Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an Indian cricketer born on 7th July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar (now Jharkhand). Dhoni is a right-handed batsman whose primary role as a batsman is to finish the innings and also keeps wickets.
Dhoni is one of the most successful captains of Indian cricket. He is the only captain in the world to have won all the ICC trophies.
Born in the small town of Ranchi, Dhoni created small whispers within the cricketing circles since his late school days. As a result of his hitting prowess, he was selected as a part of the Bihar U-19 team which made to the final of the 1999-2000 Cooch Behar Trophy. In the final, he made 84 in Bihar’s score of 357.
However, Punjab replied back with 839 with the help of Yuvraj Singh’s 358. This meant that in spite of having a good Cooch Behar Trophy, Dhoni was overlooked for the 2000 ICC U-19 World Cup.
Dhoni spent the next few years of his career in oblivion. The desperateness in his effort to play for India found him as a ticket collector in the platforms of the Kharagpur Railway Station.
It was through the BCCI’s newly launched, Training Research Development Wing that Dhoni found himself in the eyes of scouts. He was sent to Nairobi on an India A tour of Kenya in 2004 where he blasted two centuries in a triangular 50-over tournament. The knocks brought him on the cusp of national selection.
Dhoni made his ODI debut for India against Bangladesh at Chittagong in 2004. He scored a duck on his debut. He had a tough start to his international career as his scores after four games read 0, 12, 7* and 3.
Dhoni was handed his Test debut against Sri Lanka at Chennai in 2005. He made 30 in the first innings and did not get to bat in the second innings. In the next Test at Delhi, he made a quickfire, unbeaten 51 in the second innings which helped India to a win.
Dhoni made his T20I debut in India’s first ever T20I against South Africa at Johannesburg in 2006. Like in his ODI debut, he scored a duck.
Rise to Glory
After a tough start to international cricket, Dhoni was promoted to number three by captain Sourav Ganguly in a game against Pakistan at Kochi. He repaid the faith by blasting 148 runs off 123 balls in a match winning effort.
His next match winning effort would be more significant as he hit an unbeaten 183 off 145 deliveries against Sri Lanka, batting second and chasing 299 for victory in Jaipur. Both these knocks took the world by storm as everyone suddenly took notice of this young man.
In just his fifth test match, Dhoni showed his class when he made 148 against Pakistan at Faisalabad. India were trailing by 307 runs with five wickets in hand when Sachin Tendulkar exited but Dhoni’s knock ensured India took a lead in the match.
In 2006, Dhoni had a fantastic away series at Pakistan. He scored 68 in the opening game at Peshawar and then followed it up with scores of 72* and 77* at Lahore and Karachi respectively. These innings saw Dhoni overtaking Ricky Ponting as the number one in the ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen although the reign lasted only a week.
After a disappointing 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup, Dhoni continued his batting form by hitting 139* for Asia XI in the Afro-Asia Cup. Dhoni scored 1198 runs in 24 innings in 2009 at an average of 70.43, which made him the joint highest run scorer of the year.
In the 2011 ICC World Cup final at Mumbai, Dhoni hit an inspiring 91* off 79 balls to steer India to their second World Cup glory.
In 2012, during a tri-series game against Australia in Adelaide, Dhoni made 44* in an important win. The knock included a last over six which measured 122 metres.
After coming to the fire for India’s home Test series loss to England, Dhoni set the stage rolling for the series against Australia with an amazing 224 at Chennai. He hit off-spinner Nathan Lyon to all parts of the stadium as India won the test convincingly.
Dhoni’s batting fell off slowly during the latter stages of his career but he made all his critics silent when he scored 134 off 122 balls and shared a 256-run partnership with Yuvraj Singh against England at Cuttack in 2017.
The 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup was the lowest point of Dhoni’s legendary cricket career. He made only 29 runs in the tournament which included a couple of ducks as well. As a result, India was eliminated in the group stage.
Dhoni was bought by the Chennai Super Kings during the inaugural Indian Premier League auction. Since then, he represented the Whistle Podu franchise for eight years leading them to a couple of IPL titles as well as a couple of Champions League T20 titles.
After the CSK were suspended for a couple of seasons, he was bought by the Rising Pune Supergiant franchise. He was retained by Chennai when they returned to the IPL in 2018.
MS Dhoni was handed the captaincy of the Indian side for the first time during the 2007 ICC World T20 held in South Africa. Against all expectations, Dhoni led his side to victory. After the tournament, he was handed the reigns of the ODI team when Rahul Dravid stepped down. He was handed the Test captaincy role when Anil Kumble retired in late 2008.
Dhoni brought an element of a cool head during his tenure as captain. He led his team to tri-series glory in Australia in 2008 after taking some courageous selection decisions. He then led India’s ascendancy to the top of the Test rankings for the first time in 2009. He also led India to World Cup glory in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy glory in 2013.
He stepped aside for Virat Kohli to take over the captaincy in Tests in 2014 and in the limited overs format in 2017.
Dhoni's Record in Numbers
In 2013, Dhoni became the second batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to have an aggregate of more than 1000 runs in ODIs against Australia.
In 2016, Dhoni became the most experienced international captain when he surpassed Ricky Ponting. He has captained in 331 matches.
Dhoni became the first wicket-keeper to effect 400 dismissals in ODI cricket after stumping out South Africa’s Aiden Markram in 2018.
Dhoni is the only Indian wicket-keeper to have scored 4000 runs in Test cricket.
Dhoni is also the most successful Indian Test captain eclipsing the record of Sourav Ganguly with 27 Test wins.
Dhoni is the only wicket-keeper in ODI cricket to have 100 stumpings to his name.