Mahendra Singh Dhoni, fondly known as “Mahi” and nicknamed “Captain Cool,” is a former Indian cricketer renowned for his exceptional wicket-keeping skills. He earned various monikers during his illustrious career, including MSD and MS. Dhoni was a right-handed batsman and right-arm fast-medium bowler. His iconic helicopter shot and paddle sweep became the stuff of legends in the cricketing world. Dhoni’s calm demeanor on the field earned him the reputation of being one of the coolest captains in the game. He is celebrated for his leadership, having captained the Indian cricket team in all three formats, achieving numerous historic milestones during his tenure.
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Born on 7 July 1981 in Ranchi, Jharkhand, Dhoni’s personal life includes a strong connection to his roots. Despite dropping out of college, he pursued a successful cricketing career. He follows Hinduism and hails from the Khas Rajput caste. Dhoni has been involved in various controversies throughout his career, including issues related to water usage, tax evasion, and the IPL spot-fixing scandal.
Dhoni made his international debut in cricket on 23 December 2004 in an ODI against Bangladesh. Over his remarkable career, he played for the Indian cricket team in all three formats, including Tests, ODIs, and T20s, displaying his versatility as a cricketer. He retired from international cricket on 15 August 2020, leaving behind a legacy of numerous records and achievements.
Dhoni donned the jersey number #7 for both the Indian National Team and his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise, Chennai Super Kings, symbolizing his iconic position as the team’s captain and leader.
Dhoni represented various domestic and state teams, including Asia XI, Bihar, Chennai Super Kings, Jharkhand, and Rising Pune Supergiants during his cricketing journey.
His cricketing journey was guided by mentors Keshav Banerjee and Chanchal Bhattacharya, who played significant roles in shaping his career.
Batting and Bowling Style
Dhoni was a right-handed batsman who made a name for himself with his finishing prowess. As a bowler, he contributed with his right-arm fast-medium deliveries when called upon.
Dhoni’s signature helicopter shot and paddle sweep were his go-to strokes and became synonymous with his batting style, winning over fans worldwide.
Nature on Field
Known for his composed and unflappable demeanor on the cricket field, Dhoni earned the moniker “Captain Cool” for his ability to stay calm under pressure.
Likes to play against
Dhoni had a penchant for facing arch-rivals Pakistan and cricketing powerhouse Australia, showcasing his mettle in high-stakes encounters.
Records (main ones):
- Under his captaincy, Indian team won major tournaments in all 3 formats: the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months (2009-2011), the ODI World Cup in 2011, Champions Trophy in 2013 and the Twenty20 World Cup in 2007.
- Most centuries at the position of No.7 in ODIs.
- Most 6s in International Cricket as a captain.
- Most number of stumpings in International Cricket.
- Highest score by a wicket-keeper batsman in ODIs (183 runs).
- Won most T20 International matches as a captain.
- Most times bowled in International Cricket while playing a match as a wicket-keeper.
- Only skipper to score an ODI century while batting at No.7
- First Indian wicket-keeper batsman to score 4,000 Test runs.
- Highlight score by an Indian captain in Tests (224 runs).
- 3rd skipper ever to have captained in 300+ international matches, after Ricky Ponting (324) and Stephen Fleming (303).
- The only skipper to have captained 50+ matches in all 3 formats.
- First Indian captain to win a Test series in New Zealand.
- In July 2018, he made the record of maximum stumpings in Twenty20 Internationals (33 stumpings in 91 matches).
Career Turning Point
Dhoni’s breakthrough moment came in the 2003/04 tri-nation tournament against Kenya and Pakistan A, where he scored 362 runs in 6 matches at an average of 72.40, marking the beginning of his remarkable international career.
Awards, Honours & Achievements
Dhoni’s contributions to Indian cricket were recognized with prestigious awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, and Padma Bhushan. He also received accolades like the ICC ODI Player of the Year and MTV Youth Icon of the Year.
Standing at approximately 175 cm (5’9″) and weighing around 75 kg (165 lbs), Dhoni possessed a well-built physique with measurements of 42 inches (chest), 32 inches (waist), and 14 inches (biceps). His dark brown eyes and black hair added to his charismatic presence on the field.
- In 2007, 40 residents of his locality filed a plea against the Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA) for wasting 15,000 litres of water in M.S. Dhoni’s home in daily maintenance of the swimming pool. At that time, his locality was going through a severe water crisis.
- He was involved in a tax evasion controversy over his Hummer H2, as the vehicle needed a registration charge of ₹4 lakhs in India, but it was mistakenly registered as a Mahindra Scorpio, the charge of registering which is ₹53,000.
- During the 2013 IPL spot-fixing, Dhoni was on the radar of the Supreme Court. He was in the contact with Gurunath Meiyappan, who was named in betting charge sheet. Later, Dhoni called Gurunath Meiyappan, a “mere cricket enthusiast.” However, Meiyappan was a full-fledged team owner.
- In 2016, he resigned as the brand ambassador of Amrapali real estate group after the residents from one of the Amrapali units carried a social media campaign after facing logistical issues in the society.
- In November 2022, he moved a contempt petition at the Madras High Court against IPS officer G Sampath Kumar for Kumar’s remarks while he was investigating the Indian Premier League (IPL) spot-fixing and betting scandal of 2013.
Family & Relationships
Dhoni’s family includes his father, Pan Singh, who worked at MECON, and his mother, Devki Devi. He has an elder brother named Narendra Singh Dhoni, who is a politician, and an elder sister named Jayanti Gupta. Dhoni tied the knot with Sakshi Singh Rawat on 4 July 2010. The couple has a daughter named Ziva. Dhoni also had previous relationships with Priyanka Jha and South Indian actress Lakshmi Rai.
Likes & Dislikes
Dhoni’s cricketing idols include Sachin Tendulkar and Adam Gilchrist, while his favorite bowlers are Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee. He has a special affinity for cricket grounds like Lord’s Cricket Ground in London and the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Dhoni’s favorite foods encompass a mix of Indian and international dishes, including Chicken Butter Masala, Chicken Tikka Pizza, and more. Outside of cricket, he admires footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and tennis player Rafael Nadal. His favorite actors include Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham, and actresses like Angelina Jolie and Deepika Padukone. He enjoys films like “Agneepath” and “Sholay” and has a penchant for Kishore Kumar’s music. Dhoni’s preferred colors are blue and black, and he has a liking for travel destinations like Sri Lanka and Goa.
Open Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti SX4, Hummer H2, Toyota Corolla, Land Rover Freelander, GMC Sierra, Mitsubishi Pajero Sfx, Mitsubishi Out Lander, Porsche 911, Audi Q7 SUV, Ferrari 599, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Pontiac Firebird Trans Am
Kawasaki Ninja H2, Confederate Hellcat, BSA, Suzuki Hayabusa, a Norton Vintage, Hero Karizma ZMR, Yamaha Rxz, Yamaha Thundercat, Yamaha Rx, Ducati 1098, Yamaha Rd 350, Tvs Apache, Kawasaki zx14r Ninja, Confederate Hellcat X 132, Harley Davidson Fat boy, Enfield Machismo, Customized Tvs Dirt bike, TVS Ronin
Dhoni’s financial success is evident from his hefty IPL salary of Rs. 12 Crore in 2023 and an estimated net worth of Rs 1,040 crore as of July 2023, making him one of the wealthiest cricketers globally.