India’s most celebrated skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni turned 36 on Friday (July 7). The only captain in the world to have won all the ICC events, Dhoni was 23-years old when he made his international debut in a One-Day International game against Bangladesh in December 2004.

It was not a memorable outing for the star batsman, as he failed to open his account but that was not a precursor to the career he enjoyed thereafter. In his very fifth match, he played a belligerent knock of 148 against Pakistan and has not looked back since then.

Within a year of his debut, he became one of India’s most reliable batsman in ODIs and the most memorable moment of his early part of the career came in 2007 when he led a bunch of youngsters to the World T20 title in its inaugural edition in South Africa.

He was soon given the captaincy in all the formats and the talismanic leader from Ranchi totally justified the decision with some unprecedented success. Under him, India reached the pinnacle of Test cricket for the first time in its history in 2009 with some historic wins in South Africa, New Zealand and against Australia, Sri Lanka, England at home.

The tipping moment of his illustrious career came in 2011 when his unbeaten knock of 91 in the final of the 2011 World Cup led India to the World Cup glory after a long wait of 28 years.

A couple of years later, he led the Indian team to Champions Trophy title in England, thus becoming the first and the only captain till date to win all the ICC events. In 2014, he retired from Tests and earlier this year made way for Virat Kohli to take the captaincy duties in the limited-overs.

He is also one of the most successful skippers in the history of the Indian Premier League. With Chennai Super Kings, he had won two IPL trophies while leading the team into six finals. In the last IPL season, Dhoni was with Rising Pune Supergiant which finished the season as the runners-up.

Tributes poured in from all corners for India’s legendary skipper on his special day. Here are some of the messages:

 

 

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    An avid sports lover, i always wanted to pursue a career in football. But just like the millions out there i did not put in the hard work needed to achieve my dream and now i have become a fan instead of the player. Anyway, writing for sports has kept me closer to this field. One more thing, yours sincerely is a die-hard Liverpool fan.
    You will never walk alone.

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