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Full name Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Born July 7, 1981, Ranchi, Bihar (now Jharkhand)
Current age 33 years 143 days
Major teams India, Asia XI, Bihar, Chennai Super Kings, Jharkhand
Also known as Mahi
Playing role Wicketkeeper batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Fielding position Wicketkeeper
|Test debut||India v Sri Lanka at Chennai, Dec 2-6, 2005 scorecard|
|Last Test||England v India at The Oval, Aug 15-17, 2014 scorecard|
|ODI debut||Bangladesh v India at Chittagong, Dec 23, 2004 scorecard|
|Last ODI||India v West Indies at Dharamsala, Oct 17, 2014 scorecard|
|T20I debut||South Africa v India at Johannesburg, Dec 1, 2006 scorecard|
|Last T20I||England v India at Birmingham, Sep 7, 2014 scorecard|
|Last First-class||England v India at The Oval, Aug 15-17, 2014 scorecard|
|List A debut||1999/00|
|Last List A||India v West Indies at Dharamsala, Oct 17, 2014 scorecard|
|Twenty20 debut||South Africa v India at Johannesburg, Dec 1, 2006 scorecard|
|Last Twenty20||Chennai Super Kings v Kolkata Knight Riders at Bangalore, Oct 4, 2014 scorecard|
|Bat & Bowl||Team||Opposition||Ground||Match Date||Scorecard|
|6, 0c/0s||India||v West Indies||Dharamsala||17 Oct 2014||ODI # 3535|
|51*, 0c/1s||India||v West Indies||Delhi||11 Oct 2014||ODI # 3533|
|0c/0s, 8||India||v West Indies||Kochi||8 Oct 2014||ODI # 3531|
|0c/2s, 23*||Super Kings||v KKR||Bangalore||4 Oct 2014||T20|
|0, 1c/0s||Super Kings||v Kings XI||Hyderabad (Deccan)||2 Oct 2014||T20|
|35, 1c/0s||Super Kings||v Scorchers||Bangalore||27 Sep 2014||T20|
|0, 0c/0s||Super Kings||v Dolphins||Bangalore||22 Sep 2014||T20|
|35*, 0c/0s||Super Kings||v KKR||Hyderabad (Deccan)||17 Sep 2014||T20|
|0c/0s, 27*||India||v England||Birmingham||7 Sep 2014||T20I # 405|
|1c/1s, 29||India||v England||Leeds||5 Sep 2014||ODI # 3525|
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.
Dhoni, then a ticket inspector with the Indian Railways, had escaped all attention bar the odd whisper among the followers of club cricket in Kolkata until he was 23 when he blasted two centuries in a triangular 50-over tournament for India A in Nairobi in 2004. Long-haired and fearless, he soon swaggered into international cricket, and became an instant darling of the crowds with ODI innings of 148 and 183 within a year of his debut.
Dhoni demonstrated all that was right with the new middle-class India. He didn't respect reputations, but never disrespected. He improvised, he learned, but didn't make an apology about his batting style, which was not the most elegant. He still batted with low, hockey hands, he still didn't look elegant but became a multi-faceted ODI batsman, one who could accumulate, one who could rebuild, and one who could still unleash those big sixes.
Along the way Dhoni showed leadership skills, which were recognised when Rahul Dravid gave up captaincy in 2007. Just before that announcement from Dravid, Dhoni had taken a bunch of kids to South Africa and was leading India to a World Cup win in a format the country didn't even take seriously. The ODI captaincy was natural progression, and Anil Kumble just kept the seat warm in Tests for a year.
Dhoni brought to captaincy a thick skin and relative indifference to results that an Indian captain needs to keep the job for long. Along with coach Gary Kirsten, he put his senior performers in a comfortable place, and they returned the favour with some of their best years in international cricket. His calmness on the field helped and worked like a charm in the shorter formats, although tactically he sometimes sat back for too long in Tests. All that can't argue against the fact that India had some of their best years in Test cricket, in terms of tangible achievement, under Dhoni, and that Dhoni has for years been among the best few ODI batsmen in the world.
However, post the 50-over World Cup win in 2011, which Dhoni sealed with a timely 91 and his patented helicopter shot, reality struck, and an ageing team kept losing in unfamiliar conditions. After eight straight Test losses away from home, Dhoni the captain came under immense pressure, which was accentuated by a 2-1 home series loss to England in 2012-13, the first time India had lost at home in more than eight years. This brought out a new chapter in Dhoni's career wherein he seemed more assertive as a captain, started building a new team, played his best Test innings on a turner to win India the Chennai Test against Australia, and became the first captain to lead India to win four wins in a series. Sterner tests waited.
Having surpassed Tendulkar as the highest-earning Indian sportsman, Dhoni remains the advertiser's dream and a poster boy for modern-day India, but off the field, he has seldom courted attention or publicity.
ICC One-Day Player of the Year 2008
ICC One-Day Player of the Year 2009
ICC Spirit of Cricket Award 2011
LG People's Choice Award 2013
Why the Indian opener would be well advised to shelve the hook and pull in Australia