Born on/in : 7th July, 1981(age 38); In Ranchi, Bihar.
Known for : Best Wicket-keeper, Captaincy, Finisher
Awards : ►Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2007
►Padma Shri in 2009
►Padma Bhushan in 2018
Nickname : Mahi, Captain Cool, MSD, Thala
Other Honors : Lieutenant Colonel on Nov 1, 2011.
Born in Ranchi, Bihar to Pan Singh as a third child, he did schooling in DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir where he initially excelled in badminton and football(goalkeeper). He was sent to fill the shortage of wicketkeeper in local cricket club team by his coach. MSD impressed by his wicketkeeping, and come to be regular wicket keeper at Commando Cricket Club during the years 1995 – 1998. He was slotted for Vinoo Mankad Trophy, for his prevailing performance in the club. That’s how the best captaincy was moved into the field.
Foundation to Cricket:
Dhoni was showered for Central Coal Fields Limited(CCL) Team by Deval Sahay during his 12th STD in 1998, wherein the shots of him against the fastest bowlers of the district made Deval to move him up to Bihar Ranji Team in 1999-00 season. Those years, balancing 12thstudies and cricket would have been definitely boorish, but he versed in the challenge. Times were there, where he used to hurry to play, as rapid as he finishes off the exam.
Dhoni worked as a Travelling Ticket Examiner at Kharagpur Railway Station in 2001-2003, besides centuries and half centuries in the Ranji over the same years. Dhoni was knocked in National Cricket Academy by Prakash Poddar in 2003, for his shots in Jamshedpur.
He was picked in India A squad for a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. Having 362 runs in 6 innings at an average of 72.4, he grabbed the attention of the then Indian Captain Sourav Ganguly and was added in the ODI of Bangladesh tour in November 2004. The 22 year old boy had an inauspicious start against Bangladesh for duck as debut, following string of low scores. Ganguly, however extended him to the next tour of Pakistan.
Dhoni's Era in Indian Cricket:
Here’s where Dhoni’s era in Indian Cricket had the roots on to emerge. He repaid their faith with a stroke-play of 148 off 123 in Vishakapatnam against Pakistan, highest score for a wicketkeeper. Later in 2005, he went one step further bludgeoning his way to a brutal 183* off 145 in Jaipur to make a mockery of a 300-run chase against a Sri Lankan attack that looked aghast at his bizarre-but-effective stroke-play and the unparalleled physical power that he imparted on the ball.
Later on in 2007, India failed to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stage in 2007 Cricket World Cup with Dhoni ducked in both the matches; which made the political activists to vandalize and damage the under-construction house of him in Ranchi.
ICC World Cup 2011:
In 2011, Dhoni’s captaincy moved the team to finals against Sri Lanka. In finals, chasing 275, Dhoni ordered him up in the match, partnership with Gambhir; the match required more than a run per ball. Dhoni was 60 off 60, then accelerated and stirred to 17 of last 6 balls. Dhoni electrocuted the coercion poured upon him, with a magnificent six, augmenting India to lift the ICC World Cup after 28 years, 91 not out off 79. The victory was laureated when Ravi Shastri’s voice rang through television sets of the plenary 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.
'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.
Technique is a product of how the job is done rather than a step by step procedure. Dhoni astonishes everyone on and off the field, either by dismissals of the opponent by his own or the commands to his fellow players. He is often pondered for his aesthetics on the play instead of functionality. Starting from, usage of Hindi (National Language of India) to players to not correlate with the opponents, he pins every stances to look into the win. His suggestions in fielding, frequently takes out a wicket, claiming him an odd lucky midas touch.
His experience in the field is pronounced in his review over the match that had formulated DRS to “Dhoni’s Review System”, colloquially. If Mahi nods for a wicket, it is for sure. If Mahi calls for a Time-out, it is within 3-4 seconds. He knows where the wicket actually hides in, which is well seen during the match.
With heavy Kashmir willow bats, light and hollow tennis balls, and long boundaries, he developed a bottomhand-dominated technique to impart maximum power on the light tennis ball which undergoes energy-damping upon impact. However, Dhoni stood out when he, along with a friend, developed an elevated body-weight shot with an exaggerated follow-through that cleared boundaries with ease. On that count, cricketing folklore will remember MS Dhoni as the man who had the audacity to play the 'helicopter shot' against the leather ball.
Dhoni as a Captain and Leader:
Dhoni was recommended for captaincy by Sachin Tendulkar and Dravid, when Dravid stepped down as skipper in 2007. With the matured head, he sweeped away Pakistan in a thrilling contest, that ameliorated him as “Captain Cool”, after the series and handed over the ODI leadership. And after the retirement of Anil Kumble in late 2008, Test leadership was thrust upon him too.
Owing to the forces upon him while captaining, he overshadowed by behaving a fearsome hitter over his innings. Notably, the last overs of Dhoni’s batting had made the viewers to the corner of the seat & in the nick time, he hardly perturb them. It claims to be the Dhoni’s treat for the cricket lovers. The modus by which, he withholds the pressure on him, directly exposes the self confidence and perfect leadership that had made even the so considered God of Cricket to utter, “Dhoni was to be the best captain, whom I played under”.
Under Dhoni's captaincy, India topped the Test cricket rankings for the first time, in 2009 & he also holds the record of most stumpings by a wicketkeeper.
Dhoni was the first captain to mould the team to whitewash Australia in a test series since 40 years in 2013.
Mahi was also the only captain to take home all three forms of ICC Trophies (ICC World Cup against Sri Lanka in 2011, ICC World T20 against Pakistan in 2007, ICC Champions Trophy against England in 2013).
His captaincy and leadership were lauded by every cricket legends. Ab De Villiers once stated that, “Let MSD be 80, in wheelchair, not able to perform well; Still, He would be in my team”, hypothetically to highlight the matured and cool head of MSD.
Dhoni & Indian Premier League (IPL):
MSD and Chennai Super Kings is a great yellove story. To detail out the efforts of MSD in IPL, it would take you extra time wontedly. Tho, Let me just list out this subtopic.
MSD, the only player to hold the captaincy of the team in the entire IPL season till now.
Mahi pushed the team 8 times into the finals, 10 times to the playoffs and took the cup 3 times in 2010, 2011, 2018 among 12 IPL seasons.
His team, Chennai Super Kings is to be the most loquacious team among other teams.
Give him a people of 11, he would enhance them, carve them to appear in the finals. He proves this to be lawful.
Beginning of the End:
In the away Border-Gavaskar trophy in 2014, moments after helping India draw the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, Dhoni announced that he was stepping down from Test captaincy and retiring from Test cricket, citing excessive workload as the reason for quitting the longest format.
On 4th January, 2017 Dhoni stepped down as the captain of the Indian ODI and T20I team, bringing about the end of an era in Indian cricket.
Dhoni dipped off alarmingly in 2018, when the top orders were in turbo mode of hitting. Yet, he persist to guarantee the brand of him through his lightning stumpings, guiding young bowlers, handholding the spinners in limited overs cricket.
His last match was the Semi-finals against New Zealand in World Cup 2019, where he was run out, 2 inch to the grease; “Why didn’t I dive? is what I always ask myself”, Dhoni in a recent interview.
The Conscience of the Best Captain:
Dhoni was into the father’s advice seemingly, “Don’t take success to your head; Keep going”, as depicted in the biopic “MS Dhoni : The Untold Story”. He preserves to be the ideal icon for the young aspiring minds of the country. Aggression with decorum, modesty along with stardom, and an apparent happy-go-lucky Midas touch, Dhoni is the perfect blend of a role-model and pin-up star.
Response to media people shows him as a being, tackling the criticisms humorously. Facing the failures at front, having wins at the backs enhances him as a human being too.
Years may go on, players may do vigorously the playoffs, but a player as like MS DHONI, would never turn upon; Error 404 for his replacement.