MS Dhoni turns 40: How Captain Cool created his own legacy

Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (AFP file)
Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (AFP file)

New Delhi - MS Dhoni is the only captain to have won all three ICC limited overs trophies


Published: Wed 7 Jul 2021, 11:59 AM

Last updated: Wed 7 Jul 2021, 12:14 PM

Former India skipper MS Dhoni will always be remembered for finishing tight matches with a smile. He might have retired from international career last year, but Dhoni still holds a special place in the heart of every fan.

For over a decade, Dhoni’s unorthodox batting style, especially the helicopter shot, gave international bowlers a headache.

As the wicketkeeper-batsman celebrates his 40th birthday today, let’s relive his first century in international cricket.

It was on April 5, 2005, when Dhoni made his first international ton. The former skipper registered the feat against Pakistan in the second ODI of the six-match series.

The match was played at the Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam.

Dhoni had made his ODI debut against Bangladesh in 2004. However, he scored just 19 runs in the three-match series.

The wicketkeeper truly arrived in the series against Pakistan in 2005, as he scored 148 runs in the second ODI at Visakhapatnam.

In the match, India won the toss and opted to bat first. The side lost Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket in the fourth over of the innings and it brought Dhoni to the middle.

Dhoni and Virender Sehwag took on the Pakistan bowlers and the two batsmen had a 96-run stand.

Sehwag (74) was sent back to the pavilion in the 14th over, but Dhoni then found support in Rahul Dravid as they shared a 149-run stand.

Dhoni smashed 15 fours and four sixes in his innings and scored 148 runs from 123 balls, taking India’s total to 356/9.

India then managed to defend the total as the side bundled out Pakistan for 298 with Ashish Nehra taking four wickets.

A young marauder had arrived who was immediately compared to Adam Gilchrist for his heroics with the bat.

But Dhoni, who emerged from the cricketing backwaters of Ranchi, was born to create a legacy of his own.

Dhoni played 350 ODIs with his highest score being 183 against Sri Lanka. He also remains the only captain to have won all major ICC trophies (50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy).

While his one-day batting remained exemplary, Dhoni’s art of captaincy has now become a part of the cricket folklore.

He was also always precise with reviews and many have jokingly suggested changing the ‘Decision-Review System’ to ‘Dhoni-Review System’.

In December 2014, he announced his retirement from Tests. He called time on his Test career after playing 90 Tests, scoring 4,876 runs at an average of 38.09.

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India also managed to attain the number one ranking in Test cricket. The Chennai Super Kings won three Indian Premier League (IPL) titles under his leadership.

He might have retired from international cricket, but Dhoni is still enjoying his cricket in the IPL. The Covid-19-disrupted season of IPL 2021 saw Dhoni’s vintage captaincy skills that helped the CSK enjoy a glorious run.

Fans will be hoping to see more Dhoni magic in CSK colours when the IPL resumes in UAE in September.

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