The young boy from Ranchi burst onto the scene with a bang as he made headlines across India as attacking wicket-keeper batsman. He played superbly for India A to be called up for the Indian national side.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was selected for the Bangladesh series but did not get a hit in the series. However, he was retained for the home one day series against Pakistan. Dhoni would certainly make the cricket fraternity stand up and take notice as he produced a blazing 148 runs against Pakistan in Vishakhapatnam in the second game of the series to see India win the game. He performed consistently for India after that maiden ODI ton making him a regular in the lineup.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s career’s big moment was his innings of 183* against Sri Lanka at Jaipur in 2005. Sri Lanka had posted 299 runs on the board courtesy of a splendid ton by Kumar Sangakkara. Indian Captain Rahul Dravid decided to promote Dhoni at no.3 and then tactics worked big time as Dhoni ripped apart Sri Lankan bowling attack. He showed a wide range of strokes including the Helicopter shot which has labeled as his specialty for almost a decade now.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni would quickly gain the support and appreciation from the dressing room as many labeled as the next leader of India in limited-overs cricket. His composure and temperament impressed many as he bailed out India countless times out of trouble to win important games.
He became the captain of the Indian cricket team in one day cricket after India’s amazing triumph over Pakistan in the inaugural T20 World Cup 2007 in Johannesburg. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag, and Gautam Gambhir flourished under his captaincy. Senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, and Harbhajan Singh had good terms with the wicket-keeper batsman.
India went on to achieve many great things in Dhoni as a leader of the side. They won series in New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The biggest achievement of his captaincy was lifting the 2011 Cricket World Cup at home against Sri Lanka. He played a superb knock to steer his side to a stupendous win. He ended the things with a style by hitting a huge six to spark wild celebrations across India.
After 2011, Dhoni’s captaincy did start to wane as India was beaten by England and Australia in a convincing fashion. The side also failed to lift any T20 trophy played during this time. But 2013 Champions Trophy in England served as a source of redemption as India lifted the trophy for the second time beating England in the finals. He became the first and only Captain to lift trophies in all three formats of the game.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni will always be remembered for being the best finisher in the game as he has helped India win games out of nowhere. He will surely go as one of the most influential cricketers to have played the game for India.
He comes a close second to Sachin Tendulkar in terms of winning games for India in limited-overs cricket.2019 Cricket World Cup proved to be last hurrah at the international level as he struggled to score runs for India in the competition. He was run-out in the semifinal match played against New Zealand at Old Trafford in Manchester to see India exit the tournament in a dramatic fashion.