cricketer and the current captain of the Indian national cricket team. He is an attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicket-keeper. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh, and played his first Test a year later against Sri Lanka.
Dhoni is the captain of India in all three forms of the game. His Test and ODI records are the best among all Indian captains to date. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and led the team to its first ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. In the final of the 2011 World Cup, Dhoni scored 91 not out off just 79 balls to take India to victory for which he was awarded the Man of the Match. After taking up the Test captaincy in 2008, he led the team to series wins in New Zealand and West Indies, and the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, 2010 and 2013. In 2009, Dhoni also led the Indian team to number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings. In 2013, under his captaincy, India became the first team in more than 40 years to whitewash Australia in a Test series. He has also captained the Chennai Super Kings to victory in the 2010 and 2011 seasons of Indian Premier League along with the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.
Dhoni also holds the post of Vice-President of India Cements Ltd. after resigning from Air India. India Cements is the owner of the IPL team Chennai Super Kings, and Dhoni has been its captain since the first edition of IPL.
Dhoni has also been the recipient of many awards including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first Indian player to achieve this feat), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, in 2009. He was named as the captain of ICC World Test XI and ICC World ODI XI teams for 2009. The Indian Territorial Army conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on 1 November 2011. He is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to have received this honour.In 2009, Dhoni topped the list of world’s top 10 earning cricketers compiled by Forbes. In June 2013, Forbes ranked Dhoni at 16th in the list of highest paid athletes in the world, estimating his earnings at $31.5 million.The TIME magazine has added Dhoni in its "Time 100" list of 100 most influential people of 2011.SportsPro has rated Dhoni as the 16th most remarkable athlete in the world.
Dhoni was born in Ranchi, Bihar (now in Jharkhand), and he identifies as being a Rajput. His paternal village Lvali is in the Lamgarha block of the Almora District of Uttarakhand. Dhoni's parents, moved from Uttarakhand to Ranchi where Pan Singh worked in junior management positions in MECON. Dhoni has a sister Jayanti Gupta and a brother Narendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni is a fan of Adam Gilchrist, and his childhood idols were cricket teammate Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and singer Lata Mangeshkar Dhoni studied at DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir, Shyamali,(now the school is known as JVM, Shyamli, Ranchi) Ranchi, Jharkhand where he initially excelled in badminton and football and was selected at district and club level in these sports. Dhoni was a goalkeeper for his football team and was sent to play cricket for a local cricket club by his football coach. Though he had not played cricket, Dhoni impressed with his wicket-keeping skills and became the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando cricket club (1995–1998). Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship and he performed well. Dhoni focused on cricket after his 10th standard. Dhoni was a Train Ticket Examiner (TTE) at Kharagpur railway station from 2001 to 2003, under South Eastern Railway in Midnapore (W), a district in West Bengal. His colleagues remember him as a very honest, straightforward employee of the Indian Railways. But he also had a mischievous side to his personality. Once, while staying at the railway quarters, Dhoni and a couple of his friends covered themselves in white bedsheets and walked around in the complex late in the night. The night guards were fooled into believing that there were ghosts moving around in the complex. The story made big news on the next day.
Dhoni married Sakshi Singh Rawat, a native of Dehradun, Uttarakhand, on 4 July 2010. At the time of their marriage, she was studying Hotel Management and was working as a trainee at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata. After the retirement of Sakshi’s father from tea gardens, their family shifted to their native place, Dehradun.
The wedding stumped the media and the fans as it took place only a day after the couple got engaged. Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, a close friend of Dhoni, was quick to inform the media that the wedding was planned for months and was not a spur of the moment decision.
Dhoni is a right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper. Dhoni is among the wicket-keepers who have come through the ranks of junior and India A cricket teams to represent the national team. Parthiv Patel, Ajay Ratra and Dinesh Karthik also followed this route.
Dhoni tends to play mostly from the back foot with a pronounced bottom hand grip. He has a very high bat speed through the ball which often results in the ball racing across the ground. From this initial stance his feet do not show much movement which sometimes results in chasing balls while not coming to the pitch of the ball or some deliveries catching the inside edge.
Junior cricket in Bihar
Dhoni was included in the Bihar U-19 squad for the 1998-99 season and scored 176 runs in 5 matches (7 innings) as the team finished fourth in the group of six and did not make it to the quarter-finals. Dhoni was not picked for the East Zone U-19 squad (CK Nayudu Trophy) or Rest of India squad (MA Chidambaram Trophy and Vinoo Mankad Trophy). Bihar U-19 cricket team advanced to the finals of the 1999–2000 Cooch Behar Trophy where Dhoni made 84 to help Bihar post a total of 357. Bihar's efforts were dwarfed by Punjab U-19s' 839 with Dhoni's future national squad teammate Yuvraj Singh making 358. Dhoni's contribution in the tournament included 488 runs (9 matches, 12 innings), 5 fifties, 17 catches and 7 stumpings. Dhoni made it to the East Zone U-19 squad for the CK Nayudu trophy but scored only 97 runs in four matches as East Zone lost all four matches and finished last in the tournament.
Bihar cricket team
Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar in the 1999–2000 season as an eighteen-year-old. He made a half century in his debut match scoring 68* in the second innings against Assam cricket team. Dhoni finished the season with 283 runs in 5 matches. Dhoni scored his maiden first-class century while playing for Bihar against Bengal in the 2000/01 season in a losing cause. Apart from the century, his performance in the 2000/01 did not include another score over fifty and in 2001/02 season he scored just five fifty in each season in four Ranji matches.
Jharkhand cricket team
Dhoni's performance in the 2002-03 season included three half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy and a couple of half-centuries in the Deodhar Trophy as he started gaining recognition for his lower-order contribution as well as hard-hitting batting style. In the 2003-04 season, Dhoni scored a century (128*) against Assam in the first match of the Ranji ODI tournament. He was part of the East Zone squad that won the Deodhar Trophy that year and contributed with 244 runs in 4 matches. In the Duleep Trophy finals, Dhoni was picked over international cricketer Deep Dasgupta to represent East Zone. He scored a fighting half-century in the second innings in a losing cause.
Dhoni's talent was discovered via the BCCI's small-town talent-spotting initiative TRDW. Dhoni was discovered by TRDO PC Podar, captain of Bengal in the 1960s, when he saw Dhoni play for Jharkhand at a match in Jamshedpur in 2003, and sent a report to the National Cricket Academy.
India A team
He was recognised for his efforts in the 2003-04 season, especially in the ODI format and was picked for the India A squad for a tour of Zimbabwe and Kenya. Against the Zimbabwe XI in Harare Sports Club, Dhoni had his best wicket-keeping effort with 7 catches and 4 stumpings in the match. In the tri-nation tournament involving Kenya, India A and Pakistan A, Dhoni helped India A chase down their target of 223 against Pakistan A with a half-century. Continuing his good performance, he scored back to back centuries – 120 and 119* – against the same team. Dhoni scored 362 runs in 6 innings at an average of 72.40 and his performance in the series received attention from the then Indian captain – Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri amongst others. However, the India A team coach Sandeep Patil recommended Dinesh Karthik for a place in the Indian squad as wicket-keeper/batsman.
The Indian ODI team in the early 2000s saw Rahul Dravid as the wicket-keeper to ensure that the wicket-keeper spot didn't lack in batting talent. The team also saw the entry of wicket-keeper/batsmen from the junior ranks with talents like Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik (both India U-19 captains) named in the Test squads. With Dhoni making a mark in the India A squad, he was picked in the ODI squad for the Bangladesh tour in 2004/05. Dhoni did not have a great start to his ODI career, getting run out for a duck on debut. In spite of an average series against Bangladesh, Dhoni was picked for the Pakistan ODI series. In the second match of the series, Dhoni, in his fifth one-day international, scored 148 in Vishakapatnam off only 123 deliveries. Dhoni's 148 surpassed the earlier record for the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper, a record that he would re-write before the end of the year.
Dhoni had few batting opportunities in the first two games of the Sri Lankan bilateral ODI series (October–November 2005) and was promoted to No. 3 in the third ODI at Sawai Mansingh Stadium (Jaipur). Sri Lanka had set India a target of 299 after a Kumar Sangakkara century and, in reply, India lost Tendulkar early. Dhoni was promoted to accelerate the scoring and ended the game with an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls, winning the game for India. The innings was described in Wisden Almanack (2006) as 'Uninhibited, yet anything but crude'. The innings set various records including the highest individual score in ODI cricket in the second innings, a record that still stands. Dhoni ended the series with the highest run aggregate (346) and was awarded the Man of the Series award for his efforts. In December 2005, Dhoni was rewarded a B-grade contract by the BCCI.
India scored 328 in 50 overs with Dhoni contributing 68 in their first match of 2006 against Pakistan. However, the team finished poorly scoring just 43 runs in the last eight overs and lost the match due to Duckworth-Lewis method.In the third match of the series, Dhoni came in with India in a precarious situation and scored 72 runs off just 46 balls that included 13 boundaries to help India take a 2–1 lead in the series. The final match of the series had a repeat performance as Dhoni scored 77 runs off 56 balls to enable India win the series 4–1. Due to his consistent ODI performances, Dhoni overtook Ricky Ponting as number one in the ICC ODI Rankings for batsmen on 20 April 2006. His reign lasted just a week as Adam Gilchrist's performance against Bangladesh moved him to the top spot.
Two cancelled series in Sri Lanka, one due to the withdrawal of South Africa from the Unitech Cup due to security concerns and the replacement three-match ODI bilateral series against Sri Lanka washed due to rain, was India's prelude to another disappointing tournament – DLF Cup 2006-07. Dhoni scored 43 runs as the team lost twice in three games and did not qualify for the finals. India's lack of preparation showed in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy as they lost to West Indies and Australia, though Dhoni scored a half-century against West Indies. The story of the ODI series in South Africa was the same for both Dhoni and India as Dhoni scored 139 runs in 4 matches and India lost the series 4–0. From the start of the West Indies ODI series, Dhoni had played 16 matches, hit just two fifties and averaged 25.93. Dhoni received criticism on his wicket-keeping technique from former wicket-keeper Syed Kirmani.
Preparations for the 2007 Cricket World Cup improved as India recorded identical 3–1 victories over West Indies and Sri Lanka and Dhoni had averages in excess of 100 in both these series. However, India unexpectedly crashed out the World Cup after losses to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the group stage. Dhoni was out for a duck in both these matches and scored just 29 runs in the tournament. After the loss to Bangladesh in 2007 Cricket World Cup, the house that Dhoni was constructing in his home-town Ranchi was vandalised and damaged by political activists of JMM.The local police arranged for security for his family as India exited the World Cup in the first round.
Dhoni put his disappointing performances in the World Cup behind him by scoring 91* against Bangladesh after India were left in a tight spot earlier in the run-chase. Dhoni was declared the Man of the Match for his performance, his fourth in ODI cricket. He was also later adjudged the Man of the Series after the third game of the series was washed away. Dhoni had a good Afro-Asia Cup, scoring 174 runs in 3 matches at an average of 87.00, with a blitzkrieg 139 not out of 97 balls, a Man of the Match innings, in the third ODI.
Dhoni was named vice-captain of the ODI team for the series against South Africa in Ireland and the subsequent India-England seven-match ODI series.Dhoni, who received a 'B' grade contract in December 2005, was awarded an 'A' grade contract in June 2007. And also he was elected as captain of the Indian squad for the World Twenty20 in September 2007. On 2 September 2007, Dhoni equaled his idol Adam Gilchrist's international record for the most dismissals in an innings in ODI by catching five English players and stumping one. He led India to the ICC World Twenty 20 trophy in South Africa with a victory over arch-rivals Pakistan in an intensely fought final on 24 September 2007, and became the second Indian captain to have won a World Cup in any form of cricket, after Kapil Dev. During the series between India and Australia, Dhoni hit an aggressive 124 runs in just 107 balls, in the second ODI, and a measured knock of 71 runs in 95 balls, along with Yuvraj Singh, saw India home by 6 wickets, in the third ODI. Dhoni took his first wicket in international cricket on 30 September 2009. He bowled Travis Dowlin of the West Indies during a match of the 2009 Champions Trophy. Dhoni batting against South Africa during the group stage match of 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Dhoni topped the ICC ODI Batsman rankings for several months continuously in 2009. Michael Hussey from Australia replaced him for the top spot in the beginning of 2010.
Dhoni had an excellent year in ODIs in 2009 scoring 1198 runs in just 24 innings at an astonishing average of 70.43. Dhoni was also the joint top-scorer in ODIs in 2009 along with Ricky Ponting, but the latter having played in 30 innings.
On 12 February 2012, Dhoni made an unbeaten 44 to guide India to their first win over Australia at Adelaide. In the final over, he hit a monstrous six which traveled 112 metres off the bowling of Clint McKay. During the post-match presentation, he described this six as more important than the one he hit during the ICC World Cup final in 2011.
Following his good one-day form against Sri Lanka, Dhoni replaced Dinesh Karthik in December 2005 as the Indian Test wicket-keeper. Dhoni scored 30 runs in his debut match that was marred by rain. Dhoni came to the crease when the team was struggling at 109/5 and as wickets kept falling around him, he played an aggressive innings and was the last man dismissed. Dhoni made his maiden half-century in the second Test and his quick scoring rate (half century came off 51 balls) aided India to set a target of 436 and the Sri Lankans were bowled out for 247.
India toured Pakistan in January-February 2006 and Dhoni scored his maiden century in the second Test at Faisalabad. India were left in a tight spot as Dhoni was joined by Irfan Pathan with the team still 107 away from avoiding follow-on. Dhoni played his typical aggressive innings as he brought up his maiden Test hundred in just 93 balls after scoring the first fifty in just 34 deliveries. Dhoni followed the century with some prosaic batting performances over the next three matches, one against Pakistan that India lost and two against England that had India holding a 1–0 lead. Dhoni was the top scorer in India's first innings in the third Test at Wankhede Stadium as his 64 aided India post a respectable 279 in reply to England's 400. However Dhoni and the Indian fielders dropped catches and missed many dismissal chances including a key stumping opportunity of Andrew Flintoff (14).Dhoni failed to collect the Harbhajan Singh delivery cleanly as Flintoff went on to make 36 more runs as England set a target of 313 for the home team, a target that India were never in the reckoning. A batting collapse saw the team being dismissed for 100 and Dhoni scored just 5 runs and faced criticism for his wicket-keeping lapses as well as his shot selections.
On the West Indies tour in 2006, Dhoni scored a quick and aggressive 69 in the first Test at Antigua. The rest of the series was unremarkable for Dhoni as he scored 99 runs in the remaining 6 innings but his wicket-keeping skills improved and he finished the series with 13 catches and 4 stumpings. In the Test series in South Africa later that year, Dhoni's scores of 34 and 47 were not sufficient to save the second Test against the Proteas as India lost the series 2–1, squandering the chance to build on their first ever Test victory in South Africa (achieved in the first Test match). Dhoni's bruised hands ruled him out of the third Test match.
On the fourth day of the first Test match at Antigua Recreation Ground, St John's, Antigua during India's tour of West Indies, 2006, Dhoni's flick off Dave Mohammed to the midwicket region was caught by Daren Ganga. As the batsman started to walk back, captain Dravid declared the innings when confusion started as the umpires were not certain if the fielder stepped on the ropes and Dhoni stayed for the umpire's verdict. While the replays were inconclusive, the captain of the West Indies side, Brian Lara, wanted Dhoni to walk off based on the fielder's assertion of the catch. The impasse continued for more than 15 minutes and Lara's temper was on display with finger wagging against the umpires and snatching the ball from umpire Asad Rauf. Ultimately, Dhoni walked off and Dravid's declaration was effected but the game was delayed, and Lara's action was criticised by the commentators and former players. Lara was summoned by the match referee to give an explanation of his actions but he was not fined.
Dhoni scored two centuries in Sri Lanka's tour of India in 2009, a series of three matches in which he led India to a 2–0 victory. With this feat, India soared up to the number one position in Test cricket for the first time in history. India scored 726–9 (decl) in the third match of this series, which is their highest Test total ever.
Dhoni was named the captain of Indian squad for the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 held in South Africa in September 2007.India were crowned champions as Dhoni led the team to victory against Pakistan in a thrilling contest.He, then, went on to become the ODI captain of the Indian team for the seven-match ODI series against Australia in September 2007.He made his debut as full-time Test captain of India during the fourth and final Test against Australia at Nagpur in November 2008 replacing Anil Kumble who was injured in the third test and who then announced his retirement. Dhoni was vice-captain in this series up to that point.India eventually won that Test thus clinching the series 2–0 and retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Dhoni had previously captained India on a stand-in basis against South Africa and Australia in 2008 and 2009 respectively.
It was under his captaincy that India climbed to No. 1 in the ICC Test Rankings in December 2009. After that he managed to lead India in a series-leveling world championship of Tests against the South Africans in February 2010. India also managed to draw the Test series 1-1 in South Africa later that year.
After winning the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup final against Sri Lanka on 2 April 2011 with his match winning knock of unbeaten 91, Tendulkar heaped praises on Dhoni, claiming him to be the best captain he has played under. Tendulkar mentioned that it was Dhoni's calm influence that was rubbing off on all his team-mates and described Dhoni's handling of pressure was incredible.
Only nine players have captained ten or more Tests playing as a wicket-keeper. Dhoni leads the table with 33 Tests as captain, 15 ahead of Gerry Alexander in second place.
In March 2013, Dhoni became the most successful Indian Test captain when he eclipsed Sourav Ganguly’s record of 21 victories from 49 Tests. Ganguly also said in an interview to a news channel that Dhoni is the all-time greatest captain of India and he has a great record to support this credential.
Due to slow-over rate, Dhoni being the captain of Indian cricket team has seldom faced with a restrictions to play in the matches. In December 2009, he was suspended for two ODI matches against Sri Lanka when ICC match referee Jeff Crowe imposed the ban as India was three over beyond the specified duration. Hence Virender Sehwag was named the skipper for the two matches in Cuttack and Kolkata. Further, in January 2012 he was banned for the fourth Test match against Australia in Adelaide. Dhoni was two over short during the third Test in Perth. Consequently, Sehwag captained the team in the Adelaide test and Wriddhiman Saha kept the wickets. In the CB Series in February, Dhoni again faced a one match ban for slow-over rate against Australia.
Under Dhoni's captaincy, India won the 2011 World Cup. In the final against Sri Lanka, chasing 275, Dhoni promoted himself up the batting order, coming before Yuvraj Singh. When he came to bat India needed more than six runs per over with three top order batsmen already dismissed. He started building a good partnership with Gautam Gambhir. Due to good strokeplay and active running between wickets, they kept up with the required run rate. Dhoni was on 60 off 60 balls, but later accelerated with a greater flow of boundaries, ending with 91 not out off 79 balls. Befitting the occasion, he finished the match of in style with a huge six over long-on off bowler Nuwan Kulasekara and won Man of the Match. Later in the post match presentation, he admitted that he came up the order so as to counter the Muralitharan spin threat as he was very familiar with Murali's bowling, who was his team-mate in the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Chennai Super Kings. He had come after the dismissal of Virat Kohli, also a right-handed batsman. By partnering the left-handed Gambhir, he ensured a right-left combination at the crease that makes it difficult for bowlers to settle into a rhythm.
The bat used by Dhoni in the final match was sold for 72 Lac. The money goes to Sakshi Rawat Foundation, operated by Dhoni's wife Sakshi Rawat to help orphan children.
Indian Premier League
Dhoni was contracted by the Chennai Super Kings for 1.5 Million USD. This made him the most expensive player in the IPL for the first season auctions. Dhoni is the present captain of the Chennai Super Kings Team. Under his captaincy, Chennai Super Kings have won two Indian Premier League titles and the 2010 Champions League Twenty20.