Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the most successful former Indian cricket captains.
Under his captaincy, the Indian cricket team won ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, World cup in 2011 and ICC Champions Trophy in 2013.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the only captain to win all the ICC trophies.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was born on1 July, 1981 in Ranchi, Jharkhand.
His father, Pan Singh is a retired employee of Mecon, a public sector company under ministry of steel.
His mother Devaki Devi is a housewife.
This couple is blessed with three children by names Narendra Singh Dhoni, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and a daughter by name Jayanti Gupta.
Narendra Singh Dhoni is serving as a politician while Jayanti Gupta is an English teacher.
Footballer becomes a cricketer-
In his school days, Mahendra Singh Dhoni used to play football and badminton.
He wanted to become a football player in future.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni played football at district level as a goal-keeper.
During his sixth standard in Jawahar Vidhya Mandir School, Banerjee, the sports teacher of Jawahar Vidya Mandir and a cricket coach by name Bhattacharyya were looking for a good wicket-keeper for cricket.
They both realised the talent of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and selected him into a cricket team.
But he never played cricket in his life, even then in his first cricket match he did a great wicket keeping job and as a result was praised by many.
Into the commando cricket team-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni used to play as a regular wicket keeper for Commando cricket team in between the years 1995-1998.
He was selected in the under 16 category to play for a trophy in 1998.
In that tourney, Mahendra Singh Dhoni played really well.
For him, Adam Gilchrist of Australia is an inspirational figure.
So, after the completion of his tenth standard, Mahendra Singh Dhoni focused solely on cricket and also he used to focus on batting.
After a period of time he used to score many sixes.
Later Mahendra Singh Dhoni got selected to Bihar under-19 cricket team.
He exhibited his good wicket-keeping and batting skills.
Even as Mahendra Singh Dhoni used to bat very well by scoring sixes his talent was not recognised by the selection team as he hailed from a backward region.
In 2000, the selection for the under-19 team was going on and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was declaring the names of the selected players.
Confidence and positive attitude-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with his friends and family members were glued to television, hoping that Dhoni’s name would be announced.
After a long suspense, the BCCI announced names of some 15 players; unfortunately, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was not chosen.
Everyone was in a gloomy mood but Mahendra Singh Dhoni started to distribute sweets.
His friends were shocked to see his action, to which Mahendra Singh Dhoni replied that he realised the most important thing that day, that his performance is not adequate to get selected into the team.
So, he declared that from that day he will practice even more and will directly get selected into the Indian team.
This shows Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s self-confidence and positive attitude.
He learnt important lessons from his mistakes and improved himself.
Missing another golden opportunity-
Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni got selected to the Duleep Trophy.
But here also, he was very unlucky.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni received his selection news at the last minute, by which he was unable to reach on time and missed this golden chance.
By seeing all these failures in his son’s career, his father became depressed.
He pressured Mahendra Singh Dhoni to abandon cricket and settle in any job.
Working as Ticket Collector-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined as a Ticket Collector in railways in Kharagpur region.
While working, he used to appear in a sad mood.
So, his station manager enquired the reason behind this and found that Mahendra Singh Dhoni was sad because he was not able to play his favourite game, cricket.
So, the station manager finally allowed Mahendra Singh Dhoni to play cricket in his free time.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s trademark shot is known as Helicopter shot, he learned this shot from a Jharkhand cricketer by the name Santosh Lal.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni started to play very well for railways and fortunately for the second time got selected to Duleep Trophy.
But this time, Yuvraj Singh scored a massive 301 runs, by which no one considered Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
After experiencing so many setbacks, he decided to take a bigger risk to test his luck.
So, Mahendra Singh Dhoni resigned from his job.
Luckily, after a few days, thanks to his talent and hard work, he got selected to the East Zone.
Once in Jamshedpur, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was batting excellently and was scoring subsequent sixes.
Luckily, he was noticed by Prakash Prodar, an officer in Talent Resource Development Wing (TRDW).
TRDW was established by BCCI in 2002 and its main function is to identify talented cricketers in far-flung corners of the country.
Thanks to TRDW, many talented cricketers got selected to the national cricket team like Sreesanth, Irfan Pathan, Suresh Raina, Rudra Pratap Singh, Piyush Chawla, etc.
Into the national team-
With the reference of Prakash Poddar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni got selected to the India A team.
After which, he showcased his wicket keeping skills in Zimbabwe tour and in Kenya tour, he showcased his batting skills.
In the Kenya tour, in a match with Pakistan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showcased his real talent by scoring back to back centuries in subsequent matches.
In this series, he scored 362 runs with an average of 72 runs.
After this successful play, Indian cricket captain Sourav Ganguly noted Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s talent.
During that time, Indian cricket team was in dire need of a good batting wicket-keeper because Rahul Dravid, Deep Dasgupta, Parthiv Patel,Dinesh Karthik could not fit into the wicket-keeping role well.
Finally, Mahendra Singh Dhoni got a chance in Indian cricket team on December 23, 2004 in the Bangladesh tour.
Not the best impression-
Unfortunately, in his first international debut match he played horribly and got duck-out.
In that series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni scored only a total of 19 runs in 3 matches.
He thought that his career came to a dead end as he miserably failed in his first series.
But to everyone’s surprise Mahendra Singh Dhoni was given a second chance and was selected to the ODI series with Pakistan.
Into the top order-
In this series, the second match was played in Visakhapatnam, India.
Here, Sourav Ganguly, the captain took a very shocking decision of changing the order of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He who used to play in the lower order was shifted to the top order in the team.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni utilised this golden opportunity.
He scored 148 runs in just 123 balls, which consisted of 15 fours and 4 sixes.
On that day a new record was created by Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he became the highest scoring wicket keeper in Indian cricket team.
In 2005, in 3rd one day against Sri Lanka, he scored a mammoth 183 runs (not out) in the second innings.
On that day, Mahendra Singh Dhoni created the world record of scoring the maximum runs in second innings.
In this series, he won the Man of the series title.
7 long years-
Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s record was broken after a long period of 7 years by Shane Watson of Australia.
In another series played against Pakistan, he topped the ICC ODI rankings by pushing Ricky Ponting to the second place.
After achieving all these feats, an unfortunate incident occurred.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni lost one of his dear friends and disturbed him mentally and also affected his game.
Due to this, he scored only a total of 26 runs in 16 matches.
In the 2007 world cup series, India lost to Sri Lanka and Bangladesh severely and exited in the group stage.
In the two above matches, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was duck-out and he scored a total of just 29 runs in the total World Series matches.
After failing continuously, he was subjected to enormous stress.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni relieved the stress of his failures by spending time with his childhood friends in Ranchi and riding motorcycles.
He practiced even more and started to play very well.
As a result, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was promoted to Vice Captain and subsequently to Captain positions.
In the September of 2007, in the T20 world cup his bowling decision in the critical time helped India to become champion.
This incident earned Mahendra Singh Dhoni the name of Captain cool.
He is well-known for encouraging young talent as he readied a young cricket team for the 2011 world cup match.
The team included Sachin Tendulkar.
In the final match, many batsmen did not play well.
Maintaining his coolness-
Sehwag got duck out and Sachin scored just 18 runs.
This disappointed the Indian cricket fans who started to abandon the stadium.
But at this crucial moment, Mahendra Singh Dhoni helped the team by scoring 91 runs.
He finished the match with his trademark helicopter shot in the last ball.
This made Mahendra Singh Dhoni win the Man of the match award and the hearts of cricket fans.
After a long wait of 28 years, India finally won the world cup-
Mahendra Singh Dhoni credited the team with winning the cup by handing the cup to the team members.
Even today, he is actively contributing to the Indian cricket team.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni got married on 4th July, 2010 to Sakshi Singh Rawat.
She was his schoolmate.
And this couple is blessed with a daughter by name Ziva Dhoni.
Some interesting facts about Dhoni-
- Sachin credited Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the best captain in the world.
- He is a bike lover. He has collected over 44 bikes.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni also runs a lifestyle company by name seven, which sells apparels.
- He was awarded with many awards like Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, MTV youth icon.
- He was also a Lieutenant Colonel in Indian Territorial Army.
- In June 2015, Forbes magazine named Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the 23rd richest athlete in the world.
- He was also The Times most influential people in the world.
- In 2016, a film was made on him by name M.S. Dhoni- the untold story. Sushant Singh Rajput played the role of Dhoni; this film collected over 204 crores worldwide.
- Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s love towards football made him purchase a team by name Chennaiyin FC in Indian super league.
On August 15, 2020, Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced retirement from international cricket.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is Dhoni famous for?
Undoubtedly, MS Dhoni is very famous and the reasons for his popularity are-
• Calmness. MS Dhoni is an expert at handling tough situations. He doesn’t lose his calmness and tries to perform exceptionally well in the demanding situations. This earned him the name Captain Cool.
• Victories. He is one of the most successful captains India has ever seen. MS Dhoni captained the Indian cricket team to win 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and numerous other cricket tournaments.
• Responsibility. MS Dhoni also served his motherland, India as a lieutenant-colonel in the Indian Territorial Army.
• Numerous records and awards. He has numerous records under his name like playing the most T20I innings, most dismissals in career by an Indian wicket-keeper, etc.
MS Dhoni also received many awards like Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, etc.
How did Dhoni become a cricketer?
In his school days, Dhoni played football and was even a district level goal-keeper.
His sports teacher, Banerjee and a cricket coach, Bhattacharyya were impressed by Dhoni’s goal-keeping talent.
Even though Dhoni never played cricket before, they selected him into a cricket team.
In his first ever cricket match, Dhoni exhibited great wicket keeping skills and this started his journey of becoming a cricketer.
He later played in the Commando cricket team, Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship, etc.
How did Dhoni become captain?
In 2007 ODI cricket, thanks to Dhoni’s excellent performance, he was declared the Man of the Match and subsequently, he was also declared as the Man of the Series.
He also played well in the Afro-Asia Cup.
All these successes helped him to become the vice-captain of the ODI team.
In 2007, Dhoni got selected as the captain of the Indian squad for the World Twenty20.
In 2009, thanks to his amazing performances, he was declared as the captain and wicket-keeper of the World ODI XI.
Why is Dhoni called thala?
Thala in Tamil translates to leader.
Dhoni is the captain of Chennai Super Kings and he was the captain of this team for many years and helped Chennai Super Kings to win many IPL titles.
As Chennai Super Kings is based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu where Tamil is predominantly spoken, Dhoni is fondly called as thala.
What is the qualification of MS Dhoni?
MS Dhoni is a college dropout.
In 2008, he enrolled to study Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) from St Xavier’s College in Nayatoli, Ranchi, Jharkhand.
But as MS Dhoni became very busy playing cricket, he couldn’t finish his studies.
What is the autobiography of MS Dhoni?
MS Dhoni didn’t write an autobiography.
But there are many articles and books covering his biography.
Are Dhoni and Sakshi childhood friends?
Yes, Dhoni and Sakshi Singh Rawat were childhood friends.
In fact, she was Dhoni’s schoolmate in DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali, Ranchi, Jharkhand.
Where did Dhoni announce his retirement?
MS Dhoni announced his retirement on Instagram through an Instagram post.
On August 15, 2020 he posted a video clip and wrote that from 1929 hrs he retired from cricket.
Featured image credit- Wikimedia Commons
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