MS Dhoni

220px-Dhoni_at_Reebok_event

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (About this sound pronunciation ; commonly known as MS Dhoni; born 7 July 1981) is an Indian cricketer who captained the Indian team in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2016 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014. An attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest finishers in limited-overs cricket.[2][3][4][5] He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka.

Dhoni holds numerous captaincy records such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs, and most back-to-back wins by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off 79 balls handing India the victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. In June 2013, when India defeated England in the final of the Champions Trophy in England, Dhoni became the first captain to win all three ICC limited-overs trophies (World Cup, Champions Trophy and the World Twenty20). After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. In the Indian Premier League, he captained the Chennai Super Kings to victory at the 2010 and 2011 seasons, along with wins in the 2010 and 2014 editions of Champions League Twenty20. He announced his retirement from Tests on 30 December 2014.[6]

Dhoni holds the post of Vice-President of India Cements Ltd., after resigning from Air India. India Cements is the owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and Dhoni has been its captain since the first IPL season.[7][8] Dhoni is the co-owner of Indian Super League team Chennaiyin FC.[9]

Dhoni has been the recipient of many awards, including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win the award twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009.[10] He was named as the captain of ICC World Test XI and ICC World ODI XI teams for 2009. The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel[11] to Dhoni on 1 November 2011. He is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to have received this honour. In 2011, Time magazine included Dhoni in its annual Time 100 list as one of the “Most Influential People in the World.”[12] In 2012, SportsPro rated Dhoni as the sixteenth most marketable athlete in the world.[13] In June 2015, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 23rd in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at US$31 million.[14] In 2016, a biopic M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story was made on him.

Early life and background

Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand),[15] and he identifies as being a Rajput.[16] His paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District of Uttarakhand. Dhoni’s parents, moved from Uttarakhand to Ranchi where his father Pan Singh worked in junior management positions in MECON. Dhoni has a sister Jayanti Gupta and a brother Narendra Singh Dhoni.[17][18] Dhoni is a fan of Adam Gilchrist, and his childhood idols were cricket teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and singer Lata Mangeshkar[19][20]

Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali, Ranchi, Jharkhand where he initially excelled in badminton and football and was selected at district and club level in these sports. Dhoni was a goalkeeper for his football team and was sent to play cricket for a local cricket club by his football coach. Though he had not played cricket, Dhoni impressed with his wicket-keeping skills and became the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando cricket club (1995–1998). Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship and he performed well.[18] Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard.[21] Dhoni was a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003, under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore (W), a district in West Bengal.[22][23][24] His colleagues remember him as a very honest, straightforward employee of the Indian Railways. But he also had a mischievous side to his personality. Once, while staying at the railway quarters, Dhoni and a couple of his friends covered themselves in white bedsheets and walked around in the complex late in the night. The night guards were fooled into believing that there were ghosts moving around in the complex. The story made big news on the next day.[25][26][27]

Early career

Junior cricket in Bihar

In 1998 Dhoni was selected by Deval Sahay to play for the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) team.[28] Till 1998 Dhoni, who was in class 12th in school, had played only school cricket and club cricket and no professional cricket. One of the famous episode when Dhoni used to play for CCL was when Deval Sahay used to gift him Rs 50 for each six that he hit in Sheesh Mahal tournament cricket matches.[29] Playing for CCL he got a chance to bat up the order. He grabbed the opportunity and scored centuries and helped CCL move to A division. Deval Sahay impressed by his hard hitting shots and dedication, used his contacts in Bihar Cricket Association to push for his selection in the Bihar team.[30] Deval Sahay, an ex Bihar Cricket Association Vice-President, was the Ranchi District Cricket President at that time and was instrumental in pushing Dhoni to the big stage of Ranchi team, junior Bihar cricket team and eventually senior Bihar Ranji Team for the 1999-2000 season. In 1 year Dhoni moved from playing in CCL to the Bihar Ranji team. Dhoni was included in the Bihar U-19 squad for the 1998–99 season and scored 176 runs in 5 matches (7 innings) as the team finished fourth in the group of six and did not make it to the quarter-finals. Dhoni was not picked for the East Zone U-19 squad (CK Nayudu Trophy) or Rest of India squad (MA Chidambaram Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy). Bihar U-19 cricket team advanced to the finals of the 1999–2000 Cooch Behar Trophy where Dhoni made 84 to help Bihar post a total of 357.[31] Bihar’s efforts were dwarfed by Punjab U-19s’ 839 with Dhoni’s future national squad teammate Yuvraj Singh making 358.[32][33] Dhoni’s contribution in the tournament included 488 runs (9 matches, 12 innings), 5 fifties, 17 catches and 7 stumpings.[34] Dhoni made it to the East Zone U-19 squad for the CK Nayudu trophy[35] but scored only 97 runs[36] in four matches as East Zone lost all four matches and finished last in the tournament. [37]

Bihar cricket team

Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar in the 1999–2000 season as an eighteen-year-old. He made a half century in his debut match scoring 68* in the second innings against Assam cricket team.[38] Dhoni finished the season with 283 runs in 5 matches. Dhoni scored his maiden first-class century while playing for Bihar against Bengal in the 2000/01 season in a losing cause.[39] Apart from this century, his performance in the 2000/01 season[40] did not include another score over fifty and in the 2001/02 season he scored just five fifties in four Ranji matches.[41]

Jharkhand cricket team

Dhoni’s performance in the 2002–03 season included three half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy and a couple of half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy as he started gaining recognition for his lower-order contribution as well as hard-hitting batting style. In the 2003/04 season, Dhoni scored a century (128*) against Assam in the first match of the Ranji ODI tournament. Dhoni was part of the East Zone squad that won the Deodhar Trophy 2003-2004 season[42][43] and contributed with 244 runs in 4 matches,[44] including a century (114) against Central zone.[45]

In the Duleep Trophy finals, Dhoni was picked over international cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East Zone.[46] He scored a fighting half-century in the second innings in a losing cause.[47] Dhoni’s talent was discovered via the BCCI‘s small-town talent-spotting initiative TRDW. Dhoni was discovered by TRDO Prakash Poddar, captain of Bengal in the 1960s, when he saw Dhoni play for Jharkhand at a match in Jamshedpur in 2003, and sent a report to the National Cricket Academy.[48]

India A team

He was recognised for his efforts in the 2003/04 season, especially in the One Day format and was picked for the India A squad for a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya.[49] Against the Zimbabwe XI in Harare Sports Club, Dhoni had his best wicket-keeping effort with 7 catches and 4 stumpings in the match.[50] In the tri-nation tournament involving Kenya, India A and Pakistan A, Dhoni helped India A chase down their target of 223 against Pakistan A with a half-century.[51] Continuing his good performance, he scored back to back centuries – 120[52] and 119*[53] – against the same team. Dhoni scored 362 runs in 6 innings at an average of 72.40 and his performance in the series received attention from the then Indian captain – Sourav Ganguly[54] and Ravi Shastri amongst others. However, the India A team coach Sandeep Patil recommended Dinesh Karthik for a place in the Indian squad as wicket-keeper/batsman.[55]

ODI career

The Indian ODI team in the early 2000s saw Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper to ensure that the wicket-keeper spot didn’t lack in batting talent.[54] The team also saw the entry of wicket-keeper/batsmen from the junior ranks with talents like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik (both India U-19 captains) named in the Test squads.[54] With Dhoni making a mark in the India A squad, he was picked in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour in 2004/05.[56] Dhoni did not have a great start to his ODI career, getting run out for a duck on debut.[57] In spite of an average series against Bangladesh, Dhoni was picked for the Pakistan ODI series.[58] In the second match of the series, Dhoni, in his fifth one-day international, scored 148 in Visakhapatnam off only 123 deliveries. Dhoni’s 148 surpassed the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper,[59] a record that he would re-write before the end of the year.

Dhoni had few batting opportunities in the first two games of the Sri Lankan bilateral ODI series (October–November 2005) and was promoted to No. 3 in the third ODI at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Jaipur). Sri Lanka had set India a target of 299 after a Kumar Sangakkara century and, in reply, India lost Tendulkar early. Dhoni was promoted to accelerate the scoring and ended the game with an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls, winning the game for India.[60] The innings was described in Wisden Almanack (2006) as ‘Uninhibited, yet anything but crude’.[61] The innings set various records including the highest individual score in ODI cricket in the second innings,[62] a record that still stands. Dhoni ended the series with the highest run aggregate (346)[63] and was awarded the Man of the Series award for his efforts. In December 2005, Dhoni was rewarded a B-grade contract by the BCCI.[64]

Dhoni bowling in the nets. He rarely bowls at international level.

India scored 328 in 50 overs with Dhoni contributing 68 in their first match of 2006 against Pakistan. However, the team finished poorly scoring just 43 runs in the last eight overs and lost the match due to Duckworth-Lewis method.[65] In the third match of the series, Dhoni came in with India in a precarious situation and scored 72 runs off just 46 balls that included 13 boundaries to help India take a 2–1 lead in the series.[66][67] The final match of the series had a repeat performance as Dhoni scored 77 runs off 56 balls to enable India win the series 4–1.[68] Due to his consistent ODI performances, Dhoni overtook Ricky Ponting as number one in the ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen on 20 April 2006.[69] His reign lasted just a week as Adam Gilchrist‘s performance against Bangladesh moved him to the top spot.[70]

Two cancelled series in Sri Lanka, one due to the withdrawal of South Africa from the Unitech Cup due to security concerns[71] and the replacement three-match ODI bilateral series against Sri Lanka washed due to rain,[72] was India’s prelude to another disappointing tournament – DLF Cup 2006-07. Dhoni scored 43 runs as the team lost twice in three games and did not qualify for the finals. India’s lack of preparation showed in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy as they lost to West Indies and Australia, though Dhoni scored a half-century against West Indies. The story of the ODI series in South Africa was the same for both Dhoni and India as Dhoni scored 139 runs in 4 matches and India lost the series 4–0. From the start of the West Indies ODI series, Dhoni had played 16 matches, hit just two fifties and averaged 25.93. Dhoni received criticism on his wicket-keeping technique from former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani.[73]

Preparations for the 2007 Cricket World Cup improved as India recorded identical 3–1 victories over West Indies and Sri Lanka and Dhoni had averages in excess of 100 in both these series. However, India unexpectedly crashed out the World Cup after losses to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stage. Dhoni was out for a duck in both these matches and scored just 29 runs in the tournament. After the loss to Bangladesh in 2007 Cricket World Cup, the house that Dhoni was constructing in his home-town Ranchi was vandalised and damaged by political activists of JMM.[74] The local police arranged for security for his family as India exited the World Cup in the first round.[75]

Dhoni put his disappointing performances in the World Cup behind him by scoring 91* against Bangladesh after India were left in a tight spot earlier in the run-chase. Dhoni was declared the Man of the Match for his performance, his fourth in ODI cricket. He was also later adjudged the Man of the Series after the third game of the series was washed away. Dhoni had a good Afro-Asia Cup, scoring 174 runs in 3 matches at an average of 87.00, with a blitzkrieg 139 not out of 97 balls, a Man of the Match innings, in the third ODI.

Dhoni was named vice-captain of the ODI team for the series against South Africa in Ireland and the subsequent India-England seven-match ODI series.[76] Dhoni, who received a ‘B’ grade contract in December 2005, was awarded an ‘A’ grade contract in June 2007. And also he was elected as captain of the Indian squad for the World Twenty20 in September 2007. On 2 September 2007, Dhoni equaled his idol Adam Gilchrist’s international record for the most dismissals in an innings in ODI by catching five English players and stumping one.[77] He led India to the ICC World Twenty 20 trophy in South Africa with a victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in an intensely fought final on 24 September 2007, and became the second Indian captain to have won a World Cup in any form of cricket, after Kapil Dev. During the series between India and Australia, Dhoni hit an aggressive 124 runs in just 107 balls, in the second ODI, and a measured knock of 71 runs in 95 balls, along with Yuvraj Singh, saw India home by 6 wickets, in the third ODI. Dhoni took his first wicket in international cricket on 30 September 2009. He bowled Travis Dowlin of the West Indies out during a match of the 2009 Champions Trophy.

Dhoni batting against South Africa during the group stage match of 2013 ICC Champions Trophy.

Dhoni topped the ICC ODI Batsman rankings for several months in 2009. Michael Hussey from Australia replaced him at the top spot at the beginning of 2010.[78]

Dhoni had an excellent year in ODIs in 2009 scoring 1198 runs in just 24 innings at an astonishing average of 70.43. Dhoni was also the joint top-scorer in ODIs in 2009 along with Ricky Ponting, but the latter having played in 30 innings.

On 12 February 2012, Dhoni made an unbeaten 44 to guide India to their first win over Australia at Adelaide. In the final over, he hit a monstrous six which traveled 112 metres off the bowling of Clint McKay. During the post-match presentation, he described this six as more important than the one he hit during the ICC World Cup final in 2011.[79]

In November 2013, Dhoni became the second India batsman after Sachin Tendulkar to aggregate 1,000 or more ODI-runs against Australia.[80]

Dhoni stepped down as captain of India in the limited over formats in January 2017, just ahead of the ODI series at home against England.[81] In the second game of the series, he scored 134 off 122 balls, that included a 256-run partnership for the fourth wicket along with Yuvraj Singh. The hundred, his tenth in ODIs, was his first in over three years.[82]

Test career

Following his good one-day performance against Sri Lanka, Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik in December 2005 as the Indian Test wicket-keeper.[83] Dhoni scored 30 runs in his debut match that was marred by rain. Dhoni came to the crease when the team was struggling at 109/5 and as wickets kept falling around him, he played an aggressive innings and was the last man dismissed.[84] Dhoni made his maiden half-century in the second Test and his quick scoring rate (half century came off 51 balls) aided India to set a target of 436 and the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 247.[85]

India toured Pakistan in January–February 2006 and Dhoni scored his maiden century in the second Test at Faisalabad. India was left in a tight spot as Dhoni was joined by Irfan Pathan with the team still 107 away from avoiding a follow-on. Dhoni played his typical aggressive innings as he brought up his maiden Test hundred in just 93 balls after scoring the first fifty in just 34 deliveries.[86]

Dhoni followed the century up with some prosaic batting performances over the next three matches, one against Pakistan that India lost and two against England that had India holding a 1–0 lead. Dhoni was the top scorer in India’s first innings in the third Test at Wankhede Stadium as his 64 aided India post a respectable 279 in reply to England’s 400. However Dhoni and the Indian fielders dropped catches and missed many dismissal chances including a key stumping opportunity of Andrew Flintoff (14).[87] Dhoni failed to collect the Harbhajan Singh delivery cleanly as Flintoff went on to make 36 more runs as England set a target of 313 for the home team, a target that Indian were never in the reckoning. A batting collapse saw the team being dismissed for 100 and Dhoni scored just 5 runs and faced criticism for his wicket-keeping lapses as well as his shot selections.

Dhoni behind the stumps

On the West Indies tour in 2006, Dhoni scored a quick and aggressive 69 in the first Test at Antigua. The rest of the series was unremarkable for Dhoni as he scored 99 runs in the remaining 6 innings but his wicket-keeping skills improved and he finished the series with 13 catches and 4 stumpings. In the Test series in South Africa later that year, Dhoni’s scores of 34 and 47 were not sufficient to save the second Test against the Proteas as India lost the series 2–1, squandering the chance to build on their first ever Test victory in South Africa (achieved in the first Test match). Dhoni’s bruised hands ruled him out of the third Test match.[88]

On the fourth day of the first Test match at Antigua Recreation Ground, St John’s, Antigua during India’s tour of West Indies, 2006, Dhoni’s flick off Dave Mohammed to the midwicket region was caught by Daren Ganga. As the batsman started to walk back, captain Dravid declared the innings when confusion started as the umpires were not certain if the fielder stepped on the ropes and Dhoni stayed for the umpire’s verdict. While the replays were inconclusive, the captain of the West Indies side, Brian Lara, wanted Dhoni to walk off based on the fielder’s assertion of the catch. The impasse continued for more than 15 minutes and Lara’s temper was on display with finger wagging against the umpires and snatching the ball from umpire Asad Rauf. Ultimately, Dhoni walked off and Dravid’s declaration was effected but the game was delayed, and Lara’s action was criticised by the commentators and former players. Lara was summoned by the match referee to give an explanation of his actions but he was not fined.[89]

Dhoni scored two centuries in Sri Lanka’s tour of India in 2009, a series of three matches in which he led India to a 2–0 victory. With this feat, India soared up to the number one position in Test cricket for the first time in history. India scored 726–9 (decl) in the third match of this series, which was their highest Test total then.[90]

He played his last series in the 2014–15 season in India’s tour of Australia captaining India in the second and third tests; losing the second and drawing the third, trailing the series 2–0 before the Sydney Test. Following the third Test in Melbourne, Dhoni announced his retirement from the format.[91] In his last Test, he effected 9 dismissals (8 catches and 1 stumping), and in the process, went past Kumar Sangakkara in the record for stumpings with 134 (in all three formats combined)[92] and also broke the record for effecting the most dismissals in a match by an Indian wicketkeeper.[93] He finished his last innings unbeaten making 24 runs.

Captain of India

Dhoni captaining India in an ODI in February 2012.

Dhoni was named the captain of Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in September 2007.[94] India were crowned champions as Dhoni led the team to victory against Pakistan in a thrilling contest.[95] He, then, went on to become the ODI captain of the Indian team for the seven-match ODI series against Australia in September 2007.[96] He made his debut as full-time Test captain of India during the fourth and final Test against Australia at Nagpur in November 2008 replacing Anil Kumble who was injured in the third test and who then announced his retirement. Dhoni was vice-captain in this series up to that point.[97] India eventually won that Test thus clinching the series 2–0 and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.[98] Dhoni had previously captained India on a stand-in basis against South Africa and Australia in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

It was under his captaincy that India climbed to No. 1 in the ICC Test Rankings in December 2009. After that he managed to lead India in a series-leveling world championship of Tests against the South Africans in February 2010. India also managed to draw the Test series 1–1 in South Africa later that year.

After winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka on 2 April 2011 with his match winning knock of unbeaten 91, Tendulkar heaped praises on Dhoni, claiming him to be the best captain he has played under. Tendulkar mentioned that it was Dhoni’s calm influence that was rubbing off on all his team-mates and described Dhoni’s handling of pressure was incredible.

Only eleven players have captained ten or more Tests playing as a wicket-keeper. Dhoni leads the table with 60 Tests as captain, 35 ahead of Mushfiqur Rahim in second place.[99]

In March 2013, Dhoni became the most successful Indian Test captain when he eclipsed Sourav Ganguly‘s record of 21 victories from 49 Tests.[100] Ganguly also said in an interview to a news channel that Dhoni is the all-time greatest captain of India and he has a great record to support this credential.

In August 2016, Dhoni was selected as captain for India’s first tour to the United States, where India played two T20Is against the West Indies in Lauderhill, Florida.[101] India lost the first match on 27 August 2016, during which Dhoni surpassed former Australian captain Ricky Ponting to become the most experienced captain in international cricket.[102]

Dhoni’s final game as Indian captain was on 10 January, 2017 in a warmup match between England and India during the limited-overs leg of England Tour of India. Dhoni stated he will still fulfill his duties as captains in various domestic teams.[103]

Match bans

As captain of the Indian cricket team, Dhoni has seldom been suspended due to his team’s slow over rate. In December 2009 he was suspended for two ODI matches against Sri Lanka by ICC match referee Jeff Crowe as India was three overs short of the specified rate; Virender Sehwag acted as captain for the two matches in Cuttack and Kolkata.[104] In January 2012 Dhoni was banned for the fourth Test match against Australia in Adelaide as India was two overs short during the third Test in Perth.[105] Sehwag captained the team in the Adelaide test and Wriddhiman Saha kept the wickets. In the CB Series in February, Dhoni again faced a one match ban for slow-over rate against Australia.[106]

World Cup

Dhoni has captained India in two World Cups. Under his captaincy, India won the World Cup in 2011 and reached the semifinals in 2015.

2007 Cricket World Cup

Dhoni played his first ODI World Cup in 2007 at the Caribbean. India made an early exit from the tournament in the Group Stage. In 2007 Cricket World Cup, India was placed in Group B with Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda. Rahul Dravid captained the team in this World Cup. In three matches India played, they managed to win only one against Bermuda while losing the rest from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In their first match against Bangladesh, India was all out in just 191 in 49.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0. He stumped Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and captain Habibul Bashar in the match but, India lost by 5 wickets. In the next match against Bermuda, India posted the then Highest Score in the World Cup 413/5 in a must-win match. Dhoni scored 29 off 25 Balls which includes Two 4s and One 6. India won the match by 257 runs. India was required to win their last group match against the Lankans but they lost by 69 runs. Chasing the target of 255, India crumbled to 185 all out in 43.3 overs. Dhoni was out for 0 for the second time in the tournament in his very first ball by Muttiah Muralitharan. Thus, India was out of the world cup in very first round. The Team was heavily criticized for their performance. Dhoni’s under construction house in Ranchi was attacked by some 200 fans after the Bangladesh loss.

2011 Cricket World Cup

Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India won the 2011 World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, chasing 275, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order, coming before an in form Yuvraj Singh. When he came to bat India needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. He started building a good partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Due to good strokeplay and active running between wickets, they kept up with the required run rate. Dhoni was on 60 off 60 balls, but later accelerated with a greater flow of boundaries, ending with 91 not out off 79 balls. Befitting the occasion, he finished the match of in style with a huge six over long-on off bowler Nuwan Kulasekara and won Man of the Match. Later in the post-match presentation, he admitted that he came up the order so as to counter the Muralitharan spin threat as he was very familiar with Murali’s bowling, who was his team-mate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings. He had come after the dismissal of Virat Kohli, also a right-handed batsman. By partnering the left-handed Gambhir, he ensured a right-left combination at the crease that makes it difficult for bowlers to settle into a rhythm.

The bat used by Dhoni in the final match was sold for ₹ 72 Lac. The money goes to Sakshi Rawat Foundation, operated by Dhoni’s wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.[107]

2015 Cricket World Cup

For the 2015 World Cup held in Australia and New Zealand, Dhoni was named the captain of the 30-member squad by the BCCI in December 2014.[108] Under his captaincy, India was able to go through to semi-finals with ease, beating Bangladesh in the quarter-finals. However, they lost to Australia in the semi-finals held at the Sydney Cricket Ground . The team won 7 consecutive matches in this world cup and won 11 all consecutive in world cups. With the win against Bangladesh, he became the first non-Australian captain to win 100 ODI matches, and first Indian captain to achieve the mark. He is also the third captain to win 100 matches, after two Australians, Ricky Ponting, and Allan Border.[109]

Indian Premier League

Dhoni was contracted by the Chennai Super Kings for 1.5 Million USD. This made him the most expensive player in the IPL for the first season auctions.[110] Under his captaincy, Chennai Super Kings have won two Indian Premier League titles and the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.

In February 2017, Dhoni waas removed as the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants and was succeeded by Steve Smith. [111]

Playing style

Dhoni is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper. Initially, Dhoni appeared as a lower-order attacking batsman but he gradually changed his style of playing with the occurrence of pressure situation and his growing responsibility as a captain. He is a powerful hitter of the ball and one of the fastest man in running between the wickets.

His wicket-keeping skill is widely praised by cricket experts. He is quick when comes to stumping. He is the main wicket-keeper in the team but he occasionally bowls.

Personal life

Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat, his schoolmate in DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali.[112] a native of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on 4 July 2010.[113] At the time of their marriage, she was studying hotel management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata. After the retirement of Sakshi’s father from his tea growing business, their family shifted to their native place, Dehradun.

The wedding took place one day after the couple got engaged.[114][115] According to Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, a close friend of Dhoni, the wedding was planned for months and was not a spur of the moment decision.[116] Dhoni became father on 6 February 2015 to a baby girl named Ziva.

International records

Test cricket

  • Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India topped the Test cricket rankings for the first time, in 2009.[117]
  • As captain, Dhoni holds the record for longest unbeaten run in Tests from his debut with 11 (8 wins and 3 draws) beating former Australian captain Warwick Armstrong‘s 10. In his streak, however, there was a period of injury in which Virender Sehwag led the side (for 3 draws). So India’s unbeaten streak was for 14 tests, of which 11 were Dhoni’s.[118]
  • Dhoni is the first Indian wicket-keeper to complete 4,000 Test runs.[119]
  • Dhoni is the most successful Indian Test captain with 24 Test wins, eclipsing Sourav Ganguly‘s record of 21.[100]
  • Dhoni has the dubious distinction of an Indian captain with most Test defeats overseas with 11.[120][121][122]
  • Dhoni’s maiden century against Pakistan in Faisalabad (148) is the fastest century scored by an Indian wicket-keeper, and fourth overall.[123]
  • After hitting a six in third Test against England in Southampton, Dhoni completed 50 sixes as a captain, an Indian record.[124]
  • Dhoni shares the record for most dismissals in an innings (6, with Syed Kirmani) and in a match (9) by an Indian wicket-keeper.
  • Dhoni, with 248 dismissals in his career, ranks one in the all-time dismissals list by Indian wicket-keepers.
  • Dhoni is the second wicket-keeper to have effected 6 dismissals in an innings apart from a fifty in each inning of a Test after Denis Lindsay of South Africa.
  • Dhoni’s 224 against Australia in Chennai is the second highest score by an Indian captain.[125] En route to 224, Dhoni registered the highest Test score by an Indian wicket-keeper when he was on 193, beating Budhi Kunderan‘s 192. It was also the highest score by a wicket-keeper–captain beating Englishman Alec Stewart‘s 164.

ODI cricket

  • Dhoni is the first non-Australian captain and third overall to win 100 games.[109]
  • Dhoni’s 183* against Sri Lanka in 2005 is the highest score by a wicket-keeper.[126]
  • Dhoni has the fifth highest batting average (50.96), among cricketers with more than 5,000 runs.[127] It is also the highest among wicket-keepers.
  • Dhoni holds the records of the most dismissals in an innings (6) and career (357) by an Indian wicket-keeper.[128]
  • Dhoni’s 113 against Pakistan in Chennai in 2012 is the highest by a captain batting at number 7.
  • In 2017, Dhoni became first Indian and fifth overall to hit 200 sixes in ODIs.
  • Dhoni is the first wicket-keeper to effect 150 stumping dismissals in three forms of the game.[129]
Dhoni’s results in international matches
Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied No result
Test[130][131] 90 36 24 30 0
ODI[132] 285 158 109 4 14
T20I[133] 73 42 28 1 2

Captaincy record

Captaincy Record in Test Matches
Venue Span Matches Won Lost Tied Draw
At Home Venues 2008–2013 30 21 3 0 6[134]
At Away Venues 2009–2014 30 6 15 0 9[135]
TOTAL 2008–2014 60 27 18 0 15[136]
Captaincy Record in One Day Internationals
Venue Span Matches Won Lost Tied N/R
In India (At Home Venues) 2007–2016 73 43 26 1 3[137]
At Away and Neutral Venues 2008–2016 126 67 48 3 8[138]
TOTAL 2007–2016 199 110 74 4 11[139]
Captaincy Record in Twenty20 Internationals
Venue Span Matches Won Lost Tied N/R
In India (At Home Venues) 2007–2016 20 10 10 0 0[140]
At Away Venues 2007–2016 23 13 10 0 0[141]
At Neutral Venues 2007–2016 29 18 8 1 2[142]
TOTAL 2007–2016 72 41 28 1 2[143]

Note – In the 2010 ICC World Twenty20, India played a Super 8 Match against West Indies. This match comes under the List of Matches played in Away Venues as the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 was being hosted in West Indies

Outside cricket

Co-owner of Ranchi Rays

Along with Sahara India Pariwar, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Ranchi based Hockey club Ranchi Rays, a franchise of the Hockey India League.[144]

Co-owner of Chennaiyin FC

Along with Abhishek Bachchan and Vita Dani, Dhoni is also a co-owner of Chennai based Football club Chennaiyin FC, a franchise of the Indian Super League.[145]

Mahi Racing Team India

Dhoni’s interest in bikes was often discussed in media.[146] He co-parternered Akkineni Nagarjuna in buying a Supersport World Championship team Mahi Racing Team India.

Biographical film

A biographical film based on the life of Dhoni, titled M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, was released on 30 September 2016.

Endorsements

Dhoni signed with Kolkata-based celebrity management company Gameplan Sports in April 2005.[147][148] Currently Dhoni has 20 endorsements, only Shahrukh Khan has more (21).[149] In 2007 Dhoni had 17 endorsements.[150] In July 2010, Dhoni tied up with Rhiti Sports Management and Mindscapes and has been promised a minimum guarantee of Rs 210 crore over the next three years.[151]

The following is the list of endorsements signed by Dhoni:-

International centuries

Test centuries

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Test centuries
# Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 148 5  Pakistan Pakistan Faisalabad, Pakistan Iqbal Stadium 2006 Drawn
2 110 38  Sri Lanka India Ahmedabad, India Sardar Patel Stadium 2009 Drawn
3 100* 40  Sri Lanka India Mumbai, India Brabourne Stadium 2009 Won
4 132* 42  South Africa India Kolkata, India Eden Gardens 2010 Won
5 144 63  West Indies India Kolkata, India Eden Gardens 2011 Won
6 224 74  Australia India Chennai, India M. A. Chidambaram Stadium 2013 Won

One Day International centuries

One Day International centuries for India

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s One Day International centuries for India
# Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 148 5  Pakistan India Visakhapatnam, India ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium 2005 Won
2 183* 22  Sri Lanka India Jaipur, India Sawai Mansingh Stadium 2005 Won
3 109* 110  Hong Kong Pakistan Karachi, Pakistan National Stadium 2008 Won
4 124 147  Australia India Nagpur, India Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium 2009 Won
5 107 153  Sri Lanka India Nagpur, India Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium 2009 Lost
6 101* 156  Bangladesh Bangladesh Dhaka, Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium 2010 Won
7 113* 212  Pakistan India Chennai, India M. A. Chidambaram Stadium 2012 Lost
8 139* 229  Australia India Mohali, India Punjab Cricket Association Stadium 2013 Lost
9 134 285  England India Cuttack, India Barabati Stadium 2017 Won

One Day International centuries for ACC Asia XI

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s One Day International centuries for ACC Asia XI
# Runs Match Against City/Country Venue Year Result
1 139* 74 Africa XI India Chennai, India M. A. Chidambaram Stadium 2007 Won

Awards

Honorary awards and appreciations

Test cricket

Man of the Match awards

S No Series Season Match Performance Result
1 2nd Test – Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test Series 2008/09 1st Innings: 92 (124 balls, 8×4, 4×6); 1 Ct. ; 1 st.
2nd Innings: 68* (84 balls, 3×4, 1×6) ; 1 ct.
 India won by 320 runs.[169]
2 1st Test – Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test Series 2012/13 1st Innings: 1 st. ; 224 (265 balls, 24×4, 6×6)
2nd Innings: DNB
 India won by 8 wickets.[170]

One-Day International cricket

Man of the series awards

# Series Season Match Performance Result
1 Sri Lanka in India 2013/14 346 Runs (7 Matches, 1×100, 1×50); 6 Ct. & 3 st.  India Won the series 6-1.[171]
2 India in Bangladesh 2007 127 Runs (2 Matches & 2 Innings, 1×50); 1 Ct. & 2 St.  India Won the series 2-0.[172]
3 India in Sri Lanka 2008/09 193 Runs (5 Matches, 2×50); 3 Ct. & 1 St.  India Won the series 3-2.[173]
4 India in West Indies 2009 182 Runs (4 Matches with avg. of 91); 4 Ct. & 1 St.  India Won the series 2-1.[174]
5 India in England 2011 236 Runs (5 Matches with an avg. of 78.66, 3×50)  England Won the series 3-0.[175]
6 England in India 2011/12 212 Runs (5 Matches, 2×50 with 4 not outs)  India Won the series 5-0.[176]

Man of the Match awards

S No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Pakistan ACA-VDCA Stadium, Visakhapatnam 5 April 2005 148 (123 balls, 15×4, 4×6); WK 2 Ct.  India won by 58 runs.[177]
2 Sri Lanka Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur 31 October 2005 183* (145 balls, 15×4, 10×6); WK 1 Ct.  India won by 6 wickets.[178]
3 Pakistan Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 13 February 2006 72 (46 balls, 12×4); WK 3 Ct.  India won by 5 wickets.[179]
4 Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka 10 May 2007 91* (106 balls, 7×4); WK 1 St.  India won by 5 wickets.[180]
5 Africa XI M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai 10 June 2007 139* (97 balls, 15×4, 5×6); WK 3 St. Asia XI won by 13 runs.[181]
6 Australia Sector 16 Stadium, Chandigarh 8 October 2007 50* (35 balls, 5×4 1×6); WK 2 St.  India won by 8 runs.[182]
7 Pakistan Nehru Stadium, Guwahati 5 November 2007 63 (77 balls, 8×4); WK 1 St.  India won by 5 wickets.[183]
8 Sri Lanka National Stadium, Karachi 3 July 2008 67 (62 balls, 5×4, 1×6); WK 2 Ct.  India won by 6 wickets.[184]
9 Sri Lanka R. Premadasa Stadium Colombo 24 August 2008 76 (80 balls, 8×4); WK 2 Ct.  India won by 33 runs.[185]
10 New Zealand McLean Park, Napier 3 March 2009 84* (89 balls, 6×4); WK 1 Ct. & 1 St.  India won by 53 runs (D/L).[186]
11 West Indies Beausejour Stadium, Gros Islet 3 July 2009 46* (34 balls, 2×4, 1×6); WK 2 Ct. & 1 St.  India won by 6 wickets (D/L).[187]
12 Australia VCA Stadium, Nagpur 28 October 2009 124 (107 balls, 9×4, 3×6); WK 1 Ct, 1 St. & 1 Runout  India won by 99 runs.[188]
13 Bangladesh Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, Dhaka 7 January 2010 101* (107 balls, 9×4)  India won by 6 wickets.[189]
14 Sri Lanka Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai 2 April 2011 91* (79 balls, 8×4, 2×6); 1 ct.  India won World Cup by 6 wickets.[190]
15 England Rajiv Gandhi Stadium, Hyderabad 14 October 2011 87* (70 balls, 10×4, 1×6); 1 Ct. & 1 St.  India won by 126 runs.[191]
16 Sri Lanka Adelaide Oval, Adelaide 14 February 2012 58* (69 balls, 3×4, 1×6); 2 St. Tied.[192]
17 Pakistan M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai 30 December 2012 113 (125 balls, 7×4, 3×6); 1 Ct. & 1 St.  Pakistan won by 6 wickets.[193]
18 Pakistan Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi 6 January 2013 36 (55 balls, 1×4, 3×6): 1 Ct. & 1 St.  India won by 10 runs.[194]
19 Sri Lanka Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain 11 July 2013 45* (52 balls, 5×4, 2×6); 1 Ct. & 3 St.  India won by 1 wicket.[195]
20 South Africa Holkar Cricket Stadium, Indore 14 October 2015 92* (86 balls, 7×4, 4×6); 3 Ct. & 1 St.  India won by 22 runs
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