Mahendra Singh Dhoni, popularly known as MS Dhoni, is a world-renowned cricketer of Indian origin.
He recently retired from international cricket commitments in August of 2020.
While he was still inactive on the international cricket scene, Dhoni proved to be godsent to the Indian national team in the limited-over formats and test cricket from 2007 to 2016 and 2008 in 2014 respectively.
In the history of international cricket, MS Dhoni remains the only Captain to have won all ICC trophies.
Let’s take a glance at MS Dhoni’s early years. The family of Pan Singh welcomed a bouncing baby boy on the 7th day of July 1981 in Ranchi, Bihar, in present-day Jharkhand, and the boy was named Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
He had his primary education at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Ranchi and he was said to be an excellent sportsman who did well in football, badminton, and (surprise, surprise) cricket.
Within 1995-98, Dhoni displayed impressive wicket-keeping skills over at Commando Cricket Club, and as a result, he was shortlisted for Vinoo Markand Trophy Under-16 Championship; the 1997-98 session.
He performed well during the Championship. Upon graduation from High School, Dhoni remained committed to cricket.
In 1998, Dhoni was handpicked for the Central Coal Field Limited Team; meaning he had to play for the school cricket team and his club.
With his outstanding contribution, CCL was able to move to A Division and Deval Sahay, the man who recruited him for CCL, pushed for his nomination to the Bihar Team.
He was selected at the age of 17 for the Senior Bihar-Ranji Team, for the 1999-2000 Season.
During the 1999-2000 season, the Bihar U-19 team got to the finals but they couldn’t win the trophy.
Later on, MS Dhoni got handpicked for the East Zone U-19 squad participating in the CK Nayudu Trophy.
Even though the East Zone lost all their matches, it was still good exposure for MS Dhoni.
The Long-awaited recognition started coming during the 2002-2003 Season for Dhoni. While playing for the Jharkhand team to win the Ranji Trophy and the Deodhar Trophy, his hard-hitting batting style drew some commendations.
During the Duleep Trophy Finals, Dhoni was spotted by Prakash Poddar, one-time captain of Bengal in the 1960’s, who sent a favorable report about him to the National Cricket Academy.
At the end of the day, Dhoni was picked over Deep Dasgupta, an International Cricketer.
Later on, MS Dhoni was selected for India A-Team. He participated in a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. In a match against Zimbabwe, Dhoni managed 7 catches and 4 stumpings.
In a definitive Tri-nation Tournament with India A, Pakistan A, and Kenya, Dhoni helped facilitate the Indian team’s chase of 223 runs with a half-century against the Pakistan Side.
He scored 362 runs in 6 innings with an average of 72.40.
This outstanding performance was bound to draw the right attention.
The attention got him selected into the ODI team for the 2004/05 Bangladesh Tour.
His performance during his debut match was average at best but someone must have seen some potential in him because he was picked for the ODI Series against Pakistan.
During the second match of the Series, Dhoni pulled the fantastic!
He scored a record-setting 158 runs in 123 balls, making a record for the highest score by an Indian Wicket Keeper.
He also participated in the first two matches in Sri Lankan Bilateral ODI Series, held between October-November, 2005.
He scored an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls against Sri Lanka in a winning cause for which he received the Man of the Series Award.
In another series against Pakistan, MS Dhoni scored 72 runs off 46 balls in the Third Match, helping India lead the series 2-1.
During the final match of the series, Dhoni scored 77 runs off 56 balls, helping India to win the Series by a lead of 4-1.
In a testimony to his versatility, he was ranked number 1 batsman in ICC ODI Rankings.
Unfortunately, the 2006-2007 season wasn’t a good time for the Indian Side as India crashed out of the 2007 Cricket World Cup.
In fact, due to Dhoni’s poor showing in the Cricket World Cup, his home was vandalized and his family had to be given police protection.
Fast forward to 2011, MS Dhoni-led the Indian team to the Finals with victory over Australia in the quarter-finals and Pakistan in the finals.
MS Dhoni even bagged the Man of the Match award for his phenomenal performance during the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
As earlier hinted, India won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013, making Dhoni the first and only Captain in the history of Cricket to claim all ICC Trophies.
In January of 2017, Dhoni retired as Captain of the Indian team on all the Limited Over Formats.
After his outstanding performance in the ODI against Sri Lanka, Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik as India’s Test Wicket Keeper.
His debut match was sub-par, owing to rainfall, as he scored 30 runs.
He did great in the Test Series and during the 2014/15 season, he played his last Test Series against Australia and captained the Second and Third Test Matches.
He retired from the Test Format after the Third Test in Melbourne.
As far as the Twenty20 tournaments are concerned, Dhoni was part of the first Twenty20 International match against South Africa in 2006.
In his debut appearance, he was out for a duck but still managed to effect three dismissals.
However, in 2012, he made a 44 and led India to win their first-ever win over Australia. He was named the captain and wicketkeeper of the ’team of the tournament’ for the T20 World Cup by the ICC in 2014.
Meanwhile, during the first season of the Indian Premier League, the Chennai Super Kings franchise entered into a contract with MS Dhoni to the tune of US$1.5 Million, making him the most expensive player in the debut season auctions.
He was captain for the CSK from the beginning and under his watch, the CSK won 2010, 2011, and 2018 IPL Titles.
The Team also won the 2010 and 2014 T20 Champions League titles under Dhoni’s captaincy.
The Chennai Super Kings franchise was suspended for 2 years and during that interval, Dhoni was with Rising Pune Supergiant as Captain.
The team didn’t do well as they finished 7th on the points table.
After the CSK ban was lifted in 2018, Dhoni returned to the CSK as Captain and he led the team to win its third IPL title.
In 2014, still as Captain of the CSK, his team lost to the resurgent Mumbai Indians.
Recently, MS Dhoni made headlines again when he became the first player in the IPL to earn Rs 150 CRORE salary.
The Chennai Super Kings skipper is expected to lead the CSK for the last time in the IPL 2021 as he retired from all international cricket last year.
The implication of all that has been said is that MS Dhoni will become the first IPL player to earn a total of Rs 150 CRORE salary throughout his career as he is to receive a salary of Rs 15 Crore for the IPL 2021 Season.