Australia were bowled out for 241 on Tuesday morning leaving India a target of just 50. They did that promptly enough and Sachin Tendulkar even delighted the home crowd by hitting two sixes off his first two deliveries.
But it was Dhoni's 224 that really put the pressure on the visiting side and put India in firm control.
Dhoni's innings was marked by his attacking intent, with six maximums and 24 fours, but he was happy to credit his team-mates with setting the stage after a partnership of 93 from Tendulkar and Cheteshwar Pujara and another worth 91 between Tendulkar and Virat Kohli softened up the bowlers.
"It was important to play some shots," he said. "If you have those extra catching fielders, you might make one mistake and end your innings.
"I had to play a few shots to try and spread the field. The first (significant) partnership was important. Sachin and Pujara batted for a period of time. Virat and Sachin was crucial. It tired the bowlers a bit.
"Those partnerships were crucial. Ashwin bowled brilliantly. In the second innings, he was well supported by Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh). Ashwin stuck with his off-spinners, which was good.
"He was willing to bowl in one area, and that's a big positive.
"It's important to be focused now, but at the same time it is important that the bowlers take some time off now."
And the 31-year-old confessed that it has been nothing short of a dream at getting to play and score a double century for the national side.
"I never dreamt I would get a double in Tests. I had never even dreamt of playing for the country. Let's just keep it simple."
The second of four Tests begins on Saturday in Hyderabad.