despite his superb record in the shorter-format, Dhoni has somewhat been a disappointment in the Test matches. He quit the long format midway during India's tour of Australia in 2014. In his 90-match career, he scored 4876 runs at a decent average of 38.09. While there was criticism towards him for his captaincy in Tests, most notably for India's performance in overseas, it was during his reign that India reached the top of ICC Test rankings in 2009.
If India field first against England in the second T20I, Dhoni and his fans will celebrate two events in the same match. First, it will be time to celebrate Dhoni's 500th international appearance. And then, should he get the chance to bat, it will be his first innings as a 37-year-old. The visitors currently lead the series 1-0 having won the first T20I.