Mahendra Singh Dhoni turns 40 on Wednesday, July 7, 2021.
One of India's most loved cricketers, MSD led India to three World Cup titles and the No 1 ranking in Test cricket.
As the legend turns 40, Harish Kotian/Rediff.com take a look at his journey in cricket and life:
IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni's first ever game for India was the first ODI against Bangladesh in Chattogram on December 23, 2004.
It was not the perfect start for Dhoni as he fell for a duck and didn't register any dismissals with the gloves. Photograph: Rafiqur Rahman/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni hit his first century in international cricket on April 5, 2005 during the second ODI against Pakistan at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA cricket stadium in Visakhapatnam.
He slammed 148 runs from 123 balls, hitting 15 fours and four sixes. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni is all smiles after being awarded his first man of the match award for the Indian team for his match-winning century against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni plays football during the Indian team's practice session at the Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe on September 5, 2005. Photograph: Howard Burditt/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni celebrates with Virender Sehwag after India won the third ODI against Sri Lanka in Jaipur on October 31, 2005.
Dhoni paved the way for India's victory with an unbeaten 183 off 145 balls, inclusive of 15 boundaries and 10 sixes. Photograph: Kamal Kishore/Reuters
IMAGE: Yuvraj Singh pours water on Dhoni after the wicket-keeper was named man of the series during the seven-match ODI series against Sri Lanka in Ahmedabad on November 12, 2005. Photograph: Punit Paranjpe/Reuters
IMAGE: Following his fine showing in ODIs, Dhoni made his Test debut against Sri Lanka in the first Test in Chennai on December 6 2005. Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni tries to avoid a Shoaib Akhtar bouncer during the second Test against Pakistan in Faisalabad on January 23, 2006. Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni celebrates his first Test century, which, like his first ODI century, also came against Pakistan, in Faisalabad on January 23, 2006. Photograph: Mian Khursheed/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni with the trophy after winning the ODI series against Pakistan 4-1 in Karachi on February 19, 2006. Photograph: Arko Datta/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni during India's practice session in Bengaluru, on September 4, 2006. Photograph: Jagadeesh NV/Reuters
IMAGE: Captain Dhoni celebrates after winning the inaugural World T20 final against Pakistan at The Wanderers in Johannesburg on September 24, 2007. Photograph: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni, left, and Sachin Tendulkar at the inauguration of a cricket academy in Pune. Photograph: Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni arrives at the Birsa Munda airport in Ranchi on April 9, 2009 on his return from the tour of New Zealand where India registered their first Test series against the Kiwis in four decades. Photograph: Rajesh Kumar Sen/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni has led Chennai Super Kings to three IPL titles -- in 2010, 2011 and 2018. Photograph: Tom Shaw/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni addresses the audience as he receives the ICC Test Captain of the Year award at the ICC Annual Awards in Bangalore on October 6, 2010. Photograph: Pal Pillai/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni shakes hands with then Pakistan prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani as India's then prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh looks on before the start of the 2011 World Cup semi-final between India and Pakistan at the Punjab Cricket Association stadium in Mohali on March 30, 2011. Photograph: Daniel Berehulak-Pool/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni hits a six during the 2011 World Cup final against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on April 2, 2011.
India, powered by scintillating knocks from Gautam Gambhir (97) and Dhoni (91 not out), chased down Sri Lanka's 274 for 6 in 50 overs to win with ten balls to spare to win their second world title -- 28 years after Kapil's Devils scored that famous win at Lord's on June 25, 1983. Photograph: Graham Crouch/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni with the World Cup Trophy in Mumbai on April 3, 2011. Photograph: Ritam Banerjee/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni bowls as Kevin Pietersen looks on during day two of the first Test at Lord's on July 22, 2011.
Dhoni-led India suffered a humiliating 4-0 whitewash in England. Photograph: Gareth Copley/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni leaves the field after being dismissed on day three of the third Test against Australia at the WACA in Perth on January 15, 2012. Dhoni's India were routed 4-0 in Australia for their second successive series whitewash. Photograph: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni continued his fine record in limited overs cricket as India beat England to win the ICC Champions Trophy at Edgbaston in Birmingham on June 23, 2013. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni leaves the field on the final day of the third Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 30, 2014.
It turned out to be his last day as a Test cricketer as he announced his immediate retirement from Test cricket in the middle of the series 'citing the strain of playing all formats of cricket'. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni congratulates Virat Kohli after India won the 2015 World Cup match against Ireland at Seddon Park in Hamilton on March 10, 2015. Photograph: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni's last match for India was the 2019 World Cup semi-final against New Zealand in Manchester on July 10, 2019. Photograph: Clive Mason/Getty Images
IMAGE: Dhoni takes Yuvraj Singh for a ride on the bike which Yuvi won after being named man of the match during the second ODI against England in Indore on November 17, 2008. Photograph: Adnan Abidi/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni plays with a police sniffer dog on the eve of the second ODI against South Africa in Bangalore on November 18, 2005. Photograph: Jagadeesh NV/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni tries his hand with a media photographer's camera during the second Test against New Zealand in Napier on March 27, 2009. Photograph: Anthony Phelps/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni presents a ring to World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand in Chennai on December 11, 2008. Photograph: Babu/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni announced the Kolkata Fashion Week on August 13, 2009. Photograph: Parth Sanyal/Reuters
IMAGE: Dhoni receives the Padma Bhushan from President Ram Nath Kovind, on April 2, 2018. Photograph: PTI
IMAGE: Dhoni, an honorary lieutenant colonel in the Territorial Army, joined Indian Army troops in south Kashmir to carry out patrolling and guard duties in July 2019. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Instagram
IMAGE: On a trip to Ranchi, actor Anupam Kher -- who played Dhoni's father in the film M.S. Dhoni The Untold Story -- with Pan Singh, Dhoni's father, and MSD. Photograph: Kind courtesy Anupam Kher/Twitter
IMAGE: After his retirement from international cricket, Dhoni has ventured into organic farming.
He bought a tractor during the lockdown and like everything that he does, carefully began setting up a process to export vegetables and fruits grown at his farmhouse in Ranchi to the UAE. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Instagram
IMAGE: Dhoni with Lilly at his farm house in Ranchi. His horse Chetak recently joined Lilly (White Husky), Sam (Belgian Malinois), Gabbar (White Husky) and Zoya (Dutch Shepherd).. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sakshi Singh Dhoni/Instagram
IMAGE: When Dhoni took his first para jump on February 27, 2016. 'My 1st para jump. 2nd in line, a bit nervous yeah of course,' he tweeted. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Twitter
IMAGE: Despite his busy schedule during his playing days, Dhoni spent as much time as possible with his family. And Sakshi has stood by her hubby like a rock, through thick and thin. Photograph: Kind courtesy Sakshi Dhoni/Instagram
IMAGE: Dhoni made a rare public appearance in the US, attending a puja
at the Siddhivinayak Temple in Toms Rover, New Jersey, in 2015.
The Edison Council of the township of Edison felicitated Dhoni with a 'resolution' at a ceremony in Toms River city. Photograph: Paresh Gandhi/Rediff.com
IMAGE: The South Eastern Railway served a very special passenger in 2017 when its former employee Mahendra Singh Dhoni preferred to travel by train with his Jharkhand team from Ranchi to Howrah to participate in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in Kolkata.
Rewinding the clock back to his struggling days in the early 2000s when he was posted as a ticket inspector in Kharagpur, India's most successful captain travelled by the second-tier AC of the 18616 Kriya Yoga Express. Photograph: Kind courtesy Mahendra Singh Dhoni/Instagram
IMAGE: Earlier this year, Dhoni was joined by daughter Ziva in endorsing Oreo biscuits. Photograph: Kind courtesy Ziva Dhoni/Instagram