MS Dhoni would look forward to a good year post his third IPL victory in 2018  © Getty Images (File image)
MS Dhoni would look forward to a good year post his third IPL victory in 2018 © Getty Images (File image)

Born July 7, 1981 in one of independent India’s newly built industrial hubs Ranchi, MS Dhoni certainly doesn’t need an introduction. He turns 37 this Saturday. When he started out on the grounds and stadiums in and around Ranchi, fame and riches were certainly not what held precedence for him. Instead, his game was defined by a free-spirited flamboyance and this was what eventually catapulted him into national reckoning.

One of the instances of this flamboyance was witnessed when in the Inter School Final of 1997, he scored a double-hundred playing for his school DAVJVM against Central School in a winning cause. This was a 40-over game, it must be remembered here. Dhoni then made his way up quietly and steadily through an initial period of struggle to be now regarded as one of the best wicketkeeper-batsman and captain who has played the game, particularly in the limited overs version.

After making a forgettable debut against Bangladesh in December 2004, Dhoni finally shone in the Visakhapatnam ODI against Pakistan with a blistering 148. He made a potent Pakistani attack look pedestrian through powerful strokeplay that day. In fact, that has been the case with him whenever he is on song irrespective of the attack he comes across to the given day. The reflexes may not be as sharp as they were in his earlier days, which is natural, but the man still knows his game and in a chasing scenario, he can still be safely trusted to carry his side home.

Dhoni was named captain of the Indian T20 side for the inaugural World T20, held in September 2007. He was only 26 at that point. The Indian side created history by winning the championship with a bunch of young players who were relatively low on experience in the fledgling T20 format at the time. Dhoni is certainly well-documented in terms of his achievements as skipper but it will still be worth remembering the fact that he is the first non-Australian captain and third overall to win over 100 ODIs. Another interesting nugget is that Dhoni’s 113 against Pakistan in an ODI at Chennai in 2012 is the highest by a captain batting at number 7.

Though his overseas Test captaincy did sometimes tend towards being too defensive, one can certainly not deny the fact that he remains the only international captain to have won all three ICC tournaments (in addition to taking India to No. 1 spot in the Test rankings in 2009).

Dhoni’s Captaincy Record

Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result
Test 90 36 24 30 0
ODI 312 177 116 - 4 15
T20I 86 51 32 1 2

Dhoni has, of course, made his mark as a wielder of the heavy willow with some big hundreds in ODIs and Tests. His 183 not out against Sri Lanka in 2005, 148 against Pakistan in the Faisalabad Test of 2006 and his monumental 224 against the visiting Australians at his adopted home ground of Chepauk in Chennai deserve special mention.

Batting and Fielding Statistics of Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Career

M

In

R

NO

HS

Avg

BF

SR

100s

50s

4s

6s

Ct

St

Test

90

144

4876

16

224

38.09

8249

59.11

6

33

544

78

256

38

ODIs

318

273

9967

79

183*

51.37

11276

88.39

10

67

770

217

297

107

T20s

89

78

1444

39

56*

37.02

1141

126.5

0

2

101

46

49

29

World Cup

20

17

507

5

91*

42.25

556

91.18

0

3

39

10

27

5

Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat on July 4, 2010, and became a father on February 6, 2015 to a baby girl, Ziva. He has been a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, the primary ones amongst them being Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (India’s highest honor given for achievement in sports, 2007-08); Padma Shri (India’s fourth-highest civilian award,2009), Padma Bhushan (India’s third-highest civilian award, 2018), and ICC ODI Player of the Year (2008 and 2009). We at CricketCountry wish MSD on the occasion of his 37th birthday.