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Mahendra Singh Dhoni: The Journey of Captain Cool 

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Mahendra Singh DhoniThe Journey of Captain Cool

Mahendra Singh DhoniThe Journey of Captain Cool

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the name itself does not require any introduction. The tales of this man have been engraved on our souls.

To watch this man perform his magic on the ground, we would gladly pay double or triple the ticket price. Widely known as “Captain Cool,” it is difficult to find another captain like him anywhere in the world. Today, we bring to you his inspiring story which is full of determination and sheer will.

Born on July 7, 1981, in Ranchi, Dhoni’s rise from a small-town boy to the captain of the Indian cricket team is an inspirational story of determination, skill, leadership, and courage. 

Renowned for his calm demeanour, exceptional batting skills, and incredible captaincy, Dhoni is widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketing minds of all times .

Early Life and Cricket Beginnings:

Dhoni’s father, Pan Singh, worked in a government body that provides consultancy services to government projects, namely MECON, while his mother, Devaki Devi, was a homemaker.

Despite coming from a modest background, Dhoni’s parents always supported him in pursuing his dreams.

As a child, Dhoni developed a great interest in sports. But to your surprise, one of the greatest captains in cricket was fond of badminton and football in his early years. He never even thought of playing cricket.

However, at the age of 13, he decided to pursue cricket seriously, as the sports teacher in his school encouraged him towards wicket keeping in cricket.

Dhoni’s cricketing journey began at the Commando Cricket Club in Ranchi, where he developed his skills as a wicketkeeper-batsman. 

His impressive performances in local tournaments earned him huge recognition and people started coming to watch him play leaving their work aside. This paved the way for his selection in the Bihar U-19 team. Despite financial constraints, Dhoni’s passion for the game remained unchanged.

Domestic Career and Breakthrough:

Dhoni’s outstanding performances in age-group cricket caught the attention of selectors, and he was selected for the Bihar Ranji Trophy team in 1999-2000. 

Although he struggled initially, due to his unconventional style of batting, his first breakthrough came during the 2003-04 season when he scored a not-out double century against the team of Assam.

His aggressive batting style and lightning-fast wicket-keeping skills got national attention.

Honestly, who will not be a fan of this young player with a long hairstyle, coming and starting sending the ball out of the ground from the very first ball? 

Dilip Vengsarkar noticed Dhoni’s talent in the same year when he was the chairman of the selector’s committee for the Indian Cricket Team.

Impressed by Dhoni’s abilities, he included him in the India A team’s tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. Dhoni made his mark by scoring a century against Pakistan A, leaving everyone in awe of his talent.

International Debut and Rising Stardom:

Despite gaining everyone’s attention in 2000 with his knocks in the Ranji trophy, it took four more years for his international debut. He made his international debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh.

Although he was dismissed without scoring a run in this match partially due to coming late in the batting order , but later in subsequent matches when he was promoted up in batting order there he showcased his immense potential. On December 23, 2004, he made his international debut in an ODI against Bangladesh. 

Dhoni’s first major innings came against Pakistan in April 2005 when he scored 148 off just 123 balls.

It was a knock that announced his arrival on the international stage. Everyone knew that he is going to be the prime face of the Indian Cricket team.

 He was first appointed as the captain of the Indian One-day international team in 2006.

He made sure that no one could replace him as a captain of the Indian cricket team with his exceptional leadership qualities and decision-making skills.

Under his leadership, India achieved several significant victories, including the historic ICC World Twenty20 win in 2007, in a nail-biting match against Pakistan and the ultimate ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 with Dhoni hitting the winning six.

He became an icon and earned the nickname “Captain Cool” for his calm demeanour in high-pressure situations.

Captaincy and Achievements:

Dhoni’s appointment as the captain of the Indian cricket team in all formats in 2008 marked a turning point in Indian cricket. 

The pinnacle of Dhoni’s captaincy career came in 2011 when he led India to victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup after a gap of 28 years. His unbeaten innings of 91 in the final against Sri Lanka showcased his ability to perform under pressure.

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Dhoni’s success continued as he led India to victory in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, making them the first team to win all major ICC tournaments. He also guided India to the number-one ranking in Test cricket for the first time in history. 

Dhoni’s tactical acumen, ability to remain calm in challenging situations, and innovative leadership set new benchmarks for captains across the globe.

As a captain in Test Matches.

Number of matches played 60
Matches won 27
Matches lost18
Draws 15
Winning percentage 45%
Catches 256
Stumpings 38

As a captain in one-day internationals 

Number of matches played200
Matches won110
Matches lost74
Winning percentage55%
Catches 321
Stumpings 123
Runouts 22

As a captain in T20’s

Number of matches played74
Matches won41
Matches lost28
Winning percentage58.33%
Catches 57
Stumpings 34

IPL Career

Dhoni holds a highly successful and influential career in the Indian Premier League (IPL). He played for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) for every season in which the team was functional in the IPL.Because of his captaincy and leadership skills CSK is counted today as one of the most successful IPL teams.

Qualifying for the playoffs looks like an easy task for captain cool, in almost all the seasons CSK has been consistent and dominant into getting in the playoffs stage.

Under his captaincy, CSK won the IPL titles five times, in 2010, 2011, 2018,2021 and recently in 2023.They also finished as runners-up on five occasions, in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2019. 

Even after holding such great records and following,CSK’s IPL journey has always been a rollercoaster ride.

In the very first season of IPL, Dhoni was contracted by the franchise for a whopping 1.5 million dollars.The most expensive player in the first season auctions. Till 2015 under the captaincy of Dhoni CSK won the title twice and were held runner ups four times. It became impossible for any team to stop CSK from getting into the playoffs till 2015.But that’s when the dark era of CSK and that of Dhoni’s career in IPL started.

Due to the illegal betting done by one of the board members of the team,CSK was banned from IPL for two years. Many speculators pointed their fingers on Dhoni too. Later he said that it was the darkest phase of his life. He commented “The biggest crime that I can commit is not a murder, it is actually match-fixing”

CSK was replaced by a new team namely Rising Pune SuperGaints and Dhoni was made captain again. The team performed badly in the 2016 season, which led the board members to remove Dhoni as a captain. He played as a normal wicketkeeper batsman in the season of 2017 under the captaincy of Steve Smith.

But as soon as the ban was lifted from CSK in the 2018 season, Dhoni was brought back to lead CSK once again. He needed to prove his worth and shut the mouth of criticizers.

He was double prepared for the 2018 season and stopped nowhere else then getting the title of winners back. In the 2019 season CSK lost the final match against Mumbai Indians. In the next two seasons, Dhoni’s performance with the bat kept declining even though he managed to win the title again in 2021.

Everyone speculated that the Dhoni’s era is now over. Dhoni himself stepped out from the captaincy in 2022 season making Ravindra Jadeja as the new leader of the team.

But the season proved to be a disaster for CSK finishing their season in ninth position. This made Jadeja to hand over the captaincy once again to his ideal.

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The story of the 2023 season is well known to all of us.

Despite his growing age,Dhoni was able to lead his team to the winners of the season. Everyone thought that this is the last season of Dhoni in the IPL and even prayed for the dismissals of their own team so that they can see Dhoni batting on the field once again such is the craze of this legend.

Everyone was filled with teary eyes even on the win of their favourite team as they all thought that they won’t get another chance now to  watch him playing his magic tricks on the ground. But surprisingly, Dhoni shocked the world by announcing that he is going to play the next season too.

Personal life

The tragic road accident of Dhoni’s girlfriend Priyanka Jha, made a deep mark on Dhoni’s soul in 2003.

It took years for Dhoni to recover from this loss, he was keen to get married and settle his life with her after getting established as an Indian cricket team player.

He remained off the field for most of the time after her loss and took a long time to get back on the field.

Later, after years, Dhoni found Sakshi Singh Rawat and both of them tied the knot on the fourth of July 2010. Their wedding ceremony took place in Dehradun, occurring the day after their engagement.

Together, Dhoni and his wife are blessed with a daughter named Zeeva Dhoni. Dhoni holds a strong passion for the Indian Army and considers himself an avid supporter. He always wanted to join the Indian Army from a very young age.

Legacy and Beyond Cricket:

  • In 2014, Dhoni shocked the cricketing world by announcing his retirement from Test cricket, but he continued to lead the Indian limited-overs teams.
  • In 2017, he stepped down as the captain of the Indian limited-overs sides leaving us heartbroken over his retirement.
  • When it comes to activities outside the ground of cricket, Dhoni has been an inspiration to millions through his efforts towards humanity, and through his philanthropic efforts. 
  • He established the MS Dhoni Charitable Foundation, which focuses on providing education and healthcare to underprivileged children. 
  • Also, we all know the love of Dhoni for bikes.  This love for bikes led him to invest in the Supersport World Championship team, Chennai-based “Mahi Racing Team India.”

Associated companies 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been associated with several companies as a brand ambassador. 

While the list is not exhaustive, here are some prominent companies he has been associated with

1. PepsiCo

2. Reebok

3. Sony

4. Gulf Oil

5. Lava Mobiles

6. Exide Life Insurance

7. Snickers

8. Dream11

Business interests.

Dhoni launched his lifestyle brand SEVEN in 2016.

He owns the footwear side of the brand and is also the brand ambassador of SEVEN.

Later in 2019 he invested in another company namely CARS 24 and is also a brand ambassador of the same company.

His last investment came in October 2022, at an event in Bengaluru, where MS Dhoni became a member of a start-up named Shaka Harry

National Medals and Awards:

Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket are invaluable.

But the government of India has taken special efforts to pay him back for making the nation proud on numerous occasions.

Firstly he was bestowed with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour, in 2007, for making the country number one in the world in the T20 format. 

Later he received the Padma Shri, the fourth-highest civilian award in India, in 2009.

In 2018 ,he received Padma Bhushan award, the third-highest civilian award in India.

Throughout his career, he has been a recipient of the ICC Player of the Year award, ICC ODI Player of the Year award, and many others.

The world of Indian cricket cannot forget what he has given to the country, his name will always be remembered as one of the best captains and deadliest finishers in the world.