His career, his batting, his captaincy, his grit of batting with the calculation and collective decision, his fast hands and that helicopter shot against Sri Lanka, has won the hearts of millions of avid followers of gentleman’s game including his die-hard fans, who stepped ahead and waited for his redemption as a skipper.
So much so, before he sealed the 50-over World triumph with his trademark six, on the bowling of experienced Nuwan Kulasekara when the explosive batsman remained unbeaten on 91 off 79 deliveries, as his innings was comprised of eight boundaries and two massive sixes at the strike-rate of 115.19 – to see India chasing down the target of 275 in 48.2 overs after losing four wickets at historic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai which erupted in joy — to script the history after 28 years, since the first World Cup victory under the tutelage of Kapil Dev.
His involvement with the sport is all about the story of a success which had left an imprint for the youngsters, in the field of sports particularly in cricket for India and across the globe and he is none other than Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has had instilled confidence among his teammates whenever he took the field like a settled down ring leader, as a Champion.
Dhoni has been such bedrock in the middle and an epitome for success as frontrunner, in the congealed maidans in Ranchi before leading his teammates in the international side while scripting the history with an indelible ink by winning coveted title one after another like a true warrior.
There was the time when Dhoni started as a beginner and that was followed by sublime statistics to his name as he advanced to the elite level while raising the head high of a nation.
Focused on 2015 World Cup Rather Than On His Newborn Daughter:
Known as the man of principles Dhoni-led India into another semi-final following 2011 World Cup title triumph, before laying the hands on a coveted ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, against hosts England, Dhoni has been a revelation for the Indian cricket and a fame to bring some luck in the national set-up not only with his intelligence, but by putting his sheer hard work behind his pre-planning to prove it as a masterstroke.
On March 26 2015, in the second semi-final of the World Cup, it was the bat of Mahendra Singh Dhoni which saw the unorthodox in style batter scoring the only half century for India in an innings against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
After chasing the target of 329 in 50 allotted overs, Dhoni scored run-a-ball 65. However, on the hindsight Blue brigade struggled to chase down the target.
India was bundled out for 233 in 46.5 overs, as Dhoni mustered the courage to smash three boundaries and two sixes in his 50-plus knock.
After awe inspiring the fans, Dhoni further became a household name, who stood-up for a nation over the birth of his daughter (first child) Ziva – to show how dedicated a professional should be while representing his country at the highest level, in any form of the sport. Dhoni got married to a schoolmate Sakshi Dhoni in 2010.
Dhoni set an example when the 2015 World Cup kicked-off on February 14 at Seddon Park in Hamilton, as India was scheduled to face arch-rivals Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval on February 15, which was eventually won by the Men in Blue by 75 runs.
With the appearance of Ziva, who took birth during the then World Cup schedule, would have given same feeling to her father, as Dhoni has had felt while making a memorable debut for India in December 2005 against Bangladesh at Chittagong.
Dhoni would have equally felt ecstatic to see his first child back home, but he was in the line of a duty – to meet the expectations of the fans back home and such becomes the narrative of gentleman’s game at the first go while donning the national jersey.
Solid as a rock, Dhoni played patient knock in Jamshedpur amid sweltering heat:
Remember the 106-ball knock of 96 by the 36-year-old Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he played while using the ice bags on his back on the hot and humid day in Jamshedpur and it was around 44 degree Celsius which further saw Dhoni playing a calm and composed innings to stick to the other end.
However, just a stroke away from hundred, Dhoni was outfoxed by Sajid Mahmood’s slower delivery before the batter played it straight into the hands of mid-wicket fielder Vikram Solani.
Interestingly, soon after the drinks break Dhoni failed to continue with the momentum as he was experienced in the top-order, under the guidance of Australia’s Greg Chappell.
Dhoni, who wield a willow like axe crunched 10 boundaries and three sixes in his knock while batting first time as a opener under the leadership of Virender Sehwag with such aplomb.
On April 12, 2006, India opted to bat first in the sixth One-day Internationals to see hosts posting 223, as England went onto chase down the target in 42.4 overs to clinch the game by five wickets.
Took all blame upon himself when an inexperienced India lost overseas:
The composed character Dhoni is the picture perfect example for the Indian cricket in the contemporary times, as he had amassed quality numbers, but unfortunately had gone through a barren patch in his career too.
Moreover, Dhoni had carved the niche out of hell lot of his resilience, as the significant unorthodox batter and exceptional gloveman owing to such an aura.
The important cog in India’s team was also seen as the engine to push his teammates for the best of the results which has had benefitted his side in nutshell.
Dhoni relinquished from the Test captaincy after losing the five-match Test series 3-1 against England in 2014, before leaving the captaincy midway on Australia tour, Dhoni has addressed the media gathering with full assurance while shouldering the responsibility for a quality time.
It’s pertinent to mention Dhoni has grabbed all the headlines for being an astute thinker behind the stumps after leading the side in limited-overs cricket in 2008, a year before when he was handed over a Test captaincy as well.
Never boasted about the achievements (World Cup Wins and 2013 Champions Trophy triumph):
Dhoni’s unprecedented success met with the occasional jinx being as the Indian skipper. Under his leadership, India had won – Tests and – ODIs.
The Ranchi-born batsman Dhoni was more inclined more towards the limited-overs game, so as his numbers had suggested in his quality performances in the 50-over format.
However, the perfect has a decent record according to his ability in the 50-over format where he has played 296 One-day Internationals in which he has scored 9,496 runs at an average of 51.32.
Interestingly, Dhoni who was the linchpin in Indian batting line up had 10 centuries to his credit in ODI format and 64 half centuries in 255 innings as his individual score is unbeaten 183.
Dhoni has claimed 278 catches and 97 dismissals to his name behind the stumps.
In 2007, the first-ever Twenty20 World was claimed by Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he tossed the white ball in the hands on inexperienced fast bowler Joginder Sharma when Misbah-Ul-Haq opted for a ramp shot to find the ball coming straight down the throat of S. Sreesanth at short fine-leg in Johannesburg.
Interestingly, Dhoni has never bragged off about his achievements infact he said the collective effort from the unit has had made it possible to set a new high in the elite-level cricket for India.
Professional Dhoni had all the shots in his book when style was something new that emerged into the cricket and he had made it a norm in the domestic circuit by giving stellar of performances with the bat.
Known for incredible ability with the willow, Dhoni had also registered magnificent numbers during his List-A career where he had played 369 matches to score 12,076 runs at an average of 50.95 which included 17 centuries and 78 half centuries.
Adding to the numbers, this further shows how Dhoni had flayed the bowling line up of an opponent in the domestic set-up.
Sacrificed captaincy to groom Virat Kohli as a skipper for the longer version of the game:
The man of caliber Dhoni had set the remarkable example for the younger generation particularly batsman in India when he set records one after another by being an impressive finisher of the game owing to his patience.
He is arguably the torch-bearer for India, in terms of batting in the limited-overs and saw India to overcome more barriers in course of his playing career.
Dhoni was successful campaigner with the bat and glove-work, as he had played several gusty knocks following the great concentration against the fast and slow bowlers while being in his prime form.
Marching on the numbers, Dhoni was a gem with the bat and he had been the headache for any formidable side’s bowlers during his prime following his impeccable judgement for the game.
Meticulous in his approach and would soak up all the pressure to churn out runs the hard way honing his game to the fullest and follow the footsteps of his role-model and former teammate Sachin Tendulkar.
In 90 Tests, Dhoni has amassed 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09 while showing a whole lot of resilience by smashing six hundreds and 33 fifties to pave a way for the contemporary star batsman Virat Kohli to enjoy the merry-run and on the verge of winning another series in Sri Lanka.