Less than thirty years before that enchanting Saturday night when Ravi Shastri’s voice rang through television sets all over India, when even the spunky and exuberant Indian youth showed more interest in an old-school CRT television at a local chai ki dukaan than the dance-floor at a pub, a pump-operator in Ranchi awaited the birth of his third child.
‘Dhoniiiii finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the World Cup after 28 years. The party’s started in the dressing room. And it’s an Indian captain, who’s been absolutely magnificent, in the night of the final.’
Any cricket fan worth his salt just read this in Ravi Shastri’s most dramatic voice, as Mahendra Singh Dhoni enchanted the Wankhede on the night of 2nd April 2011.
Barring Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni is arguably the most popular and definitely the most scrutinised cricketer from India. He has done so coming from the cricketing backwaters, the mining state of Jharkhand, and through a home-made batting and wicketkeeping technique, and a style of captaincy that scales the highs and lows of both conservatism and unorthodoxy.
Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India have won the top prize in all formats: the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months starting December 2009, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the World Twenty20 on his captaincy debut in 2007.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most popular cricketers of India who captained the team from 2007 to 2016. Dhoni is considered as one the best wicket-keepers in world cricket and is also one of the finest captains India has ever had. He made his debut in the One Day International (ODI) in December 2004 and played his first Test a year later.
During Dhoni’s captaincy, the Indian cricket team won the highest rank in all formats, including the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months starting December 2009, 50-over World Cup (2011) and World Twenty20 on his captaincy debut in 2007.
Throughout his career, Dhoni has showed excellent leadership skills, which was recognised when Rahul Dravidgave up captaincy in 2007. He also actively played in the IPL by being the face of Chennai Super Kings franchise.
In 2016, a biopic on the life of Mahendra Singh Dhoni was released M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story. The film was a great success at the box office and showed the nuances of the Indian skipper’s struggle very beautifully.
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.
He is the only Indian wicket-keeper to have scored 4000 runs in Test cricket.
Mr. Cool is also the most successful Indian Test captain eclipsing the record of Sourav Ganguly with 27 Test wins.
He is the only wicket-keeper in ODI cricket to have 100 stumpings to his name.