Mahendra Singh Dhoni (inventor of the Helicopter shot) is an Indian cricketer and the current captain of the Indian team. He also captains Chennai Super Kings. He made his doorway into ODI Team in December 2004 against Bangladesh. A year later he was included to play his first Test against SriLanka. In his first match he was run out by Mashud without scoring when the score was 180-4 at 41.4 over making score board 180-5. Initially recognized as an extravagantly flamboyant and destructive batsman, Dhoni is regarded as the coolest heads to captain the Indian side.
Dhoni has also been awarded with several awards including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (first Indian player to accomplish this), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honor in 2009. In 2009 Dhoni topped the list of world’s top 10 earning cricketers gathered by Forbes and he has been ranked as 31st richest sportsman in the world according to the Forbes Highest Paid Athletes for the year 2012. Dhoni’s total earnings are estimated to be USD 27 million according to Forbes. Thus he becomes the richest Indian sportsman. For his outstanding batting in the final, he was acknowledged the Man of the match award. The TIME magazine added him in its “Time 100″ list of 100 most influential people of 2011.
He was named as the captain of ICC World Test and ICC ODI teams for 2009. Dhoni also led the Indian team to the number one position in ICC rankings in Test cricket for the first time. He is captain for all forms of the game and also led the team to their first ever bilateral ODI series wins in SriLanka as well as New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, CB Series of 2007–08, and Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2008 and 2010 against Australia 2–0 and 2011 World Cup. In the final of Cricket World Cup 2011, he has hit 91 not out of just 79 balls which included two massive sixes and lead India to victory. He finished off the match in style with a straight six. India also became the first team to whitewash Australia in a Test series after a gap of more than 20 years under Dhoni’s captaincy.
Sapna Bhavnani is the hair-stylist who has been styling him for the last 4 years. Nobody else cuts his hair, even if he desperately needs one. He flies to Mumbai and gets it done by her. He started playing cricket at the age of 8-9 years. He has got great fondness for bikes. He is a speed freak. Dhoni’s love for automobiles is not a secret and he has a vast collection that boasts of Harley Davidson, Toyota Corolla, Mitsubishi Pajero, Yamaha 650cc, Kawasaki Ninja, H2 2009 Hummer SUV, Hero Honda CBZ, etc. Dhoni owns fourteen bikes – 11 in Ranchi, two in Mumbai and two in Chennai. And the latest addition to his collection is a Hellcat. He is the first person in South Asia to have an X132 Hellcat. He also loves dogs. He has three dogs, one is mixed breed German shepherd called Sam. Another one Black Lab called Zara and Weimaraner called Zoya (also known as Silver Ghost). Dhoni, referred to as ‘Mahi’ by his friends. Dhoni is a die-hard fan of Adam Gilchrist for his capability of hard hitting the cricket ball.
Dhoni is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper. Dhoni is one of the wicket-keepers who have come through the ranks of junior and India A cricket teams to represent the national team. Dhoni generally tends to play most of his strokes from the back foot with a pronounced bottom hand grip. He has a very fast hand speed through the ball which often results in the ball racing across the ground. Mostly the terms referred while his batting on the ground that the ball just travelled like a trace of bullet or that was massive. Balls disappears while he is on the crease, bowlers sweat and most of the times ball is found out of the boundary lines.
Words for praise never seem to halt until he bats at the crease and one after the other records keep falling apart. Longest sixes to most of the sixes and boundaries, it’s very hard to find out which are the records that hasn’t come his way. One will have to dig everywhere to find out the time Dhoni didn’t deliver for the team when it was most needed but even then they will fail. Critics have always been silenced with his hard hitting skills and finishing off the match with result always in the favor of India. Recently in 2011, he was not dismissed throughout the series when England visited India even though he did appear at the crease for all the five matches. Michael Bevan is also convinced by his batting skills and calls him the best finisher of the match. Numerous Man of the Match and Man of the Series awards speak in his favor. After winning the World Cup 2011, Sachin Tendulkar congratulated him and told him that he is the best captain he has ever played under. Nothing more can account for Dhoni after receiving the praiseworthy words from none other than Tendulkar who is being considered as God of Cricket.
Dhoni scored 148 against Pakistan in his fifth ODI match in 2005 – then the highest score by an Indian wicketkeeper. Later, he broke his own record as well as set the current world record for the highest score in the second innings in ODI matches as he scored 183 against Sri Lanka. Dhoni’s success in the limited over format secured him a place in the Test team. Consistent performances in ODI cricket through the end of the 2005/06 season saw Dhoni briefly ranked as the No. 1 batsman in the ICC ODI ratings. None of the batsmen ever has been listed at Rank 1 in so less time. Only nine wicketkeeper players have captained ten or more Tests. Dhoni leads even this field with 33 Tests as captain, 18 for Gerry Alexander in second place, thereby leading by 15 test matches here too. His Test, ODI record is best among all the Indian captains till date. Out of the 5 IPLs that Dhoni has played, he has led his team to finals of 4 IPL seasons where he has won two IPL seasons i.e. 2010 and 2011. He also led Chennai Super Kings to victory in the Champions League 2010. When it comes to thought, people may find it very difficult to figure out very few trophies that Dhoni hasn’t won in his span of captaincy.
By: Diwan Nikhil Kumar aka DNK
By: Diwan Nikhil Kumar aka DNK