Happy Birthday MS Dhoni: India’s ‘Captain cool’ turns 39
Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates his 39th birthday on Tuesday. In his stellar career, MS Dhoni has left a mark in the world of cricket that will shine for years to come. Dhoni has played 90 Tests in which he amassed 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09. He has also played 350 ODIs in which he has scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57. Dhoni, formerly known as ‘captain cool’ during his captaincy days, has also played 98 T20Is for India in which he has scored 1,617 runs at an average of 37.60.
While Dhoni faced a few initial hiccups at the start of his run in the Indian team, his 148 against Pakistan in Vizag in 2005 showed the world the talent that he possessed. But it was just the beginning of the storm.
Because of his abilities to hit big shots at will, Dhoni proved to be one of the most effective player in chasing targets, and slowly he grew into one of the best run-chasers in the world. His match-winning fifty in a run-chase against Zimbabwe in a 2005 tri-series match remains one of his most memorable innings. His stunning 183 in a run-chase against Sri Lanka a month later further cemented Dhoni as one of the best finishers of the game.
With his rising stature, Dhoni was given the chance to lead India in the inaugural 2007 T20I World Cup, where he led a team of youngsters to the trophy against all odds. The final against Pakistan turned into a nail-biting thriller, and yet, Dhoni showed maturity beyond years when he gave the ball to Joginder Sharma in the final over, who dismissed Misbah-ul-Haq and won India the match.
A few years later, Dhoni led India to the ODI World Cup, and with the cricket’s biggest tournament taking place at home, the expectations were high. Though, as a batsman Dhoni was not having the best of tournaments, he still believed in himself and made the call to promote himself up the batting order over Yuvraj Singh in the final. The decision proved to be a correct one once again, as Dhoni, the finisher, smashed an unbeaten 91 to help India to another ICC trophy.
In 2013, Dhoni promoted Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as the openers for the team in the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in England. While Rohit was an inexperienced customer as an opener, Dhawan was making a return to the team after nearly two years. Once again ‘captain cool’ proved to be the master gambler as India went on to win another ICC trophy under MSD’s captaincy. Dhoni became the first captain and till date only to win all three ICC trophies, leaving no doubt that he is one of the most successful captains of India.
Dhoni’s record as captain has also been remarkable in the Indian Premier League, as he has led Chennai Super Kings to three titles over the years.
Apart from his batting prowess, and captaincy records, Dhoni has also been one of the best wicketkeepers in the world in the past decade. He has redefined techniques to cause lightning-quick run-outs and stumpings. But as he remains focused on his keeping duties, his thinking mind is always glued to what goes on in the game at all times. This is why he has also been one of the most successful players to make DRS calls from behind the stumps. Perhaps, this is why the fans on social media have now termed DRS as the ‘Dhoni Review System’.