Indian cricket’s ultimate outsider is a contradictory, complex figure, obscured from the spotlight by his own choice. The only thing we know about MS Dhoni for sure is that he will likely always be unknowable.
An unassuming cricketer from Ranchi with long tresses was tried and tested by the selectors of the Indian Cricket during the 2004 ODI series against Bangladesh. Today, the world knows him as Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India’s most successful cricket captain.
He is the batsman who can change the game single handedly even without boundaries, a wicket keeper who responses faster than the blink of an eyelid, a leader who commands respect both on and off the field, and a role model for young players.
He was born on 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar, India. Dhoni was initially into football and was the goalkeeper of his school football team. Dhoni found his true calling when his football coach sent him to play some cricket for a local cricket club.
Desperate for a job, Dhoni worked as a train ticket examiner in West Bengal’s Kharagpur district in 2001.
It was after playing 5 years of first class cricket that Dhoni got a break to play at an international platform. Luck eluded him for the first four international matches. But it was in the fifth match against Pakistan played in Visakhapatnam in 2005, Dhoni proved his mettle not just as a good wicket-keeper but also as a good batsman.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been blessed with the combination of talent, skills, luck and an overall a good cricketing sense.
He captained India to victory in the World Twenty20 in 2007. He assumed Test captaincy in April 2008 and by the end of 2009, had led Team India to the numero uno status in Test cricket on the back of resounding victories at home. In April 2011, a billion plus dreams were fulfilled as India lifted the World Cup under Dhoni’s captaincy. He was ‘the Boy who Won’ and the media could not get enough of him. In 2013, India also won the ICC Champions Trophy making Dhoni the only captain in the world to have won all major ICC trophies.
Dhoni has instilled his winning qualities amongst his teammates. He has brought a positive aggression in the team. Moreover, has always shown his weight behind naive and budding cricketers by putting them in center stage in demanding occasions.
Years of success and loads of adulation from media and cricket lovers have not changed Dhoni in the core. He is still humble, down to earth and cricket crazy as he was during his formative years.
From an explosive cricketer sporting a stylish hairstyle to Captain cool who has achieved all the possible laurels, he will remain in the hearts of the Indian cricket fans forever.
Edited by Mrinaal Datt
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