MS Dhoni or Mahendra Singh Dhoni, well known as Mahi who remains in the heart of millions of sports lover has turned 40 on Wednesday. The former India skipper ended up becoming one of the greatest captains to grace the cricket field. Indian crickets have seen captains like Kapil Dev, Mohammed Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Virat Kohli. All are different but yet similar when compared to MS Dhoni, the small-town boy who changed the face of the sport in the country.
Dhoni's Early Life
Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), and he hails from a Hindu Rajput family. His paternal village Lwali is in the Lamgara 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. MS Dhoni has a sister Jayanti Gupta and a brother Narendra Singh Dhoni. A fan of Adam Gilchrist, Dhoni's idols were cricket teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and singer Lata Mangeshkar.
Education & Career
MS 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 was 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. MS Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard. He 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. His colleagues remember him as a very honest, straightforward employee of the Indian Railways. But Dhoni 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.
Dhoni As a Cricketer
MS Dhoni made his international debut in 2004. His talent with the bat came to the fore in an innings of 148 runs against Pakistan in his fifth international match. Within a year he joined the India Test team, where he quickly established himself with a century (100 or more runs in a single innings) against Pakistan. Despite his inexperience, Dhoni took over the captaincy of the one-day side in 2007 and led India to the Twenty20 (T20) world title. Series wins over Australia and Sri Lanka, among others, moved India to the top of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings for the first time in December 2009. MS Dhoni was honoured for his play with the ICC One Day International Player of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009. In the 2011 one-day World Cup, Dhoni's dashing innings of 91 not out—in front of a home crowd in Mumbai—paved the way for India's victory over Sri Lanka in the final. He also led India to an appearance in the semifinals of the 2015 Cricket World Cup. MS Dhoni stopped serving as India's captain in 2017, having led his country in 331 international matches, the most for a captain in the sport's history.
The explosion of T20 cricket on the Indian subcontinent paved the way for the formation of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2008. In the league's inaugural season, Dhoni signed with the Chennai Super Kings for $1.5 million, which at the time was the largest contract in the IPL. He subsequently led the team to two consecutive titles (2010, 2011). The Super Kings franchise earned a two-season suspension from the IRL in 2016 for its role in a match-fixing scandal, and Dhoni then joined the Rising Pune Supergiant. In 2018 he returned to the Chennai Super Kings, and that year the team won the IPL championship.
Dhoni, over the course of his 15-year-long career underwent multiple transitions. He entered the international arena as a youngster, became a two-time World Cup-winning captain, and eventually retired a legend. As he celebrates his 40th birthday, fans and the cricketing fraternity took to Twitter to wish the legend a very happy birthday.
On August 15, 2020, Dhoni announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, bringing down the curtains on an illustrious career. During his 15-year-old career, Dhoni played 90 Tests, in which he amassed 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09. He also played 350 ODIs in which he has scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.57. In 98 T20Is, the swashbuckling batsman scored 1617 runs at a strike rate of 126.13.
Dhoni has a never-give-up attitude. Being MS Dhoni is tough. You can be trolled and even abused despite winning the World Cup, T20 World Cup, and Champions Trophy for the country. An ordinary person is bound to react at some point in time but Dhoni doesn't fall under that category.
MS Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat, his schoolmate in DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali, and a native of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on 4 July 2010. 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. 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. Dhoni became a father on 6 February 2015 to a baby girl named Ziva. At the time of her birth, Dhoni was in Australia as the captain of the Indian team with the 2015 Cricket World Cup only a week away. He decided not to travel back to India and was famously quoted saying that "I am on national duty, other things can wait.
In Popular Culture
A movie was made based on MS Dhoni's life, from his childhood to the 2011 Cricket World Cup, titled M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, with Sushant Singh Rajput in the titular role. Another web series centered on his life and his times with the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League aired on Hotstar on 20 March 2019, titled Roar of the Lion.
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