Mahendra Singh Dhoni Biography
Opinions are divided over MS Dhoni’s stature as the greatest captain in the history of the country. While he remains the only international captain to have won all three ICC tournaments (in addition to taking the side to No 1 ranking in the Test rankings), he has also been at the receiving end of long streaks of overseas defeats. It cannot be doubted, however, that nobody has served as captain, wicket-keeper, and batsman over such a long period of time in the history of the sport.
With an array of unconventional shots (including the trademark bottom-handed slog that has been coined “helicopter shot” by his fans) — some of which remind of Thor wielding his hammer at Valhalla — Dhoni has the ability to send a chill down the opposition’s spine while pulling off chases with nonchalant ease with nothing more than the slightest of adjustment to his glove between balls.
It has been this tranquil yet no-nonsense attitude that has defined Dhoni more than anything. While it has been unsettling for the opposition, it has often come as a mood-lifter for his side. From getting under the skin of Matthew Hayden to reminding Ravi Shastri of a wrong match prediction while the latter interviewed him during a presentation ceremony, his antics have been numerous.
Dhoni made a mark in the 50-over format with a whirlwind 148 against Pakistan, and came to the forefront with an amazing 183 not out in a chase against Sri Lanka. His reputation as a champion of seemingly impossible run-chases has not diminished since then.
With an average well over 50 and a strike-rate close to 90, Dhoni is an undisputed champion of the format. In the classical form, Dhoni’s greatest claim to fame is certainly the brutal 224 against Australia at Chepauk in 2012-13.
Already the owner of the most Test caps as a ’keeper-captain, Dhoni ranks quite high in the number of dismissals as well, and holds multiple records among wicket-keeper batsmen in both Tests and One-Day Internationals.
He had had played his part in upholding the stature of cricket as a gentleman’s sport when he had recalled Ian Bell at Trent Bridge after a dubious decision. It had cost him the Test (India were whitewashed as well). He quite Test cricket mid-way through the tour to Australia in 2014-15, allowing Virat Kohli to take over.
Among other things, he has also been responsible for putting the town of Ranchi on the map of international cricket.