Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni by Blnguyen – Wikimedia Commons

Top 10 Facts about Mahendra Dhoni


Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an Indian professional cricketer who was captain of the Indian national cricket team in limited-overs formats from 2007 to 2017 and in Test cricket from 2008 to 2014.  He is a right-handed wicket-keeper batsman. He led the team to three ICC trophies including the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. 

Under Mahendra’s captaincy, India won the Asia Cup two times, in 2010 and 2016. India also won ICC Test Championship Mace two times in 2010 and 2011 under his leadership. He is considered one of the greatest Captains and Wicket Keeper-Batsmen of all time. Throughout his 15-year-long international career, Dhoni has won several awards and accolades. 

Here are the top 10 facts about Mahendra Dhoni.

1. Dhoni‘s coach picked him to play cricket for his school team

Previously Dhoni was the goalkeeper for his DAV Jawahar Vidya Mandir school’s football team. After seeing his goalkeeping skills, coach Keshav Ranjan Banerjee, one who inspired Dhoni to be a cricketer, picked him to play cricket for his school team.

His exceptional wicketkeeping skills allowed him to become the regular wicketkeeper at the Commando Cricket Club from 1995 to 1998. Based on his performance at club cricket, he was picked for the 1997/98 season Vinoo Mankad Trophy Under-16 Championship, where he performed well.

2. In 1998, Mahendra was selected to play for the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) team

Dhoni and his teammates

Dhoni and his teammates by Aneezone – Wikimedia Commons

In 1998, Dhoni was selected by Deval Sahay, a former Bihar Cricket Association Vice President and Ranchi District Cricket President, to play for the Central Coal Fields Limited (CCL) team. Till 1998 Dhoni, who was in 12th grade, had never played professional cricket. At CCL, he got an opportunity to bat higher up the order, where he performed exceptionally, which had helped CCL move to the A division.

3. Dhoni made his Ranji Trophy debut for Bihar as an eighteen-year-old

The Ranji Trophy is a domestic first-class cricket championship played in India between multiple teams representing regional and state cricket associations. 

He made a half-century in his debut match scoring 68* in the second innings against the 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, this match ended as a draw. 

Apart from this century, his performance in the 2000/01 season did not include another score over fifty, and in the 2001/02 season, he scored just five fifties in four Ranji matches.

4. Dhoni had his best wicket-keeping effort in the 2003/04 season

Indian captain MS Dhoni batting against South Africa

Indian captain MS Dhoni batting against South Africa by Dee03 – Wikimedia Commons

Mahendra was recognized for his efforts in the 2003/04 season, especially in the One Day format, and was picked for 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 of 120 and 119 against the same team.

5. 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 the 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 to 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, becoming the fastest batsman to do so, in 42 innings.

6. Dhoni was named vice-captain of the ODI team for the series against South Africa

Dhoni behind Stumps

Dhoni behind Stumps by Pulkitsinha – Wikimedia Commons

Mahendra was vice-captain 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. 

He was also elected as the 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.

7. Dhoni took his first and only wicket in international cricket on 30 September 2009

During the series between India and Australia in 2009, Dhoni scored 124 runs in 107 balls in the second ODI and scored 71 runs in 95 balls in the third ODI. Along with Yuvraj Singh’s 78 off of 96 balls, India won the third ODI by 6 wickets. 

Dhoni took his first and only wicket in international cricket on 30 September 2009. He bowled Travis Dowlin of the West Indies during a match in the 2009 ICC Champions Trophy.

8. During the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Dhoni became the first Indian captain to win all group stage matches

Mahendra Singh Dhoni by Bollywood Hungama - Wikimedia Commons

Mahendra Singh Dhoni by Bollywood Hungama – Wikimedia Commons

India achieved wins against arch-rivals Pakistan, South Africa, the UAE, West Indies, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. In the match against Zimbabwe at Eden Park, he made 85 not out chasing 288, and had an unbeaten partnership of 196 with Suresh Raina.

This is the highest score by an Indian captain on New Zealand soil. Beating Bangladesh in the quarter-finals, he became the third overall and the first non-Australian captain to win 100 ODI matches.

9. Dhoni stepped down as captain of India in the limited over formats in January 2017

This was just ahead of the ODI series at home against England. In the second game of the series, he scored 134 off 122 balls, which included a 256-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Yuvraj Singh. 

The century, his tenth in ODIs, was his first in over three years. He was named as a wicketkeeper of the ‘Team of the Tournament’ at the 2017 Champions Trophy by Cricbuzz. He was also named in the ODI XI of the year by Cricbuzz.

10. Dhoni made an unbeaten 44 to guide India to their first win over Australia at Adelaide

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 considerably large six which traveled 112 meters off the bowling of Clint McKay. 

During the post-match presentation, he described these six as more important than the one he hit during the ICC World Cup final in 2011. He was named as captain and wicketkeeper of the ‘Team of the Tournament’ for the 2014 T20 World Cup by the ICC.