Mahendra Singh Dhoni also referred to as ‘Captain Cool,’ entered the international stage as a wicketkeeper-batsman on 23 December 2004. He didn’t score big initially but soon found his form and became famous for his big hits.
He then took charge as a captain of the Indian cricket team in the Inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. He later took the lead in all three formats (ICC T20 World Cup 2007, ICC World Cup 2011, and ICC Champions Trophy 2013) and became the only captain to have all three in his cabinet.
Describing Mahi, the phenomena, in words, is an impossible task. In a career that lasted 15 years, Captain Cool scaled unmatchable heights, climbed insurmountable towers, and made plenty of moments that will be dear to not just him but to each one of his fans.
Let us look at the top ten moments of Dhoni’s career.
1. Maiden International Century – Dhoni scored a combined 22 runs in his first four international innings. In his fifth ODI at Vizag against Pakistan, he was promoted to No. 3, and the decision proved a masterstroke. He scored a stunning 148 off 123 for his first international century, with 15 fours and four sixes. India scored a 356/9 and went on to win the match, with Dhoni becoming the man-of-the-match.
2. Highest Score Against Sri Lanka – In an ODI against Sri Lanka in 2005, Dhoni scored an unbeaten 183 off 145 deliveries with 15 fours and 10 sixes, chasing 299. Dhoni became the highest individual scorer by a wicketkeeper in ODIs.
3. First Test Hundred – Dhoni’s made his first test century in 2006 against Pakistan in Faislabad. He played an attacking inning with bowlers like Mohammad Asif and Shoaib Akhtar, hitting 148 off 153 deliveries with 19 fours and 4 sixes. The Test ended in a draw.
4. No. 1 ODI Batsman – Dhoni replaced the Australia legend Ricky Ponting to become the No. 1 ranked ODI batsman in April 2006.
5. T20 World Cup 2007 – Dhoni was made the captain of the inaugural ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in 2007. The decision came after India’s disastrous performance at the 2007 ODI World Cup in West Indies, where they exited at the group stage. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India lost just one match at the tournament in South Africa before beating Pakistan to lift the trophy, heralding a new era.
6. Taking India to the Top in Tests – In 2009, two years after the T20 World Cup 2007 triumph, India topped in the ICC Test Rankings under Dhoni’s captaincy.
7. ODI Player of the Year – Mahi won the ICC ODI Player of the Year Trophy for two consecutive years, in 2008 and 2009. He was also a part of the ICC World ODI XI eight times (2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) and World Test XI three times (2009, 2010, 2013).
8. ODI World Cup 2011 – Dhoni-led the Indian team to their second ODI World Cup after 28 years when they beat Sri Lanka in April 2011 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Captain Cool slammed an unbeaten 91 and was awarded the man-of-the-match title.
9. Double Century in Test – Dhoni became the first-ever Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test double century in February 2013. In the opening Test match of the series against Australia in Chennai, Mahi scored 224 off 265 with 24 fours and 6 sixes and led the Indian team towards an eight-wicket victory.
10. Champions Trophy 2013 – After leading India to a five-run win against England in the final at Edgbaston and winning the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Mahi became the only captain to have won all the three major ICC trophies.