Teams Played For
India, Asia XI, Chennai Super Kings, Indians, Jharkhand, Rising Pune Supergiant, India A, Bihar, Air India Blue, East Zone, Help for Heroes XI, India Seniors, Indian Board President's XI, International XI, Sehwag XI, Jharkhand Under-19s
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of the greatest cricketers to have ever donned the jersey of the Indian cricket team.
From a TTE in Indian Railways to leading India to three ICC trophies, Dhoni is a perfect blend of a role model and a superstar. Captain of India’s most successful side, most unorthodox yet most potent keeper, Dhoni is among the rarest players who have been on cloud nine throughout their cricketing career.
A batting powerhouse, MS Dhoni possesses the ability to destroy bowling attacks while chasing the scores down and leaving the opponents in difficult situations with his tactical plans. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India has lifted two World Cups, a Champions Trophy, two Asia Cups, while his beloved CSK has won three IPL titles apart from being two-time Champions League winners.
The Ranchi-born was a fan of Badminton and Football during his school days, however, when his school team needed a wicketkeeper, Dhoni a goalkeeper was introduced to cricket as a part-time makeshift, but that temporary job soon turned into a permanent love affair. He impressed with his quick hands behind the stumps and on the back of performances at the club level, Dhoni got placed in the U-19 team for the Vinoo Mankad Trophy. From there, there was looking back for the wicketkeeper who took long strides at U-19 level, then played for the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) team, and made his Ranji debut for Bihar in the 1999-2000 season.
From 2001-03, he also worked as a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur Railway Station, and played for Railways then. However, he quit his job to give cricket a last go which paid off. Dhoni played the 2002-03 season for the Jharkhand state team in the Ranji Trophy and later in the Deodhar Trophy. After that, the wicket-keeping batsman was picked by the East Zone where he fast-tracked through BCCI’s small-town talent-spotting initiative.
In 2003-04, Dhoni toured Zimbabwe and Kenya with India-A where he made a huge sound with his hard-hitting batting. The national selectors could not ignore the noise produced by MS’ blade and he called for the Bangladesh tour in late 2004. However, the talented Dhoni had a disappointing start to his ODI career as he got run out for a duck. However, soon he brought the world in awe of his marvellous strokeplay. In 2005, Indian skipper, Sourav Ganguly, gave MS a go and made him bat at number 3 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam. Dhoni didn’t fail to impress and smashed 148 off 123 balls. Later that year, he scored his career-defining knock of unbeaten 183 runs against Sri Lanka to stamp his authority and solve India’s long-going problem of finding a quality wicketkeeper-batsman. In December, he had handed his Test cap against the Lankans and made his T20I debut against South Africa. Since then, Dhoni became a regular feature in the Indian team across all formats.
He was part of the 2007 World Cup and got out for a duck twice in the tournament. After India’s early exit from the 50-over World Cup, Dhoni’s Ranchi residence was pelted with stones.
Later that year, he was named as Indian skipper for the inaugural T20 World Cup and MSD helped India clinch an ICC trophy after a leap of 24 years.
Four years later, he gifted 1.25 billion people lifetime memories by lifting the World Cup. MS had a very quiet campaign but it was on fire when it mattered the most and in Ravi Shastri’s words:
“Dhoni finishes off in style. A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lifts the World Cup after 28 years. The party started in the dressing room. And it’s an Indian captain, who’s been absolutely magnificent, in the night of the final.”
In 2013, Dhoni became the first (and only) captain to have won all the three ICC trophies when he led India to their second Champions Trophy title. Next year, the veteran of the game suddenly took retirement from the longest format during the 2014-15 tour of Australia, after playing 90 Tests for India. During the same tour, when India was preparing for the 2015 World Cup, Dhoni’s daughter was born but he chose to stay with the team in Australia and met his wife & daughter after the World Cup.
In 2017, MS again without giving clues handed over the limited-overs captaincy to Virat Kohli during the home series against England. MS Dhoni played both the 2017 Champions Trophy and the World Cup of 2019 under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.
In 2019, during the semifinal against New Zealand, he laid a 106-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja but when he got run out for 50, India’s hopes were shattered. Later, that game became Dhoni’s last international game.
Over the years, he has also contributed well to the Indian Premier League. In 2008, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) signed MS Dhoni as a marquee player and he has given his heart and soul to the franchise. Dhoni has helped Chennai clinch three IPL trophies. When Dhoni’s beloved franchise got banned from the league, he shifted his base to Pune but as soon as CSK came back to IPL, he again donned the yellow jersey and led the club to their third title.
In August 2020, ahead of the 13th IPL season, Dhoni announced his retirement from international cricket on Instagram and thanked all his senior and junior colleagues. During IPL 2020, Chennai first time didn’t qualify for the playoffs, however, the CSK management showed faith in Dhoni and retained him for the 2021 edition. Now, Dhoni would like to win another IPL title with Chennai before he could hang his boots from all forms of the game.
(As of March 2021)