Zee Media Bureau
Mahendra Singh Dhoni rivals Sachin Tendulkar in popularity.
The above statement is enough of an evidence to prove what the captain of Indian cricket team has managed to achieve in his international career that is into its ninth year. Since making his debut against Bangladesh in an ODI in Chittagong on December 23, 2004, he has gone on to become the most successful Indian captain who has conquered almost every front. He is the only captain to have won all the major global ICC trophies that include two ICC World Championships (50-over and T20), ICC Champions Trophy, ICC Test Championship mace among others.
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Dhoni, a wicketkeeper-batsman, solved Indian cricket team’s search for a capable guard behind the stumps who could also wield the willow effectively. He not only fulfilled the twin roles successfully but also rose to the occasion when the reigns of the team were handed to him.
Dhoni’s rise to the pinnacle hasn’t been a smooth flight. He has seen his fair share of failure and invited much criticism when India lost eight consecutive Test matches abroad. However, Mahi, as he is popularly known among his legion of followers, wasn’t to be bogged down by that. He made up for it by thrashing Australia at home and then leading India to a successful ICC Champions Trophy campaign.
Dhoni has played 77 Tests so far in which he has scored 4209 runs at an average of 39.70. In the ODI format, Dhoni has amassed 7313 runs at an average of 51.13 in 225 games.
From humble beginnings to becoming the richest Indian sportsperson, Dhoni has carved a dream career from himself and has taken Indian cricket to new heights. The sight of Dhoni hitting the winning six in the final of 2011 World Cup against Sri Lanka has become one of the iconic images in cricketing lore.
Here’s wishing Dhoni, as he turns 32 today, a very happy birthday.