Full Name: Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Born: July 7, 1981, Ranchi, Bihar
Major teams: India, Jharkhand
Batting style: Right-hand bat
Fielding Position: Wicketkeeper
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the best known Indian Cricket players, who was made the Captain of the Indian Cricket team in the year 2007. One of the most flamboyant Indian Cricket stars ever, Dhoni is also fondly known as Mahi by the huge number of his fans particularly comprising of a big percentage of females. And not only his looks and style Dhoni equally proved to be a hard hitting batsman and one of the best Captains the Indian Cricket team has ever seen.
Dhoni was born in Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand on the 7th of July 1981, and was brought up in the same city. His parents originally hailed from a village in Uttarakhand. In his childhood Dhoni played Badminton and Football, and was sent by his Football coach to play Cricket. He began the journey as the wicketkeeper at the Commando Cricket Club in the year 1995, and was selected for the Under-16 Vinoo Mankad Trophy in the year 1997-98.
Dhoni entered the Bihar Cricket team in the year 1998-99, and was further selected for the India-A Cricket team in the year 2004. Later the same year, he made his debut in the National Cricket team of India.
The Charisma Begins
In his 5th One Day International (ODI) Cricket match against Pakistan, Dhoni scored 148 runs which was the biggest score made by an Indian wicketkeeper till then. He managed to accomplish this score just off 123 balls in the match played at Vishakhapatnam on the 5th of April 2005. Later the same year, he scored 183 not out against Sri Lanka in the Bi-lateral One Day International (ODI) Series, outclassing his own record. This match was played at Jaipur and India had to outsmart a huge 299 runs score set by the Sri Lankans. Dhoni got India this great victory with his wonderful 183 runs within just 145 balls. This score set a yet another record for being the highest score made in the second innings of a One Day International (ODI) Cricket match, and still lies unbeaten by any other batsman. At the end of the Series, Dhoni finished with highest total score of 346 runs and grabbed the coveted Man of the Series award.
He scored good number of runs in a consistent manner for a period of time, and soon grabbed the No. 1 position in the One Day International (ODI) Cricket rankings issued by International Cricket Council (ICC) in the year 2005-06.
The Low Down Phase
The Indian Cricket team lost its grip during the year 2006-07, as the team lost in the DLF Cup 2006-07, and again in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy. Although, Dhoni tried to maintain his record a bit by half century against West Indies. This was a low phase both for the Indian Cricket team and Dhoni, as the wicketkeeper batsman could just score 139 runs in the 4 matches during the One Day International (ODI) Cricket Series against South Africa, and the Indian team lost the Series to South Africa by 0-4.
Again, in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, India badly lost to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and was ousted from the tournament. In both the matches, Dhoni lost at duck (0 runs), and scored a total of 29 runs in the whole tournament.
The Fighter Bounces Back
But he soon emerged as a winner again after the World Cup nightmare, and scored 91 runs not against Bangladesh in a Series later and 174 runs in 3 matches during the Afro-Asia Cup with an average of 87.00 runs.
Finally, the Leader
He was named the Vice Captain of the Indian One Day International (ODI) Cricket team during a Series against South Africa in Ireland, and the Captain of the team during the Twenty-20 Cricket World Cup played in September 2007. On 24th of September 2007, Dhoni got India its second World Cup victory in the breath-taking finals against Pakistan, and equaled the rare feat of leading India to a World Cup Cricket Trophy achieved by Kapil Dev in the year 1983.
Under the able Captainship of Dhoni, the Indian One Day International (ODI) Cricket team continued to maintain its record of victory. First of all, the team defeated Australia consecutively in 2 final matches of the Commonwealth Bank Series played in March 2008. The series was played between India, Australia and Sri Lanka. In the first final, Australia scored 239 at the loss of 8 wickets in 50 overs. India bounced back with 242 runs in just 45.5 overs at the loss of 4 wickets. Sachin Tendulkar was the highest scorer with 117 Not Out, while Dhoni scored 15 Not Out. In the second final, India scored 258 runs at the loss of 9 wickets in 50 overs with Sachin again being the largest contributor with 91 runs. Dhoni scored 36 Not Out in the innings. The Australian team crashed out at 249 runs with 2 balls remaining, and India became the winner of the championship.
After this, in the India tour of Sri Lanka in Jan-Feb 2009, India simply washed out Sri Lanka with 4-1 win in the ODIs while they also crashed Sri Lanka in the single Twenty-20 match played between the two countries. In this series, Dhoni was the maximum scorer in the 4th ODI played on 5th of Feb 2009. He scored 94 runs out of 96 balls in the match.
Then again in the India Tour of New Zealand in the year 2008-09, India played Test, ODI and Twenty-20 Series against New Zealand. In the Test Series, India won 1 match out of the 3 matches while 2 were drawn, making India the winner of the series. Dhoni scored a total of 155 runs in the series with his highest score of 56 not out. While in the ODI Series, India defeated New Zealand by 3-1, as 1 match out of the 5 matches went without any result. In this series, Dhoni scored 184 total runs with highest of 84 not out. Similarly, India won both the Twenty-20 matches of the Twenty-20 Matches Series, and Dhoni scored a total of 30 runs with highest score of 28 not out in the Twenty-20 matches.