Who knew a kid born and brought up in Ranchi, Bihar will become an unbeaten winning streak as India’s cricket captain one day.
A journey that transformed a kid named “Mahi” to a right-handed batsman, one of the world’s best wicket keepers and yes a cool Indian captain, “Mahendra Singh Dhoni”. This story started in the year 1981 when Mr. Pan Singh and Mrs. Devaki Devi gave birth to his third child “Mahi”.
As I mentioned Dhoni was not the only kid of his family, he has an elder brother named Narendra Singh Dhoni and a sister named Jayanti Gupta. He started his formal academic career at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali where initially he was into badminton and football.
He was selected at the district level for both these sports and had never played cricket back then.
Domestic Cricket Career
Dhoni’s fortune inclined him towards cricket as he was sent to play this sport for a local cricket club by his coach. Based on his performance at the cricket club he was selected as a regular wicketkeeper at club cricket.
And soon he was picked for Vinoo Mankad Trophy in the year 1997-98 to play in the Under 16 Championship. Dhoni’s focus intensified in cricket at the age of 16 years and he started practicing every day. In the year 1998, he was selected to play for the Central Coal Fields Limited team. This was the first time that Dhoni was playing outside the school cricket or club cricket.
Dhoni grabbed the opportunity and scored centuries helping CCl move to A division. His game and hard shots were so impressive that Deval Sahay, who was then Rachi’s District cricket president, pushed him in the Bihar cricket team.
Therefore, Dhoni was included in the Bihar Under-19 team and played for the 1998-99 season scoring 176 runs in 5 matches.
He then played for Cooch Behar Trophy, where he made only 84 runs and the total score that Bihar made was of 357 runs. They lost the trophy against Punjab who scored 839 runs in which Dhoni’s future national teammate Yuvraj Singh made 358 runs and got selected for the Indian team.
This match amortized Dhoni’s confidence!
In the same year at the age of 18, he played for Ranji trophy scoring a half-century. The year was very challenging for Dhoni as he could not score beyond 50 runs in any of the matches for the entire season. Soon he got a job opportunity to work at railways and his family wanted him to grab this opportunity, working as a government employee.
In the year 2001, Dhoni became a Travelling Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station. Eventually, in 2003 he realized that he needs to follow his dreams and passion. Therefore, he resigned from the job and started playing for selection.
In the year 2003-2004, Dhoni played for Ranji ODI and scored 128 runs against Assam in the first match. Dhoni was now being recognized among one of the fine domestic players and he was picked over International cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East Zone.
His talent was appreciated by Prakash Poddar who was captain of Bengal in the 1960s and he reported to the National Cricket Academy about the impeccable game of Dhoni.
International Cricket career
Dhoni was finally selected to play for India against Zimbabwe in Harare Sports Club, Dhoni scored a total of 362 runs in 6 innings and attained attention from then captain Sourav Ganguli. He never knew that his era is going to start soon. He was then picked for the Bangladesh tour in 2004-2005.
However, all the big things have a terrible past and that’s what makes it special, right?
The same happened with Dhoni, he had to walk back to the pavilion without scoring a single run in his debut ODI. But as I mentioned above, soon his stars decided to take him at the top and the very next year is proof of it. In his second ODI series, he scored 148 in Visakhapatnam conferring his name as the highest run-scorer among the Indian Wicket Keepers.
The next match was against Sri Lanka who had set a score of 299 runs. Dhoni scored 183 runs in 145 balls and yes, India won the match. Dhoni was awarded as man of the match and rewarded a B- grade contract by BCCI.
In the first match of 2006 which was against Pakistan, Dhoni scored 68 runs. However, India lost that match but hardly made a difference to Dhoni’s game. His game was getting stronger day by day. In the third match of that series, Dhoni scored 72 runs in just 46 balls, and in the final match, he scored 77 runs in 56 balls.
Ups and downs
Dhoni’s life decided to never walk in a smoother direction.
“In world cup 2007, India crashed badly and the reason is Dhoni!”- News that was traveling across the nation.
In the World Cup 2007, Dhoni was out with a score of zero in both the matches and had a cumulative score of 29 runs in the tournament. As a result, a political dispute happened, his house was vandalized by political activities and people started blaming Dhoni for World Cup loss.
It was big news back then but Dhoni covered it all by performing flawlessly against Bangladesh in the next match where he scored 91 and he was declared as “man of the match”. He also scored 174 runs in 3 matches during the Afro Asia Cup and was again marked as the man of the match in the series.
In the year 2009, he scored a total run of 124 in 107 balls in the first ODI followed by 71 runs in 95 along with Yuvraj Singh. He topped the ICC ODI Batsman ranking for many months. And later in the year 2011 in ICC Cricket World Cup, Dhoni made a score of 91 runs finishing the game with a historical six and claiming the man of the match award.
This world cup brought a drastic change in the cricket career of Dhoni. In 2012 in a bilateral series with Pakistan, Dhoni top-scored for India. In November 2013, Dhoni became India’s second batsman to score a total of 1000 runs in ODI against Australia.
Dhoni has made much more remarkable records during his international cricket career.
Dhoni as a captain
We all have heard the stories of Dhoni’s captaincy, a cool caption with a calm personality, and the habit of dealing with harsh situations in a most lenient way.
So, let’s know more about this journey.
Dhoni was selected as vice-captain of the ODI team for the series against South Africa and was elected as captain for India in the year 2007. He captained the Indian national team from 2007 to 2016 for limited-overs and in test cricket from 2008 to 2014. In the year 2011, 2012, and 2013 India was named as ICC team of the year as he was the only captain to win all the ICC trophies.
Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC Twenty- Twenty world cup. In the year 2010 and 2016 under his captaincy, India won Asia cups. He became the first Indian captain to win all group matches in the cricket world cup 2015. Due to the thesaurus decrease in the team’s performance, he was pressurized to resign from captaincy.
So after the ODI series against England, Dhoni announced his resignation as a captain of India.
Love life and Marriage
They met, distanced, and then tied forever. Yes, this was the way that our “cool captain” met his love of life, Sakshi. They both studied in the same school and their fathers used to work for the same company.
However, they did not know each other so well. Sakshi’s family moved to Dehradun, Uttarakhand and she started studying hotel management. They both met far away from their homes in the Taj hotel, Kolkata.
Sakhi was working as an intern there. Sakhi met Dhoni by the reference of Yudhajit Dutta who was Dhoni’s manager. Dhoni later asked for her contact details. It was very hard for Dhoni to convince her for a relationship and finally, they started dating in march 2008. Making a cute and romantic relationship, Dhoni was hitched with the love of his life on July 4, 2010.
It is believed that Dhoni’s game improved after his marriage and he always says “Cricket and India are his first priority”.
Awards and Achievements
In his impressive journey where Dhoni jumped many milestones, he was appreciated and honored in every phase of life.
Here are some of his prominent achievements:
He won ICC ODI player of the year for 2008 and 2009 which is an annual award presented since 2004 by ICC to the best one-day international player. He received the fourth highest civilian award in the Republic of India, which is the Padma Shri award in the year 2009.
In the year 2011, he won the ICC Award for the spirit of cricket and CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in Sports. He was also honored with LG People’s choice awards in the year 2013 for being a consistent performer. In the year 2018, he was honored with the Padma Bhushan award which is the third-highest civilization award of India.
All these awards are an indication of his hard work, passion, and consistency. They are the reason that not only his fans but the entire nation is attracted to his persona.
Let’s play and achieve
Here was a journey that was full of compassion and inspiration, so if you feel you have that passion and consistency.
If you believe in your cricket aptness.
Let’s support each other and play together. – Fancy11